Hooper in, Kelly out

With Carlos Guillen and Neifi Perez hurting, the Tigers made a roster move. Yesterday the Tigers designated for assignment the contract of Don Kelly to make room for uber utility guy Kevin Hooper.

After showing some high OBP promise early in his minor league career, Kelly didn’t get the job done at Toledo and managed only a 304 OBP. He went to Erie and posted a 354 OBP, but only a 692 OPS which probably isn’t enough for a 26 year old in AA.

Hooper can play a lot of positions, is 30 years old, and really brings nothing to the table offensively (636 OPS for AAA Toledo).

It’s one thing to bring up a pinchrunner/late defensive replacement for some depth. It’s another thing to make room for one by clearing space on the 40 man roster. And then there is the fact that this team is in need of offense. They currently have their fill of Neifi Perez/Ramon Santiago/Alexis Gomez types (although to be fair to Gomez, he has shown some offensive pop). If they were inclined to free up a spot on the 40 man, why not elect to go with a Ryan Raburn type who hit 277/355/494?

Raburn struggles defensively, and like the current Tiger roster, he strikes out quite a bit (118 this season). But he could still fill the pinch runner role, with 16 swipes in 20 attempts and not be an automatic out in the lineup.

As for Guillen, he hopes to be back in a couple days and says the injury is not bad. I think that hope is shared by Tiger fans everywhere. Carlos Guillen is the most important position player on this team for the sole fact that he is far and away the team’s best hitter.