Transaction Blog: Mayberry, Gibson to LFT

A number of moves happened over the weekend, including another recent draftee in Whit Mayberry getting a full season assignment and Tyler Gibson coming off the disabled list, as both headed to Lakeland.

July 28 3:00 PM
  • LOTS OF A-BALL MOVEMENT

Placed Logan Ehlers (LHP) on Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list, retroactive to 7/24

Transferred Tyler Ford (LHP) to GCL Tigers from Lakeland, after assigning him to Lakeland from GCL Tigers

Activated Tyler Clark (RHP) from Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list after placing him on the disabled list on 7/18

Transferred Tanner Bailey (RHP) to Lakeland from GCL Tigers

Transferred Whit Mayberry (RHP) to Lakeland from GCL Tigers

Activated Tyler Gibson (OF) from West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list and transferred to Lakeland

Activated Ryan Longstreth (LHP) from Lakeland’s temporary inactive list after placing him on the list on 7/21

Placed Cole Elam (RHP) on Connecticut’s 7-day disabled list

Analysis:

Lots of movement on the A-ball side of things, as a number of players have been activated from a list or transferred between A-ball rosters over the past few days.

Among the notables, Gibson was activated from the disabled list after his rehab stint with the GCL and sent to Lakeland, while another recent draft pick in Mayberry got a full season assignment with the Flying Tigers as well.

For the latest transactions and to discuss them further, make sure to check out the minor league movement thread on the TigsTown Premium Forum: 2014 Signings/Movement Thread


July 24 1:00 PM
  • TIGERS LAND SORIA FOR THOMPSON, KNEBEL

Traded Corey Knebel (RHP) and Jake Thompson (RHP) to Texas Rangers in exchange for Joakim Soria (RHP)

Transferred Brennan Smith (RHP) to Erie from Lakeland

Transferred Kenny Faulk (LHP) to Toledo from Erie

Transferred Darryl Norris (RHP) to GCL Tigers from Lakeland, after assigning him to Lakeland on 7/21

Assigned Ismael Salgado (OF) to Lakeland from GCL Tigers

Placed Charlie Gillies (RHP) on Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

Transferred Scott Sitz (RHP) to Lakeland from Connecticut

Transferred Nate Fury (RHP) to GCL Tigers from Lakeland

Analysis:

For complete analysis on the Soria trade, read the full analysis of the deal here: Soria Price Steep, But Had to be Done


July 19 12:00 PM
  • VERHAGEN UP AND DOWN, KNEBEL RECALLED

Optioned Drew VerHagen (RHP) to Toledo

Optioned Chad Smith (RHP) to Toledo

Recalled Corey Knebel (RHP) from Toledo

Purchased contract of Drew VerHagen (RHP) and placed on Detroit’s 25-man roster

Transferred Joel Hanrahan (RHP) from 15-day disabled list to 60-day disabled list

Analysis:

VerHagen was up just for the day for the Tigers, heading back down after the doubleheader where he started game one, pitching well for the Tigers, allowing three runs over five innings of work. The Tigers made a more permanent swap, bringing Knebel back up and sending Smith back down as the Tigers continue to scramble to identify a few consistently reliable bullpen arms.

Smith pitched adequately for the Tigers after being rushed up from starting the year in Erie, posting a 5.40 ERA over ten appearances.

Knebel posted a 1.23 ERA over five appearances for Toledo in July, with seven strikeouts and three walks as he works to try and refine his command to make his devastating breaking ball more effective at the big league level.


July 19 10:00 AM
  • LEWICKI AND RAVENELLE HIT FULL SEASON BALL

Transferred Daniel Fields (OF) to Toledo from Erie

Released Ronny Paulino (C )

Released Trevor Crowe (OF)

Transferred Scott Sitz (RHP) to Connecticut from Toledo, after being transferred to Toledo from West Michigan

Transferred Alex Burgos (LHP) to Lakeland from Toledo, after being transferred to Toledo from Erie

Activated Wilsen Palacios (RHP) from Erie’s temporary inactive list

Activated Aaron Westlake (1B) from Erie’s 7-day disabled list

Placed Bryan Augenstein (RHP) on Erie’s temporary inactive list

Placed Kevin Eichhorn (RHP) on Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list, retroactive to 7/17

Transferred Charlie Gillies (RHP) to Lakeland from West Michigan, after activating him from West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list

Assigned Artie Lewicki (RHP) to West Michigan from GCL Tigers

Assigned Adam Ravenelle (RHP) to West Michigan from GCL Tigers

Transferred Will LaMarche (RHP) to Connecticut from West Michigan

Analysis:

Catching up on a number of minor league transactions, the biggest two being a pair of recent draft picks, Lewicki and Ravenelle, being assigned to full-season ball with West Michigan. Both are experienced college arms, and can likely handle the challenge that the Midwest League will present.

Other moves of note include moving Fields back up to Toledo after a brief stint in Erie, and releasing a pair of veterans in Toledo in Crowe and Paulino.


July 14 11:00 PM
  • THOMPSON, TURLEY TO ERIE

Transferred Jake Thompson (RHP) to Erie from Lakeland

Transferred Josh Turley (LHP) to Erie from Lakeland

Transferred Tommy Collier (RHP) to Lakeland from Erie

Analysis:

Big news down on the farm, as the Tigers bump a pair of starting pitchers from the Lakeland rotation up to Erie in Thompson and Turley. The performance of both has left little question about each’s ability to compete against High-A batters, as both have consistently dominated their opposition. The move is especially aggressive for Thompson, who is just 20 years old but has quickly vaulted himself near the top of the “next up” list when it comes to starting pitchers in Detroit.

There will have to be one additional roster move in Erie to get the roster down to the limit, stay tuned for that corresponding move


July 11 12:00 PM
  • PALACIOS TO INACTIVE LIST

Placed Wilsen Palacios (RHP) on Erie’s temporary inactive list to attend to a family matter at home

Transferred Alex Burgos (LHP) to Erie from Lakeland

Activated Edgar de la Rosa (RHP) from Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

Assigned Trent Szkutnik (LHP) to Lakeland from GCL Tigers


July 8 1:00 PM
  • FIELDS OFF DL, HEADS TO ERIE

Activated Daniel Fields (OF) from Toledo’s 7-day disabled list and transferred to Erie

Placed Aaron Westlake (1B) on Erie’s 7-day disabled list with a concussion

Placed Edgar de la Rosa (RHP) on Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list with a blister on his throwing hand, retroactive to 7/4

Assigned Kenton St. John (LHP) to Lakeland from GCL Tigers

Transferred Micah Kellogg (RHP) to GCL Tigers from Connecticut

Transferred Orvin Tovar (OF) to GCL Tigers from Connecticut

Assigned Josh Laxer (RHP) to Connecticut from GCL Tigers

Analysis:

With his broken hand healed and a quick rehab stint in the GCL complete, Fields is ready to return to full-time action, however, he’ll be doing so in Erie rather than Toledo, which is where he spent the first two months of the season prior to hitting the disabled list. According to Tom Reisenweber of the Erie Times-News, the move is intended to be temporary, which makes sense. The ‘Wolves lost Westlake to a concussion, and are about to lose Steven Moya for a handful of days to the Futures Game. It also prevents having to make a larger roster move to open up a spot in Toledo.

De la Rosa meanwhile hits the DL again with a blister issue. It’s obviously better than a variety of alternatives, but multiple blister issues in the span of just a few months can also be cause for concern as well.


July 6 10:00 AM
  • KROL, McCOY SWAP SPOTS

Activated Ian Korl (LHP) from Detroit’s 15-day disabled list

Placed Pat McCoy (LHP) on Detroit’s 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain

Activated Warwick Saupold (RHP) from Erie’s 7-day disabled list

Nick Avila (RHP) retired

Analysis:

After a brief rehab stint with West Michigan, Krol returns to the Tigers’ bullpen to fill the role of the main left-hander on the club. McCoy, along with Blaine Hardy and Phil Coke had all been getting looks later in games, but Krol is clearly the guy the Tigers trust most when the late innings come around.

The other news of the day is that Avila, the nephew of Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila, will retire from the game and look to become a scout. Avila had a 6.15 ERA in 16 appearances for the SeaWolves.


June 28 11:00 AM
  • TURNBULL TO CONNECTICUT

Outrighted Evan Reed (RHP) to Toledo

Placed Warwick Saupold (RHP) on Erie’s 7-day disabled list with a right ankle sprain, retroactive to 6/26

Transferred Bryan Augenstein (RHP) to Erie from Toledo

Activated Tim Remes (C ) from West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list and transferred him to Connecticut

Assigned Spencer Turnbull (RHP) to Connecticut

Analysis:

Mostly just housekeeping, as Saupold hits the disabled list with a minor injury in Erie. Remes was no longer needed in West Michigan with the Tigers sending third rounder Grayson Greiner there, so he’ll resume action after coming off the DL in Connecticut.

Turnbull gets his non-rookie league assignment, heading to Connecticut as well. After tossing over 90 innings for Alabama this season, he’ll see limited action this summer, likely making a handful of short starts.


June 24 5:00 PM
  • SCHLERETH RETURNS TO THE ORG

Acquired Daniel Schlereth (LHP) from Pittsburgh in exchange for cash considerations and is sent to Toledo

Analysis:

With the recent run on left-handers in the organization, the Tigers were looking to add depth, and so they went out and acquired a familiar face in Schlereth, who pitched from 2010-2012 with the Tigers, posting a 4.35 ERA over 93 innings, primarily as a left-handed specialist.

Schlereth was pitching for Triple-A Indianapolis, struggling with a 7.23 ERA over 21 games. He also struck out 18 and walked 18 in 18 2/3 innings.


June 22 1:00 PM
  • McCOY GETS LOOK WITH KROL ON DL

Purchased contract of Pat McCoy (LHP) from Toledo and placed him on Detroit’s 25-man roster

Placed Ian Krol (LHP) on Detroit’s 15-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation retroactive to 6/21

Transferred Luke Putkonen (RHP) to Detroit’s 60-day disabled list from the 15-day disabled list after undergoing right elbow surgery

Transferred Angel Nesbitt (RHP) to Erie from Lakeland

Released Eduardo Sanchez (RHP)

Transferred Ben Verlander (OF) to Connecticut from West Michigan

Assigned Grayson Greiner (C ) to West Michigan

Analysis:

The latest attempt to a bullpen solution is the call-up of former 17th rounder Chad Smith, who was dominating across stops in Erie and Toledo. He posted a 1.80 ERA across the two clubs, including 33 strikeouts in 35 innings. He doesn’t have the same ceiling as Knebel, but has also displayed better command so far this year, which might make him more successful against big league hitters in the short term.

The decision to part with Reed was stated to be purely about his on-field performance, but obviously questions remain about potential criminal charges against him in an alleged sexual assault case from earlier this year.

Elsewhere, the Tigers challenged Nesbitt with a bump up to Double-A Erie after dominating in Lakeland. He’s a pitcher that has seen his stuff take a clear step forward this spring and will be one to watch to see if he maintains it. Meanwhile, after a tough start, Justin’s younger brother Ben will return to Connecticut, and third rounder Greiner will join the ‘Caps as the club’s other catcher.

For the latest transactions and to discuss them further, make sure to check out the minor league movement thread on the TigsTown Premium Forum: 2014 Signings/Movement Thread


June 18 12:00 PM
  • CHAD SMITH NEXT MAN UP

Purchased contract of Chad Smith (RHP) from Toledo and placed him on Detroit’s 25-man roster

Designated Evan Reed (RHP) for assignment

Transferred Bryan Augenstein (RHP) to Toledo from Erie

Transferred Angel Nesbitt (RHP) to Erie from Lakeland

Released Eduardo Sanchez (RHP)

Transferred Ben Verlander (OF) to Connecticut from West Michigan

Assigned Grayson Greiner (C ) to West Michigan

Analysis:

The latest attempt to a bullpen solution is the call-up of former 17th rounder Chad Smith, who was dominating across stops in Erie and Toledo. He posted a 1.80 ERA across the two clubs, including 33 strikeouts in 35 innings. He doesn’t have the same ceiling as Knebel, but has also displayed better command so far this year, which might make him more successful against big league hitters in the short term.

The decision to part with Reed was stated to be purely about his on-field performance, but obviously questions remain about potential criminal charges against him in an alleged sexual assault case from earlier this year.

Elsewhere, the Tigers challenged Nesbitt with a bump up to Double-A Erie after dominating in Lakeland. He’s a pitcher that has seen his stuff take a clear step forward this spring and will be one to watch to see if he maintains it. Meanwhile, after a tough start, Justin’s younger brother Ben will return to Connecticut, and third rounder Greiner will join the ‘Caps as the club’s other catcher.


June 15 12:00 PM
  • KNEBEL OPTIONED, HARDY UP

Optioned Corey Knebel (RHP) to Toledo

Purchased contract of Blaine Hardy (LHP) from Toledo and placed him on Detroit’s 25-man roster

Placed Tim Remes (C ) on West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list with a concussion

Activated Patrick Leyland (1B) from West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list

Analysis:

After making it from college to the show in less than a year, it was a rough go of it for Knebel, as he posted a 6.75 ERA in six appearances. The good news for the Tigers and Knebel is that he was still able to generate swings-and-misses, with a 10.8 K/9 rate and 7% whiff rate. The bad news is that he doesn’t have the fastball command yet to consistently get outs. He’ll head down to Toledo to work on the refinement of his game.

Hardy meanwhile comes up for his big league debut, after posting a 2.68 ERA across 20 appearances for the Mud Hens. Hardy has a fastball that sits around 90 to go with a good curveball and usable changeup. Hardy has never been considered a top prospect, but pitched well enough as a starter last year to warrant being sent to the Arizona Fall League. It was long assumed that if Hardy came up, it’d be to replace embattled reliever Phil Coke, but for now, it’s Knebel.


June 11 3:00 PM
  • TIGERS ACQUIRE TRIPLE A CATCHER

Acquired Manny Pina (C ) from Seattle in exchange for a player to be named later

Released Luis Exposito (C )

Activated Robbie Ray (LHP) from Toledo’s 7-day disabled list

Placed Eduardo Sanchez (RHP) on Lakeland’s temporary inactive list


June 4 3:00 PM
  • SUAREZ PROMOTED TO DETROIT, WORTH DFA’D

Recalled Eugenio Suarez (SS) from Toledo

Designated Danny Worth (IF) for assignment

Activated Brandon Douglas (2B) from Toledo’s 7-day disabled list

Released Troy Hanzawa (SS)

Transferred Eduardo Sanchez (RHP) to Lakeland from Toledo

Placed Robbie Ray (LHP) on Toledo’s 7-day disabled list retroactive to 6/2 with blister on finger of throwing hand

Transferred Tanner Bailey (RHP) to extended spring training from Lakeland


May 28 3:00 PM
  • GIBSON BREAKS HAND, SCHOTTS ACTIVATED

Placed Tyler Gibson (OF) on West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list with a broken bone in his right hand

Placed Patrick Leyland (1B) on West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list with right hamstring spasms

Activated Tyler Schotts (OF) from West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list

Transferred Jeff Holm (1B/OF) to West Michigan from Lakeland

Analysis:

After a disappointing 2013, things appeared to be getting on track a bit for Gibson, so this injury comes at a particularly difficult time, as the broken bone in his hand will leave him sidelined for at least a month. On the upside, the Whitecaps do get Schotts back from his hamstring strain, leaving them short-handed as they’ve basically been since the beginning of the year, but not completely without two of their most talented outfield prospects.

With the loss of Leyland as well, the Tigers have given the ‘Caps offense a boost by sending Holm back to West Michigan, where he had a very productive 2013 but was hitting just .215 with a .674 OPS.


May 24 2:00 PM
  • AUGENSTEIN ACTIVATED, SMITH INACTIVE

Activated Bryan Augenstein (RHP) from Erie’s 7-day disabled list

Placed Brennan Smith (RHP) on Erie’s temporary inactive list

Alex Burgos (LHP) and Ryan Longstreth (LHP) were swapped from Lakeland with Daryl Norris (RHP) and Joe Jimenez (RHP) to extended spring training, and swapped back three days later


May 22 5:00 PM
  • RAY OPTIONED, KNEBEL CALLED UP

Optioned Robbie Ray (LHP) to Toledo

Purchased contract of Corey Knebel (RHP) from Toledo and placed on active roster

Outrighted contract of Francisco Martinez (3B) to Erie

Analysis:

As expected, Ray’s brief cameo with the Tigers comes to an end as there’s no longer a need for another starting pitcher. Ray showed well in his first two starts against mediocre offenses, but clearly struggled on Thursday against the Rangers. Ray remains an impressive prospect, but needs improvement on his curveball to be effective on days when his fastball command is off, like Thursday. He’ll be able to work on that more extensively in Toledo than he could have in the Detroit bullpen.

Meanwhile, the Knebel era starts in Detroit, less than one year after he was drafted as a compensatory first rounder last June. Knebel made quick work of Double-A hitters in Erie (1.20 ERA, 23 K’s and 8 BB’s in 15 innings) and Toledo didn’t prove to be any greater of a challenge (four shutout innings with four strikeouts). Knebel possesses two Major League-ready pitches in a mid 90’s fastball and a power curveball. He still battles his command at times, in addition to some finer points of pitching, but with the only alternatives not possessing nearly the same stuff that Knebel does, the move makes sense, even if Knebel might not be fully ready.

To open a spot on the 40-man roster, the Tigers will have to designate someone for assignment, with that announcement expected on Friday.


May 21 4:00 PM
  • SUAREZ TO TOLEDO

Transferred Eugenio Suarez (SS) to Toledo from Erie

Transferred Dixon Machado (SS) to Erie from Lakeland

Assigned Harold Castro (2B) to Lakeland from extended spring training

Analysis:

Suarez had been hitting so well in Erie (.284 average, .850 OPS), a bump up to Toledo has clearly been earned and does provide a bit more challenge for him. But part of the catalyst of the move was the injury to Brandon Douglas, leaving the Mud Hens with only two middle infielders.

It also will mean that the Hernan Perez-to-shortstop experiment is coming to an end. The Tigers were hopeful that Perez, who is a bit more advanced especially with the bat, could take to the left side of the infield and offer another internal alternative. But Perez has never taken to short, and informed observers who watched him in Toledo said he still didn’t appear comfortable.

Machado meanwhile finally gets the challenge of being bumped up to Erie, despite hitting just .211 in May in Lakeland. It’s a big jump for Machado, who has always been impressive with the glove, but will need to show more at the plate to elevate his projected future as a limited use utility player. Castro, less than a week after heading to EST, returns to full-season ball at a higher level, again due to the limited number of available middle infielders in the organization right now.


May 18 12:00 PM

Activated Anibal Sanchez (RHP) from Detroit’s 15-day disabled list

Optioned Justin Miller (RHP) to Toledo

Placed Brandon Douglas (2B) on Toledo’s 7-day disabled list

Placed Casey Crosby (LHP) on Toledo’s 7-day disabled list

Activated Devon Travis (2B) from Erie’s 7-day disabled list

Activated Edgar de la Rosa (RHP) from Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

Transferred Chase Edwards (RHP) to extended spring training from Lakeland

Analysis:

Some notable activations from the disabled list, with Sanchez, Travis and de la Rosa all coming off the disabled list. Especially good news for Travis, after missing over a month of action with a hamstring injury.


May 17 9:00 AM
  • FIELDS BREAKS HAND, MARINEZ / ROBERTSON RELEASED

Placed Daniel Fields (OF) on Toledo’s 7-day disabled list with broken right hand

Transferred Wade Gaynor (OF) to Toledo from Erie

Activated Ezequiel Carrera (OF) from Toledo’s 7-day disabled list

Activated Casey Crosby (LHP) from Toledo’s 7-day disabled list

Released Jhan Marinez (RHP)

Released Nate Robertson (LHP)

Analysis:

The Fields injury comes at a rough time, as he took a pitch off the hand that will sideline him for the next four to six weeks. Fields had been off to a very slow start, hitting .169 in April, but had turned things up in the first couple weeks of May, with an .802 OPS for the month. Gaynor, the Tigers third round pick back in 2009, is no longer considered a highly-regarded prospect, but was off to a very hot start in Erie, with 17 extra base hits in just 82 at-bats.

Meanwhile, the Tigers parted ways with a pair of bullpen arms as they granted releases to Robertson and Marinez. While there was some optimism that either could potentially help out the Tigers in a relief role, but both struggled in Triple-A, with Marinez posting an ERA of almost nine, and Robertson walking more than he struck out. Carrera’s return will mitigate the loss of Fields as well, while Crosby returns to the bullpen to try and work on adjusting to life as a reliever.


May 16 3:00 PM
  • CASTRO TO EST, CHANGEOVER IN LAKELAND

Transferred Harold Castro (2B) to extended spring training from West Michigan

Assigned Francisco Contreras (3B) to West Michigan from extended spring training

Activated Jade Todd (LHP) from Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

Activated Jared Reaves (SS) from Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

Assigned Chase Edwards (RHP) to Lakeland from extended spring training

Transferred Johnnie Kirkland (RHP) to extended spring training from Lakeland

Transferred Chris Taladay (C ) to extended spring training from Lakeland

Transferred David Gonzalez (SS) to extended spring training from Lakeland

Analysis:

The noteworthy news is that the Tigers sent Castro, a highly-regarded prospect, back to extended spring from West Michigan. He wasn’t performing all that well (.250 average, .623 OPS) but wasn’t completely overmatched at the level, either. However, with Javier Betancourt and Willy Adames both also on the roster and clamoring for more playing time, there was clearly not enough at-bats for a group of priority middle infielders, and it made sense to move one out. The fact that it was Castro might be an indicator that, along with what Mark Anderson hinted at in last week’s Roundtable about prospects to be concerned about, that concerns about Castro are becoming more prevalent.

On Contreras, Senior Lakeland Correspondent James Chipman has seen him twice, and here's what he had to say: Perhaps a tad larger than his listed size of 6' 1" 180 pounds; body doesn't appear completely maxed out either. Contreras moves well on the basepaths--I specifically remember a well barreled double that he turned into a triple and some heads up effort going first-to-third on a separate occasion. Both his approach and knowledge of the strike zone appeared encouraging. Unfortunately for me, both times I observe him he was DHing, so I have yet to evaluate his defensive play.

Meanwhile the juggling in Lakeland was largely driven by accommodating the return of Todd and Reaves from the disabled list. As is traditionally the case, for shorter-term injuries, the organization will keep the Whitecaps roster intact and shuttle assistance from extended spring across the runway to help out the Flying Tigers (for those that aren’t aware, Joker Marchant Stadium is built on a former pilot training facility where thousands of US and British Army/Air Force pilots were trained, with the barracks now the dorm rooms and airplane hangars now batting cages. The main runway divides the stadium from the back fields.)


May 13 10:00 PM
  • LOY FRACTURES LEG, KNEBEL BACKFILLED

Signed Troy Hanzawa (SS) and assigned to Toledo

Transferred Marcus Lemon (IF) to Erie from Toledo

Placed Ezequiel Carrera (OF) on Toledo’s 7-day disabled list retroactive to 5/8

Placed Brandon Loy (SS) on Erie’s 7-day disabled list

Transferred Guido Knudson (RHP) to Erie from Lakeland

Assigned Ryan Longstreth (LHP) to Lakeland from extended spring training

Transferred Pat Leyland (1B/C) to West Michigan from Lakeland

Placed Brett Harrison (3B) on West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list with a strained rotator cuff

Analysis:

Much of the movement here was brought about by the need to challenge Knebel at Triple-A, and the horrific injury suffered by Loy. Knebel was dominating Eastern League hitters, but he still has more room for growth before he’s ready for a big league challenge, so the International League may provide stiffer competition, where hitters are usually more experienced and can make Knebel work more to get outs, rather than relying on pure stuff. The Knebel promotion caused the move of Knudson, who has had a good start to 2014, along with the assignment of Longstreth to Lakeland.

Loy meanwhile suffered what is sure to be a season-ending injury with multiple fractures in his leg and ankle that required immediate surgery. The organization, already short on middle infielders, moved Lemon back to Erie to take over second base there, and signed Hanzawa to help provide relief off the bench for the Hens.


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