Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
I'm going to break this into three groups of players for call ups, understanding that some decisions are inevitable, while some are still to be determined with arguments on the both sides. Among those that are a lock, catcher Bryan Holaday (or Alex Avila, if he's still on the disabled list) and left hander Phil Coke will absolutely be coming up. In addition, infielder Danny Worth and left hander Darin Downs are very good bets to come up as well. After that, we get into a large group of players that are possibilities. First off, two top prospects are options in infielder Hernan Perez and outfielder Nick Castellanos. The question with each of them is, will it be worth bringing them up if they might not get extensive playing time? And if not, is it worth just having them sit on the bench? Tough call. And with Castellanos, there are roster implications, as well. Then there's a large group of middle relievers (Evan Reed, Luke Putkonen, Jose Ortega, Ocativo Dotel, etc.) that might be called up. Jim Leyland notoriously doesn't like having a ton of players called up to just sit around though, so my bet is that only a couple of them make the leap, and the total number brought up ends up residing around six additional players.
Mark Anderson, Director of Scouting
Assuming Alex Avila's rehab goes well at Toledo over the next few days, then that means the first addition we can safely assume is backup catcher Bryan Holaday. September will also see the return of several relievers currently back in the minor leagues, including left-handers Phil Coke and Darin Downs, and right-handers Jose Ortega, Luke Putkonen and Evan Reed. Each of these pitching additions will result in added depth and a little extra flexibility down the stretch for manager Jim Leyland. In addition, September will allow for an open audition for the postseason bullpen. Pitchers like Downs, Coke and Putkonen will have an opportunity to impress and be the "hot arm" heading into the playoffs, possibly supplanting arms like Jose Alvarez, Jeremy Bonderman and Al Albuerquerque. I also expect infielders Hernan Perez and Danny Worth to be added back to the roster in Detroit, offering the club resources to spell Omar Infante and options in case Jose Iglesias cools off to the point that he needs a break. There are other players on the 40-man roster that I don't expect to be called up this fall, including left-hander Casey Crosby and right-hander Melvin Mercedes, as well as catcher Ramon Cabrera, all of whom will be of little help to the club down the stretch, and the Tigers have not made it a practice to recall players they do not intend to utilize in the season's final month. That leaves two players that merit discussion, veteran reliever Octavio Dotel and outfielder Nick Castellanos as the final potential additions. Dotel's return will hinge completely on how his rehabilitation assignment continues. If he is getting outs and showing decent stuff -- even an average fastball and decent slider -- he will likely get a shot in September. Lastly, there are seemingly endless calls for Castellanos to come help the left field situation in Detroit. At present, Andy Dirks and Matt Tuiasosopo are providing roughly average combined output for the season, meaning the likely gain from adding Castellanos will be minimal. Not to mention the Tigers are not required to add him to the 40-man roster until after next season, and I just can't see it happening this year. He is a defensive liability and will likely require an adjustment period at the Major League level; two things that should keep him in the dugout in street clothes during September, observing the playoff push. In the end, Bryan Holaday, Darin Downs, Phil Coke, Luke Putkonen, Jose Ortega, Evan Reed, Octavio Dotel, Danny Worth and Hernan Perez are my picks to be recalled to Detroit in September.
James Chipman, Senior Correspondent
It's no secret that Jim Leyland isn't a big fan of September roster expansion. Under his reign the Tigers have traditionally added fewer players than their adversaries. That being said, I'd expect the Tigers to make minimal moves again this season. First and foremost, they'll definitely keep three catchers; Yes, I'm looking at you Bryan Holaday. Although he's currently not on the 40-man roster, I can't see the Tigers not giving top prospect Nick Castellanos a cup of coffee down the stretch run. Infielder Hernan Perez and relievers Darin Downs and Luke Putkonen should be a lock to head north to Detroit as well. A personal favorite of mine, ground ball machine Melvin Mercedes has dominated High-A and Double-A this season. At the end of the day, Mercedes and other less likely bubble options like Jose Ortega and Evan Reed are probably initially left out.
Matt Buck, Staff Writer
There are a few players in particular who will be seeing the September call up, most notably number one prospect Nick Castellanos. While Castellanos certainly hasn't tore up pitchers this season at the Triple-A level, he has shown improvement at the plate and will likely earn some time in the Motor City. Hernan Perez is a familiar face in Detroit who should also see time with the big league club. While Perez didn't have a great deal of success in Detroit, he was a viable option off the bench and is seemingly improving his stock with each at bat. Daniel Fields may be a bit of a long shot to see action in Detroit this season but he's arguably deserved it, doing everything that's been asked of him in the minors this season. While Jose Alvarez is another player that hasn't had a ton of success with Detroit, he is a left-handed arm and will likely continue to spend time with the Tigers.
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