Recalled Brayan Villarreal (RHP) from Toledo to Detroit
Purchased contract of Luke Putkonen (RHP) from Toledo and called up to Detroit.
Optioned Adam Wilk (LHP) from Detroit to Toledo
Optioned Thad Weber (RHP) from Detroit to Toledo
Placed Matt Hoffman (LHP) on the Toledo DL (left shoulder strain)
Recalled Shawn Teufel from Lakeland to Toledo.
Analysis: Putkonen will fill the spot on the 40-man roster that opened when Al Alburquerque was placed on the 60-day DL. He had not pitched above Double-A before this season, but has been successful with Toledo, allowing nine hits and two earned runs in 13 innings. The Tigers need fresh arms because the starters are not lasting very long and the bullpen is being taxed. Wilk only lasted two innings Thursday and has recently struggled. Weber relieved Wilk and threw three innings. I don't know if the Wilk/Villarreal move was planned, because Villarreal pitched Wednesday for Toledo, where he struggled. We still don't know when Doug Fister will be able to come off the Detroit DL and who will fill Wilk's spot in the rotation. Teufel pitched well for Toledo on Sunday, but was optioned to Lakeland when Daniel Schlereth was added to the roster. Now Teufel is back.
Posted by Chris, 4/26/12
Purchased contract of Thad Weber (RHP) from Toledo and called up to Detroit
Optioned Daniel Schlereth (LHP) to Toledo
Signed Efrain Lieves (LHP) to minor league contract and assigned him to extended spring training
Analysis: Schlereth had struggled for two straight weeks for the Tigers, and eventually just pitched his way off the team. Couple his struggles with Duane Below going five innings on Saturday and likely being unavailable for the next few days, and the Tigers need for a long man out-weighed all other considerations. After having lost Clete Thomas to the Twins, there was no need to open a spot on the 40-man roster, so the Tigers could purchase his contract and place him on the roster immediately. The selection of Weber was almost one of default, where the alternatives were either ineligible to be recalled (Brayan Villarreal), pitching poorly (Casey Crosby, Andy Oliver) or hurt (Fu-Te Ni, Luis Marte). Weber was 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings so far this year with Toledo, with 15 strikeouts and just two walks.
Posted by Wez, 4/21/12
Acquired Zach Miner (RHP) in trade for cash. Placed on Erie active roster
Placed Zach Samuels on Erie DL (Right shoulder contusion)
Re-assigned Luis Sanz (RHP) from West Michigan to Lakeland
Re-assigned Melvin Mercedes (RHP) from Extended Spring Training (Connecticut) to West Michigan
Activated Marcus Lemon (INF) from Suspended List and re-assigned to Extended Spring Training (Connecticut).
Analysis: In need of minor league pitching depth, the Tigers traded cash to Kansas City for former Tiger Zach Miner. He pitched in the Tigers organization from 2005-2009, including four years at the big-league level. With Zach Samuels and Jay Voss going on the Erie DL, the organization decided to bring in a veteran from the outside. Miner spent last season in the Double-A and Triple-A affiliates of the Royals after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2010.
Posted by Chris, 4/20/12
Placed Fu-Te Ni (LHP) on Toledo DL (Left shoulder)
Re-assigned Ramon Garcia (LHP) from Erie to Toledo
Re-assigned Patrick Cooper (RHP) from Lakeland to Erie
Placed Jay Voss (LHP) on Erie DL (Left elbow sprain)
Re-assigned Mark Sorenson (RHP) from Lakeland to Erie
Re-assigned Ryan Woolley from West Michigan to Lakeland.
Re-assigned Warwick Saupold from Extended Spring Training to West Michigan.
Analysis: Due to some injuries, some of these guys are being moved back for the third time in just over a week.
Posted by Chris, 4/19/12
Re-assigned Brent Dlugach (INF) from Toledo to Erie
Re-assigned Ramon Garcia (LHP) from Toledo to Erie
Re-assigned Corey Jones (INF) from Erie to Lakeland
Re-assigned Patrick Cooper (RHP) from Erie to Lakeland
Re-assigned Luis Angel Sanz from Lakeland to West Michigan
Re-assigned Warwick Saupold from West Michigan to Extended Spring Training (Connecticut)
Analysis: A lot of moves here after Detroit brought up Adam Wilk and Brandon Inge and sent Brayan Villarreal and Danny Worthy to Toledo last weekend. Most of these players had recently been called up and struggled or didn't play much, so nothing here is very surprising.
Posted by Chris, 4/16/12
Recalled Adam Wilk (LHP) from Toledo to Detroit
Activated Brandon Inge (INF) from DL (groin)
Optioned Brayan Villarreal (RHP) from Detroit to Toledo
Optioned Danny Worth (INF) from Detroit to Toledo
Analysis: As much as fans loathe the move, Brandon Inge is back with the Tigers after recovering from a sore left groin. He could start Sunday against White Sox LHP Chris Sale. Inge went 1-for-9 in three games with Toledo as part of his rehab, but he didn't seem concerned, and apparently the Tigers aren't either. Wilk will make his first Major League start on Saturday. After being called up last weekend, Villarreal only stuck around for a week. He gave up one hit in one total inning for the Tigers. Worth went 1-for-5 with a run scored in three games.
Posted by Chris, 4/14/12
Designated Clete Thomas (OF) for assignment
Purchased contract of Drew Smyly from Toledo
Analysis: The promotion of Smyly from Toledo was expected, the uncertainty was what the corresponding move would be to open a spot on the 25-man roster for him. That was decided on Wednesday, when the Tigers designated Thomas for assignment. The hope is still that he won't be claimed on waivers and will be assigned to Toledo, but that remains to be seen.
Posted by Chris, 4/10/12
Re-assigned Ramon Garcia from Erie to Toledo
Re-assigned Patrick Cooper from Lakeland to Erie
Re-assigned Luis Angel Sanz from West Michigan to Lakeland
Activated Ramon Lebron from West Michigan DL
Analysis: Kelvin De La Cruz will start in Garcia's place in the Erie rotation.
Posted by Chris, 4/10/12
Doug Fister to the 15-day DL (abdominal strain)
Brayan Villarreal recalled from Toledo
Re-assigned Rob Waite from Erie to Toledo
Re-assigned Zach Samuels from Lakeland to Erie
Re-assigned Tyler White from West Michigan to Lakeland
Assigned Warwick Saupold to West Michigan from Extended Spring Training
Analysis: Fister was pulled out of the fourth inning of Saturday's game against the Red Sox after experiencing pain in his right side. The Tigers don't have a timeline for Fister's return, only saying he'll be back when he's pain-free. Villarreal was one of the last players to be optioned to Toledo at the end of Spring Training, being sent to the Mud Hens a week ago. With Fister going on the DL, Villarreal is back with the big-league club. In 16 innings with the Tigers last season, Villarreal gave up 21 hits, 10 walks and 12 earned runs. With someone needing to fill the starting spot left by Fister, it is possible Villarreal could be used in some long relief situations.
Posted by Chris, 4/8/12
Optioned Duane Below (LHP) to Toledo
Optioned Brayan Villarreal (RHP) to Toledo
Analysis: The moves above have the biggest imapct on the guys not named, as it means Drew Smyly has won the job as the team's fifth starter, and Luis Marte will be the final man out of the bullpen. Smyly will first make one start in Toledo before being called up to make his big league debut on April 12th. It also means that the Tigers will carry an extra position player for the first week of the season, potentially trying to hope to sneak someone through waivers after Opening Day rosters are set.
The battle between Marte and Villarreal was close, but Marte got the edge. It's likely that both pitchers will see big league action this season though.
Posted by Wez, 4/1/12
Optioned Andy Oliver (LHP) to Toledo
Released Eric Roof ( C)
Released Shawn Roof (IF)
Released Pedro Perez (RHP)
Released Zach Maxfield (IF)
Released Jeff Rowland (OF)
Released Fernando Celis (RHP)
Released Chretien Matz (OF)
Analysis: The news of Oliver officially eliminates one more candidate for the fifth starter spot in Detroit, bringing the competition down to Below and Smyly. While Oliver made an impression early, and might have actually led the battle at one point, control problems returned as spring wore on and the Tigers just simply won't hand the job over to someone they can't trust to throw strikes consistently.
The rest of the minor league releases were not surprises. Both Roof brothers being let go on the same day was a slight surprise, however, both were likely looking at reserve roles at best within the organization. The roster trimming does help get the Tigers near what will likely be the final rosters for the minor league clubs when camp breaks.
Posted by Wez, 3/29/12
Released Kevan Hess (RHP)
Released Jeff Barfield (RHP)
Released Dan Kickham (RHP)
Released Josh Ashenbrenner (3B)
Released P.J. Polk (OF)
Released L.J. Gagnier (RHP)
Released Rayni Guichardo (LHP)
Released Trevor Feeney (RHP)
Released Les Smith (OF)
Released Nate Newman (RHP)
Released Derick Hudgins (INF)
Analysis: Guicardo's release happened a while back but was never logged in the Transaction Blog. The decision to cut ties with LJ Gagnier is only mildly surprising. He was a durable right arm that could fill multiple roles at the upper levels of the system. The Tigers are flush with guys that can start in Erie this year and Gagnier just didn't fit into that mix at this time. Trevor Feeney's fate was similar to Gagnier. Kickham, Hess, Ashenbrenner and Barfield just hadn't come along as the organization would have liked over the last year or so, resulting in their release to clear room for more promising prospects that needed playing time. PJ Polk has been dogged by injuries since signing and they have sapped some of the raw tools that made him an intriguing sleeper prospect.
Posted by Mark, 3/27/12
Analysis: The roster trimming continues, as two pitchers that were on the outside looking in at the bullpen battle were officially removed from the race when they were sent to Toledo. Neither move is especially surprising, but both had strong showings in spring camp that will make them viewed favorably for when the time comes when the Tigers need to call up a reliever during the season.
Posted by Wez, 3/19/12
Optioned Tyler Stohr (RHP) to Double-A Erie
Assigned Darin Downs (LHP) to minor league camp
Analysis: The roster battles are slowly being trimmed, with this just the latest move to clear space and narrow down the field. Stohr was thought to have an outside shot at making a run for a bullpen job, but with so few spots available and not having the same experience as some others, the decision wasn't shocking and was likely inevitable.
Posted by Wez, 3/17/12
Released David Pauley (RHP)
Optioned Avisail Garcia (OF) to Double-A Erie (effective 3/15)
Optioned Hernan Perez (2B) to High-A Lakeland (effective 3/14)
Analysis: Pauley has been largely ineffective since arriving in Detroit as part of the trade that brought Doug Fister over from the Mariners last year. While he had an inside track on a bullpen job this season, his poor performance early made the Tigers decision easy and they opted to cut him loose early in camp.
The players heading back to minor league camp are not a surprise at this juncture. The host of catchers were around to keep up with all of the early-camp bullpen sessions and with those dwindling as pitchers get on a more consistent schedule, the younger catchers were no longer needed. Castellanos will head to the back fields as the club decides whether he will be assigned to Lakeland or Erie out of the gate.
The impending optional assignments of Garcia and Perez hint strongly that the Tigers will have both players start at those respective levels in April.
Posted by Mark, 3/13/12
Jordan Pratt (RHP) has retired (head injury)
Signed Zach Segovia (RHP)
Analysis: Last spring, Jordan Pratt had a serious scare when he took a line drive off his skull. He was on the ground for more than 30 minutes at the time, and spent months receiving treatment. After meeting with Tigers doctors, and due to the increased risk of repeat injury causing irreparable damage, Pratt has chosen not to return to the field. The door has been left open that he could try in the future, but as of now, his baseball career is over.
Posted by Wez, 2/16/12
Released Cody Satterwhite (RHP)
Signed Brent Dlugach (SS)
Signed Warwick Saupold (RHP)
Signed Tim Kelley (RHP)
Signed Juan Alcantara (RHP)
Signed Sandy Baez (RHP)
Signed Carlos Lara (RHP
Signed Arvincent Perez (C)
Signed Franklin Navarro (C)
Signed Joseph Manuel (SS)
Agreed to terms with Ignacio Valdez (OF)
Analysis: Satterwhite's release isn't all that shocking at this point in time, simply because his stuff never came back after major shoulder surgery. He was sitting in the upper-80s last summer while still battling discomfort in his shoulder, and that didn't bode well for his baseball future.
Saupold has drawn some recent hype after signing out of Australia, largely because of the unknown and the sparkling numbers he put in the Australian Baseball League this year. He's a project of sorts and is likely to start out in the lower minor leagues barring a truly impressive spring.
Kelley is an NDFA out of Wichita State. The Tigers have been intimately familiar with him over the years and he should help eat some innings during camp and possibly hold down a rotation or long relief slot in A-ball to start the year. With below-average to fringe-average stuff and good command, he lacks significant Major League projection.
The host of Latin American kids signed will be detailed in an upcoming Scouting MLN that should be live on the site later this week.
Posted by Mark A., 2/8/12