Tigers Ink Seven Minor League Free Agents

The Tigers signed 7 players to minor league contracts. They are righthanded pitcher Craig Dingman, lefthanded pitchers Tim Byrdak and Vic Darensbourg, catcher Steve Torrealba, infielders Mike Hessman and Kevin Hooper and outfielder Jackson Melian.

Dingman missed all of last year with a blood clot in his shoulder. Mike Hessman and Kevin Hooper were members of the Toledo team and Jackson Melian played for Erie.

Vic Darensbourg returns to the organization. Barring a trade or signing of a lefty reliever, he may be given the chance to claim Jamie Walker’s role from last year.


  1. Chris Y.

    November 17, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    Last time Vic was up, I remember thinking he had “stuff” very similar to Walker but with less control. If he can strighten it out enough to throw strikes, that would be a steal.

  2. Adam

    November 17, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    Hooper? Oh well.

  3. Luke

    November 18, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    Aww, cmon… you’ve gotta love hooper. The guy is ridiculously tiny and not very talented at all, but he manages to get himself involved and always helps his team win. He’s sort of like David Eckstein with no tools, but Toledo will welcome him back with open arms.

  4. Chris Y.

    November 18, 2006 at 12:31 pm


    That comment requires that a David Eckstein WITH tools actually exist.

    That’s hilarious!

  5. Jeff M

    November 18, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    Fine, invite Vic to camp, but I can’t picture him being any better than replacement level. Let’s get a real major leaguer.

  6. Coach Jim

    November 19, 2006 at 1:38 pm

    Mike Maroth might be the lefty out of the pen next year.

  7. Joshua M.

    November 19, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    who would take Maroth’s spot in the rotation and why on earth after the start we had this year would we not give him the chance to start next year???

  8. Chris Y.

    November 19, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    I don’t necessarily see Maroth in the rotation in the spring either.

    Part of that doubt stems from concerns about his health, and part on the young guys who’ll get a shot to push him in spring training — incl. Miller.

    Who knows, but who would’ve thought last fall that Verlander and Zumaya would have been there from Day One 2006.

  9. Joshua M.

    November 19, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    I thought Maroth was healthy enough to pitch during the World Series. At least that is what he was telling people. So who knows, but I would love for Miller to be ready to start for the Tigers next year. That would be awesome but I dont see it happening 2 years in a row. Maybe if we had a bad year but I think the brass will want to win now to bad to take a chance on a rookie starter.

  10. Kurt

    November 20, 2006 at 2:36 am

    I think it’s going to be a good competition for that fifth starter and whoever wins it is going to be worthy. Leyland doesn’t just give these roles away unless you’re name is Neifi. So it’s going to be a competition between a few guys. That said, I don’t really expect Miller to win it, but if he does, I’ll have full faith in him. But I hope Maroth is able to pitch effective again. You like to see guys like him succeed.

  11. Rick

    November 22, 2006 at 10:11 am

    For those of you who haven’t seen Hooper play, you have no idea what you are missing. He is the catalyst for most of the good things that happen to the Hens. He is simply aweseome defensively. The Hens have won 2 championships in a row now, 2005 and 2006, and Hooper has been a huge part of that victory. Darn right, we will welcome Hooper back with open arms.