TigsTown MLN: Toledo's Reshuffling

Toledo keeps winning, but thus far Indianapolis has kept pace with the Mud Hens. Due to injuries and struggles with the big league club, the Toledo roster has undergone a bit of an overhaul over the past few days. Will the changes help, or hurt, the Hens?

At first, the Mud Hens got a couple upgrades, receiving former Tiger starters Carlos Pena and Wilfredo Ledezma after they struggled with Detroit. But, they had to give up arguably their top hitter, Chris Shelton, in the process.

Now, they'll likely be giving up another player, as the Tigers have given strong hints that they'll be calling up Sean Douglass from Toledo to fill the final hole in the rotation, a hole the club has been working around with extra off days in the schedule.

But those aren't the only moves. Just days after receiving Jason Smith, the Tigers have re-called the infielder, where he'll likely once again assume the role of utility infielder. This call up could very well mean the Tigers are about to place shortstop Carlos Guillen on the disabled list.

But those aren't the only promotions on the way, as the Tigers have reportedly called up Alexis Gomez from Toledo as well to add him as a backup outfielder to the club. The loss of Gomez, the team's everyday right fielder, will likely be felt big time, as Gomez was a solid fielder and the team's most versatile hitter, as he was the only player to hit in all nine spots of the order at some point or another this season. Gomez is called up in the midst of a 10-game hit streak, while hitting .326 in the month of June.

What does all this mean, as far as the ‘Hens are concerned? Well, for starters, they're going to need to find a replacement for their rotation. Ledezma slipped right into Mike Bynum's slot when he was placed on the disabled list, but now they're another man down, and will have to replace him.

The ‘Hens are also in desperate need of an outfielder, with just Dewayne Wise and Curtis Granderson remaining on the roster. The most likely replacement of course is Byron Gettis, who requested to be sent down to Erie from Toledo just last week after not receiving much playing time after a slow start.

Returning to the expected promotion of Douglass, this particular writer has to question if this is the right move for the Tigers at this juncture. Besides passing over a drafted-and-groomed prospect in Kenny Baugh for Douglass, the team, and pitching Bob Cluck, are focusing on a few basic stats and not looking deeper into the subject matter.

Douglass does indeed sport a better record than Baugh, or anyone else in the rotation for that matter. But that's not completely the product of his own pitching. Baugh actually has more quality starts than Douglass does, and Douglass is currently receiving almost two full runs of support more than Baugh.

Douglass has allowed a few less runs and struck out a few more batters than Baugh, but he's also received numerous chances in the big leagues with other organizations, and failed miserably each time. In portions of four years, Douglass' career major league ERA is 6.51, with a 1.25 K:BB ratio and a 1.75 WHIP. Needless to say, the Tigers appear confident that Douglass will not experience those same issues in what will be his fifth big league opportunity.

One can only hope the promotion of Douglass doesn't rattle the confidence of Baugh, who has been looking for a promotion having spent two full seasons in AA ball, as well as now a half season of AAA ball.


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