Robertson receives another start

Robertson receives another start

DETROIT -- Nate Robertson will get at least one more turn in the Tigers' rotation. Detroit manager Jim Leyland finalized the decision to send him out for another start in Thursday's series finale against Cleveland.

The choice had been widely expected, especially after Robertson threw a full side session on schedule on Monday. Still, the Tigers held back the formal announcement.

It'll be Robertson's chance to follow up his encouraging return last Saturday, when he tossed four innings against the Rays with one earned run and another unearned tally. More important than the statistics was the quality of pitches, from a fastball that hit the 90-mph mark at least a handful of times, and topped out at 91, to a slider that had some of the old bite that made Robertson a stingy pitcher against left-handed hitters in previous years.

Saturday's outing came on just three days' rest after his final rehab start for Triple-A Toledo. Now that he's had a chance to do his usual work between starts, Robertson is feeling comfortable.

Compared with the half of a season in Detroit's bullpen, it's a much easier schedule for him.

"It's night and day, coming in, knowing what you have to do that day," Robertson said. "It's tough [to relieve]. It's a difficult task."

He still could end up in the bullpen again, depending on what the Tigers decide to do once Armando Galarraga returns from Toledo. Galarraga is scheduled to start for the Mud Hens on Friday, as he gets his arm back into pitching shape after missing his last start with inflammation in his right elbow.

Galarraga has remained in Detroit with the Tigers, even though he was optioned to Toledo last Wednesday. The move to the Minors was made so he could avoid a trip to the disabled list. Galarraga said his elbow feels fine, though he feels a little muscle tightness in his right forearm. He said he's just looking for a good outing for Toledo, and he won't work on anything specifically.

As for Robertson's work, he's expected to be available for more than the 70 pitches he threw last time out.

"I hope he can throw 80-85," Leyland said, "but that will depend on the results. We have some extra ammo now [with three September callups in the bullpen]."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.