TigsTown MLN: Signings, Surgery, and More

In this edition of the TigsTown Minor League Notebook, we touch on some recent signings out of Latin America, the re-signing of a minor league catcher, Casey Crosby's surgery, the Rule 5 draft, and a few other bits and pieces.

Four Sign for DSL/VSL: The Tigers have signed four additional players to contracts for the 2008 season; and all will be playing in either the Dominican or Venezuelan Summer Leagues.

Previously, Detroit had signed pitchers Yinio Calderon, Emmanuel Del Orbe, and Carlos Melo, along with shortstop Domingo Gonzalez for the Dominican Summer League. The Tigers have now added catcher Raynolds Guzman heading into next year.

Joining outfielder Avisail Garcia, third baseman Francisco Martinez, and shortstops Oscar Gomez and Hernan Perez in the Venezuelan Summer League, will be three additional talents. Catcher Luis Sanz and right-handers Josue Carreno and Bruce Rondon will also be taking the field in 2008.

Check back with TigsTown.com for updates on each of these new prospects as scouting reports and news becomes available.

Sardinha Re-signs: Minor league free agent catcher Dan Sardinha has re-signed with the Tigers, and will likely return to the Toledo Mudhens for the 2008 season. In 117 games at AAA in 2007, Dane managed a .202/.257/.325 line with ten home runs. The former Pepperdine star has posted a paltry .223/.267/.335 line in 650 career minor league games. He has seen action in two Major League games in 2003 and 2005, without recording a hit.

Sardinha joins five other players in re-signing with the Tigers for the 2008 season, as pitchers Preston Larrison and Gabriel Benitez, shortstop Erick Almonte, corner infielder Mike Hessman, and catcher Nick Trzesniak had all previously rejoined the organization.

Crosby's Surgery a Success: As recently reported, left-hander Casey Crosby has undergone a successful ligament replacement operation on his left elbow. The procedure, commonly referred to as Tommy John surgery, has become more routine in recent years and the Tigers are expecting a full recovery from Crosby.

Crosby was the Tigers fifth round choice in the 2007 draft, falling to the Tigers at that stage due to a believed strong collegiate commitment and relatively high bonus demands. The Tigers met his asking price, signing him before the August 15th deadline to sign 2007 draft choices. Despite impressing during the fall instructional league, Crosby experienced some discomfort in his elbow that did not subside with rest, resulting in further investigation and ultimately surgery. He will now miss the entire 2008 with an eye towards a healthy return to the mound in 2009.

Rule 5 Action: As the deadline to finalize 40-man rosters approached, it became apparent that the Tigers did not intend to make any moves to protect additional players heading into the Rule 5 draft next month. Rumblings around baseball as reported by Baseball America have indicated that Tiger right-hander Randor Bierd has been drawing significant interest as the draft approaches. After a successful campaign at AA-Erie, Bierd could be close to contributing out of a Major League bullpen with his 88-92 mph sinking fastball and solid breaking ball.

The Tigers have left several intriguing players available for the December draft, including right-handers Preston Larrison, Chris Lambert, Eddie Bonine, Alfredo Figaro, and Sendy Vasquez, along with outfielder Wilkin Ramirez. Larrison is likely the most ready to contribute at the Major League level, while Bonine would not have been far behind prior to shoulder woes that led him away from the Arizona Fall League.

Christensen Outrighted: Just a couple of weeks after acquiring left-hander Danny Christensen from the Kansas City Royals as the player to be named from the Roman Colon trade, the Tigers have outrighted him to AAA-Toledo. The move allowed the Tigers to trim their roster to the required 40 players prior to the aforementioned deadline.

Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor and feature Minor League writer. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.


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