Trans Blog: Tigers Add Moya, McCann, 5 Others

On the first day of the expansion of big league rosters from 25 to 40, the Tigers will plan to add seven players to the club, including Steven Moya and James McCann.

September 1 10:00 AM
  • SEVEN PLAYERS TO BE ADDED FOR ROSTER EXPANSION

Recalled Tyler Collins (OF) from Toledo

Recalled Hernan Perez (2B) from Toledo

Recalled Steven Moya (OF) from Erie

Purchased contract of James McCann (C ) from Toledo after Toledo’s game on Monday

Recalled Kyle Lobstein (LHP) from Toledo after Toledo’s game on Monday

Recalled Kyle Ryan (LHP) from Toledo after Toledo’s game on Monday

Recalled Robbie Ray (LHP) from Toledo after Toledo’s game on Monday

Recalled Drew VerHagen (RHP) from Toledo and transferred him to Detroit’s 60-day disabled list

Assigned Will Kengor (SS) to Toledo from GCL Tigers

Assigned Chris Taladay (C ) to Toledo from GCL Tigers

Analysis:

With September 1 here, the Tigers will add seven players to the big league roster, including a couple of key recalls from Toledo that will continue to help the pitching staff as they operate short-handed while dealing with doubleheaders. The additions will happen over Monday and Tuesday, to accommodate Toledo, whose final game of the season is on Monday afternoon.

Among the position players, the Tigers are adding four men to the roster; Collins, Moya, Perez and McCann. None of the four are a surprise, as Perez provides additional middle infield support, McCann gives the club a third catcher that is commonplace this time of year, and Collins is a bench bat that started the year in Detroit and might give the club some pop off the bench, especially against right-handed pitching.

Moya is the most heralded prospect of the position players, getting a cup of coffee in Detroit prior to heading to Arizona for the AFL. Moya still has a lot of development left to do, so it’s unlikely he’ll see extensive playing time over the next few weeks, but is a worthwhile reward to a player that had an outstanding season. And if nothing else, he’s worth showing up for batting practice for. He finished his season with Erie with 35 home runs, 33 doubles and 105 RBI’s.

On the pitching side, Lobstein will get the start for the Tigers on Tuesday vs. Cleveland, while Ryan and Ray will be available in case the need for a starter comes up again, or if there is need for long relief help out of the bullpen.

The most noteworthy omission is Ian Krol, who had been with the Tigers on and off over the course of the season but had been struggling more and more as of late and spent the entire month of August in Toledo, despite the revolving door of need for relief help in Detroit. Krol posted a 3.86 ERA in eight appearances for the Hens with 12 strikeouts and a walk.

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


August 31 12:00 PM
  • CATCHING UP ON MOVEMENT

Designated Jose Ortega (RHP) for assignment and outrighted him to Toledo

Designated Justin Miller (RHP) for assignment and outrighted him to Toledo

Optioned Kyle Lobstein (LHP) to Toledo

Optioned Kyle Ryan (LHP) to Toledo after purchasing his contract from Toledo on 8/30 and placing him on Detroit’s 25-man roster

Purchased the contract of Evan Reed (RHP) from Toledo

Activated Mike Hessman (3B) from Toledo’s temporary inactive list after placing him on the list on 8/27

Activated Duane Below (LHP) from Toledo’s 7-day disabled list

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

Transferred Will Startup (LHP) to Erie from Toledo

Transferred Tyler Hanover (IF) to Erie from Lakeland

Assigned Steven Negron (IF) to Lakeland from GCL Tigers

Transferred Scott Sitz (RHP) to West Michigan from Lakeland

Placed Artie Lewicki (RHP) on West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list with right arm fatigue


August 23 10:00 AM
  • LOBSTEIN GETS BIG LEAGUE SHOT

Recalled Kyle Lobstein (LHP) from Toledo

Recalled Pat McCoy (LHP) from Toledo

Optioned Ian Krol (LHP) to Toledo

Optioned Robbie Ray (LHP) to Toledo

Recalled Buck Farmer (RHP) from Toledo as part of the 26th man rule for the doubleheader and optioned back to Toledo

Transferred Marcus Lemon (IF) to Toledo from Erie

Transferred Will Startup (LHP) to Toledo from Erie

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

Assigned Tyler Ford (LHP) to Lakeland from GCL Tigers

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

Placed Jose Zambrano (IF) on West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list with a wrist contusion

Transferred Mike Gerber (OF) to West Michigan from Connecticut

Analysis:

After being passed over multiple times this season by Farmer, Ray and Drew VerHagen, Lobstein finally gets his shot among starting pitchers, and his help was needed immediately, essentially pitching a full start in relief, allowing four runs over 5 2/3 innings after arriving to the stadium after the game started. No decision has been made yet, but the appearance might have been good enough to get his first Major League start next week, when the Tigers will need another starter, and neither Ray or Farmer have pitched well in their most recent attempt.

Krol continues to struggle for the Tigers, and at this point, has likely fallen behind both Phil Coke and Blaine Hardy in the left-hander pecking order in the bullpen. McCoy also struggled right after his call-up, giving up two runs on five hits in just an inning of work.

Meanwhile, after Farmer couldn’t make it out of the second inning, it seems unlikely the Tigers would look to use him again in Detroit unless they were absolutely forced to. At 23, he’s not extremely young, but still inexperienced with just three starts made above low-A West Michigan.

As is usually the case when this many big league moves happen, the farm clubs had to do some re-shuffling as well with a number of players moving around on the farm as well.


August 17 12:00 PM

Purchased contract of Jim Johnson (RHP) from Toledo and assigned him to Detroit’s 25-man roster

Designated Kevin Whelan (RHP) for assignment and outrighted him to Toledo

Transferred Chad Smith (RHP) to Erie from Toledo

Activated Daniel Schlereth (LHP) from Toledo’s temporary inactive list

Assigned Darryl Norris (RHP) to Lakeland from GCL Tigers

Assigned Micah Kellogg (RHP) to Lakeland from GCL Tigers

Placed Tanner Bailey (RHP) on Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

Placed Tyler Clark (RHP) on Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

Assigned Duncan McAlpine (C ) to Connecticut from GCL Tigers

Assigned Confesor Lara (RHP) to Connecticut from GCL Tigers


August 14 10:00 AM
  • FARMER BACK DOWN, MERCEDES PROMOTED

Optioned Buck Farmer (RHP) to Toledo after purchasing his contract on 8/13 and assigning him to Detroit’s 25-man roster

Recalled Melvin Mercedes (RHP) from Toledo

Optioned Kevin Whelan (RHP) to Toledo

Designated Ramon Cabrera (C ) for assignment, who was claimed by Pittsburgh

Transferred Drew Longley (C ) to Erie from Lakeland

Transferred Michael Thomas (C ) to Lakeland from Connecticut

Analysis:

A day after Farmer’s big league debut, he gets returned to the minor leagues, though this time it’s Toledo. Farmer held his own in his first MLB appearance, allowing four runs on six hits in five innings of work, and likely held up well enough that the Tigers will look to bring him back up when they have a doubleheader and are in need of an extra starter next weekend.

Mercedes is the one that gets the look this time in the revolving door of Tigers relievers. Mercedes has a 4.33 ERA for the Hens with 27 strikeouts in 52 innings. He has a similar physique to Bruce Rondon, but unlike Rondon, relies more on soft ground ball contact than swing and miss.

The Tigers also moved a couple catchers around to account for the loss of Cabrera from the SeaWolves.


August 12 12:00 PM
  • RAY BACK UP TO DETROIT

Recalled Robbie Ray (LHP) from Toledo

Optioned Justin Miller (RHP) to Toledo

Recalled Blaine Hardy (LHP) from Toledo

Signed Shawn Hill (RHP) to minor league contract and assigned to Toledo

Signed Nate Carter (RHP) to minor league contract

Signed Jordan Smith (RHP) to minor league contract

Signed Alex Lakatos (RHP) to minor league contract


August 11 10:00 AM
  • SORIA/SANCHEZ TO DL, TOLEDO SENDS PEN REINFORCEMENTS

Placed Anibal Sanchez (RHP) on Detroit’s 15-day disabled list retroactive to 8/9 with a right pectoral strain

Placed Joakim Soria (RHP) on Detroit’s 15-day disabled list retroactive to 8/10 with a left oblique strain

Optioned Blaine Hardy (LHP) to Toledo

Optioned Pat McCoy (LHP) to Toledo

Recalled Ian Krol (LHP) from Toledo

Recalled Justin Miller (RHP) from Toledo

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

Released Casey Crosby (LHP)

Transferred Marcus Lemon (IF) to Erie from Toledo

Transferred Ross Kivett (OF) to West Michigan from Connecticut

Placed Austin Schotts (OF) on West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list with a left shoulder sprain

Transferred Derek Hill (OF) to Connecticut from GCL Tigers

Analysis:

After the 19 inning marathon game on Sunday, the Tigers are calling in extensive reinforcements for the bullpen, including bringing Miller and Krol back, and giving minor league veteran Whelan a shot. Robbie Ray is expected to be called up on Tuesday to start.

Krol had four strikeouts over four appearances with no walks with the Hens, while Miller had a 1.45 ERA over 31 appearances.

Whelan is a 30-year old former prospect who the Tigers traded to the Yankees back in 2007 for Gary Sheffield, and resigned this past off-season to a minor league deal. Whelan only has two big league appearances, both for the Yankees back in 2011. He features a low 90’s fastball along with a split-finger fastball. Whelan has a 1.85 ERA in 35 appearances for Toledo this season, including 20 saves as the Hens closer. He has also posted a 3:1 K:BB ratio.

To make room, Hardy and McCoy were sent down after each threw three innings on Sunday, and the Tigers opened up a spot on the 40-man roster for Whelan by unconditionally releasing Crosby. The lefty hadn’t pitched since mid-May, and had been passed on the organizational depth chart by a number of others, after many years of similar struggles and injury issues.


August 9 12:00 PM
  • MINOR MOVES

Transferred Marcus Lemon (IF) to Toledo from Erie

Placed Jordan Lennerton (1B) on Toledo’s temporary inactive list

Placed Daniel Schlereth (LHP) on Toledo’s temporary inactive list


August 6 10:00 AM
  • JIM JOHNSON SIGNED

Signed Jim Johnson (RHP) to a minor league contract and will assign to Toledo

Transferred Joe Mantiply (LHP) to Erie from West Michigan

Transferred Brennan Smith (RHP) to Lakeland from Erie

Transferred Ryan Longstreth (LHP) to West Michigan from Lakeland

Analysis:

While the Tigers didn’t make further upgrades to the bullpen via trade by the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, they continue to search for upgrades, and Johnson is the latest reclamation project they’re attempting.

Johnson saved 50 or more games in back-to-back years for Baltimore in 2012 and 2013, before being traded to Oakland this offseason. But Johnson faltered badly for the Athletics, losing his closer job in the first month of the season and eventually being designated for assignment after he couldn’t find his control. His strikeout numbers were down compared to last year, but in line with his career norms, but his walk rate jumped to over five walks per nine innings, making him unsuitable to trot out in high leverage relief situations.

Johnson will first join the Tigers in New York, where Johnson will work with pitching coach Jeff Jones in a couple of bullpen sessions, before he heads to Toledo to make at least a few appearances. Depending on how those go, Johnson could then re-join the Tigers shortly thereafter.

This is the Tigers second attempt to help their bullpen via a minor league free agent contract. Earlier this season, the club signed Joel Hanrahan and he’s been working in Lakeland. However, Hanrahan has not yet found his pre-surgery form, and Dave Dombrowski has stated they do not expect him to contribute to the big league club this year.

Elsewhere on the farm, the Tigers did some pitcher shuffling, including pushing Mantiply up from West Michigan all the way to Erie, the second pitcher to be challenged with a Low-A to Double-A assignment in the past few weeks, after the organization promoted Buck Farmer to the SeaWolves.


August 1 11:00 AM
  • PRICE TRADE, CARRERA UP, KROL TO TOLEDO

Traded Drew Smyly (LHP), Austin Jackson (OF) and Willy Adames (SS) to Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners for David Price (LHP)

Optioned Ian Krol (LHP) to Toledo

Purchased contract of Ezequiel Carrera (OF) and placed on Detroit’s 25-man roster

Activated Pat McCoy (LHP) from Detroit’s 15-day disabled list

Activated Logan Ehlers (LHP) from Lakeland’s 7-day disabled list

Transferred Domingo Leyba (2B) to West Michigan from Connecticut

Analysis:

Much of the moves need no introduction, as they’re already covered on TigsTown here: Tigers Land David Price and here: Does David Price Trade Open Holes for Tigers?.

In West Michigan, the Tigers will cover for the loss of Adames by shifting Javier Betancourt back over to shortstop, and have promoted Leyba to take the spot at second where Betancourt was. Leyba was hitting .264 with Connecticut.


July 30 8:00 AM
  • RYAN TO TOLEDO, FARMER TO ERIE

Placed Duane Below (LHP) on Toledo’s 7-day disabled list

Transferred Kyle Ryan (LHP) to Toledo from Erie

Transferred Buck Farmer (RHP) to Erie from West Michigan

Placed Adam Ravenelle (RHP) on West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list with right middle finger tendonitis, retroactive to 7/27

Placed Grayson Greiner (C ) on West Michigan’s 7-day disabled list with a left wrist sprain

Assigned Nate Fury (RHP) to West Michigan from GCL Tigers

Transferred Trent Szkutnik (LHP) to West Michigan from Lakeland

Assigned Arvicent Perez (C ) to West Michigan from GCL Tigers

Analysis:

Some big promotion news, as the Tigers are challenging a pair of prospects that are in the back end of the top 50, bumping Ryan up to Toledo after a strong showing in Erie, and Farmer being challenged by being leapfrogging Lakeland and jumping to Double-A ball.

Ryan posted a 7-10 record with a 4.55 ERA for the ‘Wolves, but had a 2.4 K:BB ratio with 78 strikeouts in 126 2/3 innings of work. Ryan takes the rotation spot filled by Below, who was placed on the disabled list due to what John Wagner of the Toledo Blade described as a “shoulder issue.”

The somewhat surprising move is the promotion of Farmer, who will be challenged after an excellent four months in West Michigan, posting a 2.60 ERA with 116 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings of work. At 23 years of age, Farmer was a full year older than the rest of the prospects in the West Michigan rotation, making him the logical choice to promote from the Whitecaps. The Flying Tigers were likely passed over as the organization had already plucked Jake Thompson and Josh Turley from the Flying Tigers’ rotation, and the man likely to be next up, Kevin Eichhorn, remains on the DL.

Farmer will join the SeaWolves on the road and make his debut on Friday.

Update: A pair of Whitecaps also hit the disabled list, both recent draft picks. As of now, neither injury is expected to be serious, but the ‘Caps have reinforcements coming in for the interim with Fury and Perez from the GCL, and Szkutnik coming down from 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.


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.


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