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Alex Wilson open to becoming first reliever to use Tigers’ bullpen cart

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Alex Wilson currently is on the 10-day DL due to a left plantar fascia strain. When Wilson does indeed return to action, he has hinted he’s open to becoming the first pitcher to utilize the team’s bullpen cart, which was brought back by the team at Comerica Park this season.

“Depends on how fast I come back,” Wilson said, via the Detroit Free-Press. “I might not be a doing a whole lot of running, so that cart might get used after all.”

Wilson remains in a walking boot, so it’s unclear exactly when his return will come. However, Wilson apparently hinted at using the bullpen cart as a joke once he’s back, and general manager Al Avila’s eyes “kind of lit up a bit” when hearing it.

“I would prefer not to, but if it lets me get out there a little bit earlier and takes a little stress off it, I have no problem riding the cart in.”

The Arizona Diamondbacks have also resurrected the bullpen cart this season at Chase Field. Houston Astros reliever Collin McHugh became the first player to use it in a regular-season game just last week.

The bullpen cart’s resurrection certainly is a quirky gambit by the Tigers and D-backs. But it does hearken back to a nostalgic era for some older fans, as it has been over two decades since a team last used a bullpen cart. The Milwaukee Brewers were the lone holdouts and stopped using a version of the bullpen cart — a Harley-Davidson outfitted with a sidecar — in 1995.