In the Minor League Notebook last week, TigsTown reported that Eddie Bonine would be representing the Tigers this fall in the Arizona Fall League. Since that point, there have been various reports of many others being added, but things being both tough to confirm, and a lot of things still up in the air.
Back in July, it was widely assumed that both Jair Jurrjens and Cameron Maybin would be out in Arizona representing the organization. Since that point, both have been promoted to Detroit, and it seems unlikely that either will be in Arizona after already proving able to compete at the big league level (though depending on his shoulder, Jurrjens could well be shut down at this point anyway, given the innings he's already pitched).
With that said, there are still five open slots that the Tigers have to fill. Among those, it appears likely that one of the other pitching spots will go to Michigan State product Jeff Gerbe.
Gerbe has impressed at West Michigan this season, as well as in his cameo with Erie this year, combining for a 2-2 record with a 2.39 ERA after being moved to the rotation midway through the season. Already 23 years of age, it appears as if the Tigers are going to look to aggressively challenge Gerbe after seeing his velocity jump this season.
Among the other "most likely" Tigers to head to Arizona, Dallas Trahern will likely be the final pitcher. Dallas got off to a very hot start to the season, but has since fallen off a bit (his post All Star game ERA is more than a run higher than his pre All Star game ERA). Dallas still lacks the dominating stuff that some of the other Tiger pitching prospects have had, but is still a very good all around prospect.
Among the position players, the odds on favorites were Maybin, Mike Hollimon and Jeff Larish. Of course, as of now Maybin looks like he'll be in Detroit for the remainder of the year, taking him out of the equation. There is no reason to believe either Hollimon or Larish won't still be off to the desert.
That leaves one spot open, and if the Tigers had their way, they'd try and find a way to send Burke Badenhop. Badenhop led the way for Lakeland much of the season, and in two starts for Erie (the call-up made necessary by the Jair Jurrjens call-up), Badenhop has allowed just one earned run. It is standard for teams to send three of each, but if they get the chance, Badenhop could be someone they'll look at.
The newer, less-heralded Fall League, the Hawaii Fall League will be getting under way as well, and the Tigers will be represented as well. Reports are now stating that Dusty Ryan and Jeramy Laster will both be representing the Tigers.
The playing time will be especially important for Ryan, who missed a huge chunk of 2007. Behind him at catcher, James Skelton has obviously excelled for West Michigan and will be moved up as he needs a new challenge. That means Ryan needs to prove he'll be ready to handle Double-A ball.
Finally, September 1 is always a big day as it's the time when teams can expand their roster to bring back a number of players. However, don't expect too many call-ups, at least not right away.
Both Toledo and Erie (the two teams that would funnel players to the big leagues) appear to be playoff bound, and the Tigers won't purge either roster and leave them heading into the postseason with a stripped roster. It's likely the Tigers will recall a reliever or two from Toledo, but beyond that, rosters will stay intact to give the team's fans the chance to watch them compete for a league crown.