WXYT is citing a report from the Asheville Citizen Times that Cameron Maybin will join the Tigers tonight.
There is no word yet on corresponding roster moves for either the 25 man or 40 man roster. It did appear that Marcus Thames tweaked his hamstring last night and Craig Monroe has had the flu. I don’t know if it is simply a matter of them being shorthanded in the short term or if possibly a trade was made involving Craig Monroe who most likely cleared waivers.
UPDATE: it sounds like the Tigers inquired a couple days ago whether he was ‘ready’ making it sound this may be less likely to be a response to something that happened last night.
I have lots of thoughts on this but I’m on my blackberry so those will have to wait.
UPDATE & Comments: Now that I’m back from the zoo, and not doing this on a blackberry, a little more info. As was posted in the comments, this was one of a series of moves. Craig Monroe has been designated for assignment, thus freeing up a spot on both the 40 man and 25 man rosters. The Tigers have ten days to try and work out a trade, or release him. I would be shocked if he hadn’t been placed on waivers at the beginning of the month, so that process is probably complete. The other shuffle was Omar Infante being optioned out in favor of Ramon Santiago.
First the outfielders. I’m both excited and nervous to see Maybin make his debut. The limited results from Erie are certainly encouraging, as were the results when he came back from the disabled list. Prior to his shoulder injury he hadn’t been hitting for a ton of power in Lakeland and I wonder if that stemmed from a back injury suffered earlier in the year. He came out of the gate strong, missed a little bit of time, and then came back and went in a homer drought. I wonder if the time off to recuperate the shoulder also helped with his back? I don’t really know, just a possible theory.
He’s essentially jumping all the way from Hi A to the pro’s considering his time in Erie was so brief, and that is a quick progression no matter who you are. With that comes some risk, and in Maybin’s case the biggest cause for concern would be his strikeout rate as he fanned once every 3.5 at-bats in Lakeland.
Still I’m excited to see him play and I do think he can help the club. I have some of the same concerns I had with Miller being rushed, but to a much lesser extent. I believe that Maybin will be asked to do a lot less than Andrew Miller. I anticipate he’ll get some platoon starts against lefties and will be used a late inning defensive replacement. The latter is a role I think he can fill with no problem. The former will be putting him in a situation that should help him have success. And as a position player, I don’t have the same concerns about fatigue and workload that I did with Miller.
There was a reason that Craig Monroe received a one year deal after a 27 homer season and a post season that saw him set the team record for homers. It was because Cameron Maybin was waiting in the wings and Monroe was holding the spot in the meantime (Marcus Thames proved that he could have served the same function at 1/10th the cost, but that’s another issue). Monroe floundered all year and never showed in sign of breaking out of a season long funk. He’s never been strong from a batting average or on base perspective and the power that he did possess seems to have vanished. He was capable defensively, but that’s about it.
I’ve always rooted for Monroe because he seemed like a guy that worked hard, liked being a Tiger, and quite frankly was a nice guy to the fans. Those aren’t the types of things that mean you should keep your job though. With Monroe having lost his starting position to Thames, and not being a particularly enticing pinch hitting option given his struggles, there just wasn’t a lot of ways that Monroe could contribute to the club at this point. Meanwhile Craig’s confidence which is already probably shaken takes another huge hit as he ponders “I must be worse than Jason Grilli.”
Infante & Santiago
I totally get that Carlos Guillen is a huge issue at shortstop. The errors have been a problem all season long, but with Guillen’s knees aching, the decent range he had earlier in the season has become reminiscent of a statuesque Shane Halter. I was perfectly comfortable with Omar Infante backing up Guillen, and when he reached base 4 times the other night in Cleveland and made a nice play deep in the hole I thought that Jim Leyland might have thought so too. But Leyland just doesn’t trust Infante in that capacity, and Ramon Santiago is the superior defender.
Against lefties I’d imagine that Santiago starts at short and Carlos Guillen plays first. You’re improving the left side defense, but you are inserting a black hole into the lineup. Granted, it’s a much more inexpensive black hole than Jack Wilson will provide so in some respects that’s good.
As for Infante, he’ll be back when the rosters expand in September. Ryan Raburn is now filling Infante’s former role and it would be hard to send his bat to the minors given how he’s been swinging. And with Tony Giarratano on the disabled list, Infante could still be placed on the playoff roster if need be.