|May 17||9:00 AM|
- FIELDS BREAKS HAND, MARINEZ / ROBERTSON RELEASED
Placed Daniel Fields (OF) on Toledo's 7-day disabled list with broken right hand
Transferred Wade Gaynor (OF) to Toledo from Erie
Activated Ezequiel Carrera (OF) from Toledo's 7-day disabled list
Activated Casey Crosby (LHP) from Toledo's 7-day disabled list
Released Jhan Marinez (RHP)
Released Nate Robertson (LHP)
The Fields injury comes at a rough time, as he took a pitch off the hand that will sideline him for the next four to six weeks. Fields had been off to a very slow start, hitting .169 in April, but had turned things up in the first couple weeks of May, with an .802 OPS for the month. Gaynor, the Tigers third round pick back in 2009, is no longer considered a highly-regarded prospect, but was off to a very hot start in Erie, with 17 extra base hits in just 82 at-bats.
Meanwhile, the Tigers parted ways with a pair of bullpen arms as they granted releases to Robertson and Marinez. While there was some optimism that either could potentially help out the Tigers in a relief role, but both struggled in Triple-A, with Marinez posting an ERA of almost nine, and Robertson walking more than he struck out. Carrera's return will mitigate the loss of Fields as well, while Crosby returns to the bullpen to try and work on adjusting to life as a reliever.
For the latest transactions and to discuss them further, make sure to check out the minor league movement thread on the TigsTown Premium Forum: 2014 Signings/Movement Thread
|May 16||3:00 PM|
- CASTRO TO EST, CHANGEOVER IN LAKELAND
Transferred Harold Castro (2B) to extended spring training from West Michigan
Assigned Francisco Contreras (3B) to West Michigan from extended spring training
Activated Jade Todd (LHP) from Lakeland's 7-day disabled list
Activated Jared Reaves (SS) from Lakeland's 7-day disabled list
Assigned Chase Edwards (RHP) to Lakeland from extended spring training
Transferred Johnnie Kirkland (RHP) to extended spring training from Lakeland
Transferred Chris Taladay (C ) to extended spring training from Lakeland
Transferred David Gonzalez (SS) to extended spring training from Lakeland
The noteworthy news is that the Tigers sent Castro, a highly-regarded prospect, back to extended spring from West Michigan. He wasn't performing all that well (.250 average, .623 OPS) but wasn't completely overmatched at the level, either. However, with Javier Betancourt and Willy Adames both also on the roster and clamoring for more playing time, there was clearly not enough at-bats for a group of priority middle infielders, and it made sense to move one out. The fact that it was Castro might be an indicator that, along with what Mark Anderson hinted at in last week's Roundtable about prospects to be concerned about, that concerns about Castro are becoming more prevalent.
On Contreras, Senior Lakeland Correspondent James Chipman has seen him twice, and here's what he had to say: Perhaps a tad larger than his listed size of 6' 1" 180 pounds; body doesn't appear completely maxed out either. Contreras moves well on the basepaths--I specifically remember a well barreled double that he turned into a triple and some heads up effort going first-to-third on a separate occasion. Both his approach and knowledge of the strike zone appeared encouraging. Unfortunately for me, both times I observe him he was DHing, so I have yet to evaluate his defensive play.
Meanwhile the juggling in Lakeland was largely driven by accommodating the return of Todd and Reaves from the disabled list. As is traditionally the case, for shorter-term injuries, the organization will keep the Whitecaps roster intact and shuttle assistance from extended spring across the runway to help out the Flying Tigers (for those that aren't aware, Joker Marchant Stadium is built on a former pilot training facility where thousands of US and British Army/Air Force pilots were trained, with the barracks now the dorm rooms and airplane hangars now batting cages. The main runway divides the stadium from the back fields.)
|May 13||10:00 PM|
- LOY FRACTURES LEG, KNEBEL BACKFILLED
Signed Troy Hanzawa (SS) and assigned to Toledo
Transferred Marcus Lemon (IF) to Erie from Toledo
Placed Ezequiel Carrera (OF) on Toledo's 7-day disabled list retroactive to 5/8
Placed Brandon Loy (SS) on Erie's 7-day disabled list
Transferred Guido Knudson (RHP) to Erie from Lakeland
Assigned Ryan Longstreth (LHP) to Lakeland from extended spring training
Transferred Pat Leyland (1B/C) to West Michigan from Lakeland
Placed Brett Harrison (3B) on West Michigan's 7-day disabled list with a strained rotator cuff
Much of the movement here was brought about by the need to challenge Knebel at Triple-A, and the horrific injury suffered by Loy. Knebel was dominating Eastern League hitters, but he still has more room for growth before he's ready for a big league challenge, so the International League may provide stiffer competition, where hitters are usually more experienced and can make Knebel work more to get outs, rather than relying on pure stuff. The Knebel promotion caused the move of Knudson, who has had a good start to 2014, along with the assignment of Longstreth to Lakeland.
Loy meanwhile suffered what is sure to be a season-ending injury with multiple fractures in his leg and ankle that required immediate surgery. The organization, already short on middle infielders, moved Lemon back to Erie to take over second base there, and signed Hanzawa to help provide relief off the bench for the Hens.