May 16, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Luke Putkonen (36) against the at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
The Tigers optioned Putkonen to Toledo on August 25 to open a spot for Drew Smyly to make a spot start in place of injured Doug Fister. By rule, Detroit couldn’t recall Putkonen for another 10 days unless he was replacing somebody who was placed on the disabled list. In this case, 10 days took them to the end of the minor-league season, so they’re clear to call him up.
Putkonen made his major league debut earlier this season, appearing in seven games for the Tigers. He allowed seven runs over nine and two-thirds innings of work.
The 26-year-old has appeared in twenty-four games, including two starts, for the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate, maintaining an ERA of 4.92. He owns a career ERA of 4.15 over six seasons in the minors.
Beck believes Putkonen will fill the role of an additional long reliever out of Detroit’s bullpen.