DETROIT -- Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez returned from the family emergency list in time for Wednesday's 9-4 win over the A's after three days away from the team. The move not only restored Detroit's bullpen to full strength, it secured a level of depth greater than usual for the 'pen.
To make room for Rodriguez on the 25-man roster, the Tigers optioned Tyler Collins to Triple-A Toledo. Thus, Detroit will go forward with an eight-man bullpen and a three-man bench for the foreseeable future.
Though it wasn't a save situation, Rodriguez worked a perfect ninth inning on Wednesday, striking out a pair of batters swinging.
Collins' demotion comes two days after he gestured to fans after being booed for losing a ball in center field. Manager Brad Ausmus said the decision was not related to Collins' mistake.
"No, this has nothing to do with the other night," Ausmus said on Wednesday afternoon. "He was scuffling. We had K-Rod coming back. We felt like we could use another pitcher for the foreseeable future, the next few days at least. At least through the weekend."
Collins went 2-for-20 with a double and six strikeouts in 10 games. He started five games in center field, sharing time with Anthony Gose.
By the time the Tigers will need an extra position player again next week, Cameron Maybin might be ready to return from the disabled list. Maybin is expected to resume his Minor League rehab assignment at Toledo later this week. Meanwhile, veteran outfielder Nate Schierholtz started in center field for the Mud Hens on Wednesday.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.