VerHagen up as Tigers bolster bullpen

VerHagen up as Tigers bolster bullpen

CHICAGO -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus didn't want to use an already-depleted bullpen any more on Tuesday, but he wasn't left with many options, using all but one of his relievers in their win over Chicago. So on Wednesday, the Tigers brought in some reinforcement to help.

Before Wednesday's series finale against the Cubs, Detroit called up reliever Drew VerHagen from Triple-A Toledo, the club announced. First baseman Jefry Marte was optioned to Toledo in a corresponding move.

VerHagen, ranked Detroit's No. 21 prospect, according to MLB.com, pitched one inning in the Tigers' 15-8 win. In his third year since being drafted, VerHagen has a 3.72 ERA in 27 2/3 innings pitched with Toledo this season.

VerHagen is making his second appearance in the Majors after he was called up on July 3 from Double-A Erie. He made one outing in his brief stint, allowing two runs on one hit and four walks in an inning of work.

The move came at a cost, as the Tigers lost their talented rookie infielder off the bench. Marte hit .250 with a .316 on-base percentage in 21 games since early July while adding three home runs and seven RBIs.

He could be a possible candidate for a callup when the roster expands in September, Ausmus said.

"He did a nice job, and that's what we told him," Ausmus said. "He's kind of a victim of circumstance, a victim of mother nature, whatever you want to call it. The truth is with [Miguel Cabrera] back, his playing time gets cut, and we needed an arm in the bullpen."

Worth noting

• After he feared Bryan Holaday was lost for rest of the season, Ausmus received good news that the Triple-A catcher would be out a "couple of weeks" with a dislocation in his left thumb. Ausmus said there was no ligament damage, which could leave him in line for a September callup.

• The news wasn't as positive about right-hander Shane Greene, who will get a second opinion from a specialist for numbness in his right hand, Ausmus said. The club will wait for more information before announcing further details.

Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.