Wednesday, July 20, 2011
File this one under "local boy makes good." Britton, MI native Duane Below will be making his Major League debut tonight, taking the place of the now-bullpen bound Charlie Furbush. Britton, MI is here, BTW, south of Ann Arbor between Tecumseh and Dundee, (Northeast of Adrian and northwest of Temprance for all of you former SEC high school athletes!)
I recommend the Detroit News' version of Below's life story, which is a nice human interest piece with small town charm and a mom named Phyllis that works at a senior center. Good stuff.
As for Below, he becomes the next in a line of potential rotation fillers, notable because 1) he is not Charlie Furbush, who was his predecessor in that role and 2) He is not über-prospect Justin Turner who should pleasepleaseplease stay in the minors. Below (which I have taken to pronouncing "Bell-O" and now "BE-low", but I guess I'll wait to hear Dan Dickerson or Mario and Rod to get my pronunciation right), has been pretty good at Toledo this year, sporting a 3.13 ERA with 83k and 37BB in 115 IP. His full minor league stats suggest that he's not quite that good, but hey, give me six innings and a couple runs and you're ok in my book this season.
Good luck Duane, we're pulling for you!