The injury to Thames meant that Toledo lost another outfielder to the big league club; their second in just over a week. First, Ryan Raburn was promoted after Neifi Perez was suspended for a positive test for a banned stimulant. Then, when Thames was placed on the disabled list, the contract of outfielder Timo Perez was purchased. Perez's run was short lived though, as he was returned to Toledo in exchange for Mike Hessman, who will make his Detroit debut.
Raburn has quickly emerged as a reliable bat for the club and between his defensive versatility and potent bat, will likely remain in Detroit even when Perez is eligible to return. In just ten at bats, he's shown patience at the plate, and put on display his power with a double and a home run, the first of his big league career.
Perez meanwhile was used sparingly, and with the Tigers having plenty of available options in the outfield, Perez could be returned to the minors. The Tigers already had their three starters, plus Gary Sheffield and Ryan Raburn as being available to fill in, and Omar Infante as well in a pinch. With that in mind, the Tigers elected to give Hessman and his power bat the opportunity to produce in the bigs.
Which brings us to Perez's temporary replacement in Toledo; Andres Torres. The former Tiger prospect is now being utilized as a minor league veteran in the upper levels of the system, and while he still can utilize his speed, he certainly doesn't have the bat that Perez does.
That's not the only roster change in Toledo either. The ‘Hens will be without starter Virgil Vasquez for a little while – Vasquez was originally slated to start on Sunday but was a last minute scratch and he was replaced by Anastacio Martinez.
The Tigers are in need of an extra starter because they'll be playing five games in four days in Chicago this week, and Vasquez is the logical man to turn to. The hope is that he'll be a bit more relaxed after having struggled in his big league debut; he won't be under the pressure of his first ever game, or it being televised nationally on ESPN.
Meanwhile, the team placed Ramon Santiago on the disabled list with a broken finger, and brought up Erick Almonte to fill in that hole. The ripple effect for that move was felt most down in Lakeland however.
With Tony Giarratano and Brent Dlugach both shelved for the year, the Tigers are short on shortstops in the organization. That left the Tigers sending second round pick Danny Worth straight to Lakeland. But the Almonte promotion left Erie in need of an everyday shortstop, and no call-up to make.
So, Erie is now sporting last season's West Michigan up-the-middle duo; Will Rhymes being promoted to Erie and manning second, with Mike Hollimon moving over to his previous shortstop position. Rhymes had been hitting well for Lakeland and appeared capable of handling the promotion. The aggressive push is good for both Rhymes to challenge him at the plate, as well as Hollimon, who can work to improve his versatility and potentially make a case for being able to handle either position at the big league level in the not-to-distant future.
And finally, there is a quick retraction from an earlier Minor League Notebook. Previously, we had informed you that Giarratano would be out for the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL last fall. Giarratano did tear his ACL last fall, and is out for all of 2007. However, his ACL injury was coming along just fine, until another shoulder injury set him back and will keep him shelved for the rest of the season.