Pelfrey: Relief outing was key for splitter

Pelfrey: Relief outing was key for splitter

DETROIT -- As the Tigers' rotation continues to get worked out on the fly, Mike Pelfrey hopes he found some momentum for Tuesday's start after a Friday relief appearance.

Pelfrey allowed just three hits over 4 1/3 scoreless innings in emergency relief against the Indians on Friday night. On the heels of another rough start in a rough season, he threw five of six splitters for strikes on Friday and believes he found something there.

"My split was pretty good," Pelfrey said. "That's been a thing for three or four outings that hadn't been good. It was good the other day. A secondary pitch I need."

The adjustment involved his delivery, staying over the ball, as opposed to letting his arm drag behind him. He also threw four of five sliders for strikes on Friday.

"People start drifting out, and your arm doesn't have time to catch up," Pelfrey said. "When you stand up, your arm has time to get out in front, and it also creates more angle on the ball. A lot of times, when you're drifting, it gets flat and gets hit."

Pelfrey is 1-7 with a 4.91 ERA this season and has struggled to find any consistency. He had some decent starts in late May and early June, but has allowed 10 earned runs over his last two starts.

With Monday's off-day, Pelfrey will start Tuesday on three days' rest, and he threw a bullpen session on Sunday morning. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has no worries about the load, given the pitch count from Friday.

"It was only 47 pitches," Ausmus said. "Basically had a start [last Monday], three days' rest, 47 pitches, three days' rest, start. He should be all right, in terms of workload."

Pelfrey noted a game back in April 2010 in which he pitched in a 20-inning affair for the Mets against the Cardinals on one day of rest and had thrown a bullpen session earlier in the day. He pitched one inning and picked up the save.

"I've done it before on normal rest," he said. "I feel fine."

Other notes

• The Tigers' 12th-round Draft pick, Creighton outfielder Daniel Woodrow, has signed for $150,000, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis. Because Woodrow signed for more than the standard $100,000 for picks outside the 10th round, the extra $50,000 will come out of the Tigers' Draft pool.

Chris Vannini is a contributor to MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Tigers on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.