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.