TigsTown.com - Paul Wezner

Trans Blog: Drew Smith Completes Mikie Mahtook Trade, Paul Voelker Suspended 50 Games

Among notables over the past couple weeks, the Tigers completed the Mikie Mahtook trade, giving up highly-regarded relief prospect Drew Smith in the deal, while Paul Voelker was suspended 50 games due to a positive drug test.

05/03/2017: CABRERA ACTIVATED, HICKS DOWN

  • Activated Miguel Cabrera (1B) from Detroit’s 10-day disabled list

  • Optioned John Hicks (C ) to Toledo

  • Recalled Chad Bell (LHP) from Toledo

  • Optioned Joe Jimenez (RHP) to Toledo

  • Placed Dustin Molleken (RHP) on Toledo’s 7-day disabled list with a strained right quad, retroactive to 4/30

  • Transferred A.J. Ladwig (RHP) to Toledo from Lakeland

  • Transferred Miguel Gonzalez (C) to Erie from Toledo

  • Transferred Jairo Labourt (LHP) to Erie from Lakeland

  • Placed Kody Eaves (3B) on Erie’s 7-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain

  • Transferred Harold Castro (2B) to Erie from Lakeland

  • Transferred Tim Remes (C) to Lakeland via extended spring training from Erie

  • Placed Angel Nesbitt (RHP) on Erie’s 7-day disabled list

  • Transferred Santiago Garrido (RHP) to Erie from Lakeland

  • Assigned Jake Shull (RHP) to Lakeland from extended spring training

  • Assigned Waldis Joaquin (RHP) to Lakeland from extended spring training

  • Placed Austin Green (C) on Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

  • Assigned Chad Sedio (2B) to Lakeland from extended spring training

  • Assigned Elys Escobar (C) to Lakeland from extended spring training and back to extended spring training

  • Assigned Dustin Frailey (OF) to Lakeland from extended spring training

  • Assigned Endrys Briceno (RHP) to Lakeland from extended spring training

  • Placed Paul Voelker (LHP) on Erie’s restricted list, after being suspended for 50 games in accordance with MiLB’s Drug Treatment and Prevention Program

  • Sold the rights of Jake Brigham (RHP) to Nexen in the Korean Baseball Organization



Analysis:

Lots of movement this past week down on the farm, with injuries and and big league players getting healthy having a cascading effect, especially in Lakeland where almost a third of the roster got turned over this week alone.

 

Among noteworthy moves, Voelker ended up failing a drug test for amphetamines and will miss the next 50 games. Voelker was serving as one of Erie’s go-to late inning relievers, and just missed cracking the TigsTown Top 50 this year. The Tigers also parted ways with Brigham, selling his rights to a team in Korea - he had been an off-season signing after spending the last couple years in Japan, but wasn’t able to crack a roster and will likely have better opportunity play elsewhere.

 


04/28/2017: DREW SMITH COMPLETES MAHTOOK TRADE

  • Traded Drew Smith (RHP) to Tampa as the PTBNL to complete the deal for Mikie Mahtook (OF)

  • Activated Jose Iglesias (SS) from Detroit’s 7-day concussion list

  • Optioned Kyle Ryan (LHP) to Toledo

  • Transferred Angel Nesbitt (RHP) to Erie from Toledo

  • Transferred  Josh Turley (LHP) to extended spring training from Erie

  • Assigned Kurt Spomer (RHP) to Erie

  • Placed Will Maddox (IF) on Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

  • Placed Joey Pankake (2B) on Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

  • Assigned Harold Castro (2B) to Lakeland from extended spring training

  • Assigned Luis Valdez (SS) to Lakeland from extended spring training

  • Transferred Fernando Perez (RHP) to Lakeland from West Michigan

  • Assigned Tom De Blok (RHP) to West Michigan

  • Connor Harrell (OF) retired

  • Released Gustavo Nunez (SS)



Analysis:

Along with some transactions, the big news from the week was the completion of the Mahtook trade, in which the Tigers gave up former third round draft pick in Smith, who TigsTown ranked 17th in the organization. In seven games so far this season with Lakeland, Smith had a 0.77 ERA with 12 strikeouts and four walks. Smith’s mid-90’s fastball is a swing and miss pitch, and he combines it with a solid curveball. After Joe Jimenez, he was arguably the Tigers’ top relief prospect. This is an unusually high price to pay for a backup outfielder, and while not a blockbuster deal, is another questionable move on the part of general manager Al Avila.

 

Also, the retirement of Connor Harrell was made official by the organization. A member of the Top 50 entering the year, questions arose when he wasn’t on a roster when camp broke - he expressed desire to retire in spring, but the Tigers asked him to reconsider. He ultimately decided to hang up the cleats, and the Tigers have lost a prospect with some solid upside as a fourth outfielder.


04/22/2017: INJURIES DRIVE ROSTER SHAKEUP

  • Placed Miguel Cabrera (1B) on Detroit’s 10-day disabled list with a strained right groin

  • Placed JaCoby Jones (OF) on Detroit’s 10-day disabled list

  • Placed Jose Iglesias (SS) on Detroit’s 7-day concussion list, retroactive to 4/20

  • Optioned Warwick Saupold (RHP) to Toledo

  • Recalled Blaine Hardy (LHP) from Toledo

  • Recalled Joe Jimenez (RHP) from Toledo

  • Recalled John Hicks (C ) from Toledo

  • Purchased contract of Jim Adduci (OF) from Toledo and placed him on Detroit’s 25-man roster

  • Transferred Miguel Gonzalez (C ) to Toledo from Erie

  • Transferred Mike Zagurski (LHP) to Toledo from Erie

  • Transferred Jason Krizan (OF) to Toledo from Erie

  • Assigned Zack Cox (IF) to Erie from extended spring training

  • Assigned Tim Remes (C ) to Erie from extended spring training

  • Assigned Adam Ravenelle to Erie

  • Transferred Spenser Watkins (RHP) to Lakeland from West Michigan

  • Assigned Locke St. John (LHP) to West Michigan from extended spring training

  • Assigned Danny Woodrow (CF) to West Michigan from extended spring training

  • Transferred Elvis Rubio (RF) to extended spring training from West Michigan



Analysis:

Lots of movement on the big league roster over the weekend has occurred, with injuries forcing a number of moves. The groin strain for Cabrera has landed him on the DL, Iglesias’s knee to the head has landed him on the concussion list, and the ball Jones took to the mouth Saturday against Minnesota that resulted in nine stitches also landed him on the DL. That has resulted in Jimenez, Hicks and Adduci all getting the call, as the Tigers everyday lineup is now littered with bench players or Toledo stalwarts. Over the next week the Tigers will likely cover playing time at center field, first base and shortstop with a number of players, creating a lineup that is likely to change significantly from one day to the next.

 

The injuries had their typical cascading effect on the remainder of the rosters in the organization, especially in Toledo and Erie.

 


04/19/2017: MORE MILB RELEASES, DUTCH ARM INKED

  • Optioned William Cuevas (RHP) to Toledo

  • Recalled Warwick Saupold (RHP) from Toledo

  • Assigned James Loney (1B) to Toledo

  • Transferred Argenis Diaz (IF) to Toledo from Erie

  • Placed Juan Perez (LF) on Toledo’s 7-day disabled list with a left wrist sprain

  • Assigned Gustavo Nunez (SS) to Erie from extended spring training

  • Signed Tom De Blok (RHP)

  • Lundeen Dalton (RHP) retired

  • Milton Ryan (RHP) retired

  • Santana Felix (OF) retired

  • Released Toller Boardman (LHP)

  • Released Matt Murton (OF)

  • Released Montreal Robertson (RHP)

  • Released Franklin Navarro (C )



Analysis:

The big league moves aside, the news here is that a number of organizational members were given their releases, including a pair of former Top 50 members in Navarro and Robertson. Navarro was an intriguing catching prospect that never found his bat, while Robertson brought a power fastball but injuries slowed him down, and at age 26 and still not ready to compete, the Tigers moved on.

 

The transactions weren’t solely about releases and retirees though, as the Tigers did sign one new pitcher - Tom de Blok out of the Netherlands. De Blok had signed with the Mariners as a 17-year old in 2014, but he struggled to adapt to the lifestyle and culture of professional baseball in America, and returned to the Netherlands.  More mature at age 20, and coming off a successful showing in the WBC (2 games, 2 innings, 0 runs, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts), it appears De Blok is ready to try his hand in the States again. According to a report in the Netherlands, De Blok will initially report to Lakeland, and then will be assigned to West Michigan. For a brief scouting report on De Blok, head to the TigsTown Premium Forum, or follow the link below:

 

http://www.scout.com/mlb/tigers/forums/2051-tigstown-premium/15282005-20...

 


04/14/2017: JIMENEZ DOWN, CUEVAS CALLED UP

  • Optioned Joe Jimenez (RHP) to Toledo

  • Selected William Cuevas (RHP), purchasing contract and placing on Detroit’s 25-man roster

  • Signed James Loney (1B) to minor league contract

  • Activated Drew Longley (C ) from West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list

  • Transferred Tim Remes (C ) to extended spring training from West Michigan



Analysis:

Just days after calling up Jimenez, the Tigers elected to send him back down to Toledo, though through no fault of his own. Jimenez pitched one low-leverage inning, striking out one in his appearance on Thursday. With the bullpen having been heavily used over the last few games, the Tigers needed a long reliever heading into their series with Cleveland this week, and Cuevas can provide that.

 

Cuevas was signed this past off-season as a minor league free agent, and turned in six shutout innings in his lone start in Toledo. He had a brief cameo last year in Boston, his only big league experience. At 26, he doesn’t have an overpowering repertoire, with a fastball that sits around 90 MPH, as well as mixing in a changeup and a curveball, neither of which are more than average pitches. Cuevas finds success based on his command and mixing his pitches to keep hitters off-balance.

 


04/10/2017: JIMENEZ GETS THE CALL

  • Selected the contract of Joe Jimenez (RHP), purchasing contract and placing on Detroit’s 25-man roster

  • Optioned Bruce Rondon (RHP) to Toledo

  • Activated Kyle Ryan (LHP) from Detroit’s paternity leave list

  • Optioned Blaine Hardy (LHP) to Toledo

  • Transferred Argenis Diaz (IF) to Erie from Toledo

  • Transferred Gustavo Nunez (IF) to extended spring training from Erie

  • Placed Sandy Baez (RHP) on Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

  • Assigned Toller Boardman (LHP) to Lakeland from extended spring training

  • Placed Drew Longley (C ) on West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list

  • Assigned Tim Remes (C ) to West Michigan from extended spring training



Analysis:

With Rondon out of shape and struggling mightily in his couple most recent outings, the Tigers sent Rondon to Toledo in hopes of him once again having to right the ship and get himself into shape, performing at a similar level to where he was at during the 2016 season. In replacing him, the Tigers elected to call up highly-regarded prospect Jimenez, who manager Brad Ausmus stated was not yet big league ready, but will get a shot to show off his stuff.

 

For the full overview on Jimenez and both his upside and where he’s at in his development, check out his latest scouting report from TigsTown’s director of scouting Mark Anderson:

http://www.scout.com/mlb/tigers/story/1769921-tigstown-scouting-report-4-joe-jimenez

 


04/05/2017: HARDY UP FOR RYAN TEMPORARILY

  • Placed Kyle Ryan (LHP) on paternity leave list

  • Recalled Blaine Hardy (LHP) from Toledo

  • Signed Daniel Stumpf (LHP) to a minor league contract and optioned to Toledo

  • Signed Angel Ozuna (RHP) to a minor league contract

  • Placed Jorge Marban (RHP) on Erie’s 7-day disabled list

  • Placed Montreal Robertson (RHP) on Erie’s 7-day disabled list



Analysis:

After his disastrous spring camp, things ended up working out for the Tigers, as no other big league club was interested in carrying Moya on their 25-man roster, and he cleared waivers and made it to Toledo. The potential remains there, but time is obviously running out for the big slugging outfielder, who missed a golden opportunity to lay claim to the right field job when Martinez got hurt earlier in spring.

 



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