Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 2/25/12
David Pauley is the first to admit he didn't get the job done in Detroit last season. The right-handed reliever was part of a six-player trade with Seattle on July 30. He pitched in 39 games for the Mariners with a 2.15 ERA, and the Tigers wanted him to help shore up their bullpen as a setup man for All-Star closer Jose Valverde. Instead, Pauley was rocked during his two months in Detroit, posting a 5.95 ERA in 14 games to go with two losses. That wasn't what the Tigers expected from Pauley, who has worked as a starter and reliever after beginning his career with Boston. He's a wild card on the staff this year, someone who can set up but also make a spot start. Detroit has at least one opening in the rotation, and manager Jim Leyland said Pauley would get a chance ''He was very good when he was in Seattle,'' Leyland said. ''Everybody has an opinion and it will all play itself out this spring.'' Even though Pauley didn't bring his A-game from Seattle, Leyland said he was giving Pauley the benefit of the doubt. ''He has a great track record pitching in a lot of ways,'' Leyland said. ''He was pretty good in Seattle and he has the potential to be a big part of this team.'' Pauley said he knows this is a big spring for him, with few openings on the Tigers' staff and plenty of candidates. He knows he didn't make the most of his chance in Detroit last year, but is ready to see if and where he fits in. ''It's going to be tough to come back after last year,'' Pauley said. ''But I have tried to clear my mind of it and just want a chance to start all over again. There is always a learning curve, but I didn't necessarily get it right.'' Filling the final spot in the Tigers' rotation is something Pauley is working on. He started 15 games for the Mariners in 2010. ''Being a starter for most of my career, I'd like a chance to get back to starting,'' he said. ''But I just need to get out and do whatever they want me to do. That is the important thing.'' Pauley's sinker is the key to everything. He got it up as the season wore down, and he's working on making it his out pitch again. He's not a flamethrower, so he needs the sinker to get by. He said that going from Seattle to the pennant race with the Tigers didn't bring on any added pressure, and he blamed only himself for the late-season struggles. After not pitching for Detroit in the postseason, Pauley said he went home and did some thinking about how to get off to a fresh start in 2012. ''I went into the offseason with a lot of questions about myself,'' he said. ''I didn't do what I should when I got to Detroit so I had a lot of questions for myself. It's a new year and a new start.'' Notes: Brandon Inge reported to camp, coming off a season in which he batted .197. He is out of a job at third base now that Miguel Cabrera has moved there while Prince Fielder takes over at first. The 34-year-old Inge could get playing time at second base, a position he hasn't played since high school. He hit only three homers last season and spent time in the minors.
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