Roster Shuffling – Andrew Miller’s up

The Tigers made several roster moves today.

Brent Clevlen was sent back to Erie and Alexis Gomez was called up.

And on the pitching side, Colby Lewis was returned to Toledo and Andrew Miller will be joining the bullpen. Also, tenderness in Mike Maroth’s elbow will mean that Wil Ledezma will take Maroth’s spot on Wednesday in New York.

I suspect these moves are highly fueled by setting up the playoff roster. As near as I can figure to be eligible for the playoff roster, a player must be on the active roster or the disabled list as of 9pm August 31st.

Essentially the Tigers believe that they’d rather have Alexis Gomez than Brent Clevlen for the playoffs. This is certainly a debatable point given what Clevlen has shown. In terms of defense, Gomez is solid, but Clevlen certainly can hold his own. Offensively Clevlen showed quite a bit during his MLB stretch, but keep in mind he’d only been hitting 220 at the time he was called up. Sample size issues abound. Also, Gomez has been hitting very well for Toledo going 308/360/681 in August. I’m not taking sides on this move, just presenting information.

The good news for Clevlen is that this demotion will only be until Friday when the team can expand its roster.

As for Miller, his first few games have certainly been impressive in Lakeland, and he very well may be ready. But this is a huge jump for any player. It’s not just moving to the big leagues from essentially college, but doing it for a team intent on locking up a post season spot.

Now back to that playoff eligible roster thing. There are loop holes in that a player of the same position (OF/OF, IF/IF, P/P, etc) can replace a player that is on the 60 day DL. I believe (but I’m not sure) that the Tigers could add a minor leaguer, such as Tony Giarratano, to the 60 day DL and then be able to replace him on the playoff roster with any other infielder in the organization – say Chris Shelton. Now I bring this up because the recall of Gomez means a 40 man roster spot needs to be created. Mike Maroth’s activation will also require a 40 man roster spot.


  1. Chris J

    August 27, 2006 at 6:47 pm

    Why jerk Clevlen around like that when he was doing so well? Are we the Twins now?

  2. Brian A.

    August 27, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    miller being called up already means he is going to be eligible for free agency about as soon as any player could be. Not a good move IMO, especially since he pitched a full college season this year, dating back to Feb.

  3. Miguelito

    August 27, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    It was part of Millers contracy that he came up to the bigs in september — they had no choice. Really sad to see Clevlan go.Sigh. We’re going need Gomez to be hot and stay hot.

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  5. Kurt

    August 28, 2006 at 1:32 am

    I’m guessing, if you could be privvy to the negotiations, part of Miller’s signing (and signing for a lot less than he wanted) was him getting that free agency clock started earlier. I guess it was a tradeoff the Tigers didn’t mind agreeing to just to make sure they got him in the ‘D.’

  6. Dan

    August 28, 2006 at 1:37 am

    You guys, forget Clevlen. He is not a real prospect. He got on a hot streak at the right time. Don’t confuse that with his being a good hitter because he isn’t. His upside is as a Major League 4th outfielder. Gomez isn’t necessarily much better, though he PROBABLY is.

    Miller will only get mop-up innings, most likely. This is a non-issue, and yes, it was in his contract.

  7. billfer

    August 28, 2006 at 5:18 am

    As for the service clock, I’m not that worried. If Miller is everything he’s supposed to be, he’ll be with the big team each of the next 2 years anyways. It is doubtful that the 1 month of service time this year will be enough to get him to arb. for the 2009 season anyways.

    As for the contract, my understanding was that it would include a September call – up, not an August one. He’s here to be available for the playoffs. He’s going to see important innings.

    And for Clevlen, I don’t think we can say he’s not a real prospect. He had an awesome 2005 – and yes he was repeating a level – but he also wasn’t old for the level.

  8. Eric Jackson

    August 28, 2006 at 2:08 pm

    Clevlen will be back in a week anyway, so it’s really not that big of a deal there. He’ll help what he can to get us into the playoffs.

    With Gomez, you at least know what you are going to get. With Clevlen you just hope he continues, but his stats say he won’t. I’d rather have Gomez for the long haul, additionally Clevlen was outfield and Leland made it clear he was sticking with Granderson. If thats the case they are overloaded on outfield. With Polanco out, infielders is what they need as well.

    Good move, imho

  9. Neel

    August 28, 2006 at 2:38 pm

    In Buster Olney’s chat on ESPN today he indicated that Leyland said that Miller will be used against the Yankees, most likely to see if he can be used as a situational lefty in the playoffs…take that for what it’s worth…

  10. Brian A.

    August 28, 2006 at 6:03 pm

    billfer, my problem with the september callup in miller’s contract is that he’s a Boras client. sure we’re getting him slightly on the cheap now, but can you imagine just how much it’s going to cost us in the long run, and now at least one year sooner that it would have otherwise been, to keep him around?

  11. billfer

    August 28, 2006 at 6:27 pm

    Brian – but I don’t think it will bring him one year closer to arbitration and free agency. You need 3 years of service to reach arbitration, not 2 years and 1 month. Yes he will accumulate a month of service time, but it most likely won’t change his arbitration (and subsequent free agent) year.

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