At 29 years of age, Chad Durbin is no longer a prospect but he’s one of those guys you like having in your back pocket. He came up through the Royals system and after a very rough rookie season in 2000, Chad Durbuin put together a decent but loss filled season in 2001. He pitched late into games and between a stint in Triple A in which he threw 27 innings and then 179 more for the Royals, he logged well over 200 innings as a 23 year old. According to Baseball Prospectus 2003, Durbin went more then 115 pitches in a start six times in 2001 and he went over the 130 pitch mark twice. When 2002 rolled around, he got hammered in all of 13 2/3 innings before going down and having surgery in what looks to be yet another instance of a young pitcher getting overworked.
The Royals didn’t offer him arbitration so he became a free agent at the end of 2002 and then he signed with the Indians where he had two ineffective seasons before being placed on waivers, where he was then picked up by the Diamondbacks. The Nationals signed him prior to the 2005 season but he never made the big league club and then the Tigers signed him prior to the 2006 season. He ended up leading the International League in strikeouts in 2006 for Toledo with 149 in 185 innings and he was a key player in the Mud Hen’s run to another International League Championship. He got a cup of coffee with the Tigers where he was solid in three relief appearances.
Which brings us to today. Durbin will get the start and the Tigers will see if they have yet another major league ready starter in their system. Odds are Durbin heads back to Triple A to start the season (if only he were lefty) but this is a guy who could get called up to spot start in the event of a double header or if someone goes down.
Andrew Miller is also expected to get some time on the mound today, as is Preston Larrison, Bobby Seay and Felix Heredia.