Tigers Swap Minor Leaguers

One of the biggest disparities evident between Dave Dombrowksi and Randy Smith are their opinions on lefties - Smith preferred accurate lefties who could hit their spots, Dombrowski only wants those that can throw heat. Dombrowski made another move on Thursday, shipping out soft-tossing lefty prospect Jon Connolly for minor league lefty reliever Felix Sanchez. The Tigers also included a PTBNL.

Jon Connolly was named the Tigers Minor League Pitcher of the Year for 2003, for his performance with low-A West Michigan. For the year, Connolly went 16-3 with an amazing 1.41 ERA. He also possessed arguably the best control in the Tiger farm system. Thusfar in 2004, Connolly is 2-2 with a 3.68 ERA. While Connolly has pitched well thusfar, he's not considered a high ceiling player, and may never become a big league starter.

Felix Sanchez has pitched in AA West Tenn in the Cubs system so far this season. In 3 appearances, he has yet to allow an earned run, striking out 4 and walking 2. Sanchez received a call-up in 2003, making 3 appearances while allowing 2 earned runs.

Sanchez throws a fastball that sits in the mid-90's, as well as a solid slider. He also possesses a change-up that he is still developing, although some believe if he can develop that third pitch he could potentially become a starter. In the meantime, the Tigers will start Sanchez off at AA Erie, but he could very easily make a jump to the big league club at some point.

Earlier this year, the Tigers traded their minor league player of the year for a lefty reliever (Steve Colyer). Now, they trade their minor league pitcher of the year for another lefty reliever (this time, Sanchez). Dave Dombrowksi is making an effort to add potential end-of-the-game bullpen arms to the organization, especially after the loss of Fernando Rodney for the season. Sanchez is yet another flame-thrower to join the system - Connolly, another soft-tosser on his way out.


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