The Alfredo Simon Conundrum

Alfredo Simon started the year as arguably the best pitcher in the Detroit Tigers rotation, even with David Price and Shane Greene off to hot starts as well, it looked like Simon was on his way to a second consecutive All-Star appearance.

The worry with Simon all year had been that he would not sustain the hot start and fall off after the All-Star game, just as he did during the second half of last year with the Cincinnati Reds.

Unfortunately for Tigers fans, Simon has fallen off  the second half of the season, and now, with Detroit almost entirely out of the playoff race, the question lingers about what to do with Simon, not just after the year, but for the rest of the season as well.
Simon is an impending free agent, and as a starter, he isn’t giving the Tigers much reason to bring him back. With that being the case, it only makes sense for the Tigers to do one of two things: shut him down or move him into the bullpen.
Simon has been dealing with a groin injury over the past few weeks after originally injuring it during a July 25 start against the Boston Red Sox, and while it’s honorable that he’s fighting through it for the team, there’s no reason to put him through pain when we could just as easily shut him down for the year and bring up another prospect to get experience such as Michael Fulmer or Luis Cessa. If the Tigers have no intention of bringing Simon back, this seems like it would be the way to go.
If Detroit is still holding out hope on “The Big Pasta,” moving Simon to the bullpen is another intriguing option. Simon pitched out of the bullpen for a good handful of games while playing for the Baltimore Orioles as well as the Reds. Over his major league career, Simon has registered 19 saves. With the troubles the Tigers have had with the bullpen over the past few years, it would make sense to see if Simon could be a bullpen arm going forward.
If Simon would even be willing to move to the bullpen is a whole other situation, but after a rough second half to the season, proving he can be a serviceable bullpen arm may be Simon’s lone chance at returning to Detroit.
Nothing has come out of the Tigers organization that they are even considering either of these options, but with the impeding free agency looming ahead, either of these options would be wise to look into so that the organization can decide and move forward sooner rather than later.