Tigers Release 23 Minor Leaguers

Every year come the last week of March, players know its that time. The time when the club has to decide who is still valuable enough to keep around, and who they just no longer have room to keep.

Speculation was extensive about who would and wouldn't get an assignment when camp broke on April 1st, and unfortunately, a number of players received their walking papers from the organization.

The biggest names of note on the pitching side of things were right-handers Eric Beattie and Nate Bumstead and lefty Tom Thornton.

Beattie was the Tigers 2004 2nd round pick, but after three years of struggling, he was just not able to put anything consistent together. Almost immediately after being drafted, Beattie began experiencing serious control problems, to the point that the club never felt comfortable putting him on a full season club roster. With the money invested in him, the club gave him plenty of opportunities, but after three years, there simply was just nothing more that could be done.

Bumstead was never going to blow hitters away, but the incredible movement he had on every pitch left the Tigers intrigued that he could be a serviceable big league option. However, the lack of velocity began to catch up to Bumstead last year at AA-Erie, and if his control wasn't excellent, he struggled to retire batters.

Thornton meanwhile was originally thought to have an inside track on a job at West Michigan after a solid first season with Oneonta, but the Tigers didn't see the development they were looking for out of him.

The rest of the arms released were right handers Dana Arrowood, Jesse Caraballo, Loren Fraser, Jeff Hahn, Josh Kauten, Chris Krawczyk, Tim Robertson, and Alec Shepherd. The lefties that were let go were Kendall Bergdall, Felix Heredia and Johnny Davis, and Tony Peralta.

The majority of the releases were felt on the mound, but there were still a handful of position players that got released as well. They included catchers Gabriel Johnson and Daniel Sandoval, first baseman Kelly Hunt, infielders Gilberto Mejia and Michael Trapani, and outfielders Joe Jianetti, Garth McKinney and Brandon Watson.

Of the group, Hunt and McKinney are the most well known to Tiger fans, as both have power bats that made it up to AA-Erie before faltering. McKinney stalled out at Erie and simply wasn't able to consistently hit Double-A pitching. Hunt also struggled making contact, but the strikeouts weren't as much of a concern as the incredible K:BB ratio that was over 13.

There are still a number of players that remain in the organization but will not be found on any current roster, as they will remain in Lakeland to work in extended spring training with the coaching staff down there.

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