Adam Everett DFA’d

After today’s game the Tigers designated the contract of Adam Everett for assignment. Danny Worth has been recalled and will be in a time share with Ramon Santiago most likely at shortstop.

Everett’s value of course came as a defensive specialist and his bat was always going to be considered “weak” at best. However offensively futility was taken to another level this season with an OPS south of .500. Only 11.1% of his balls in play were line drives and he continued to pop out meekly to the right side. He’s also striking out more and walking less than at any point in his career.

Everett’s 600ish OPS’s over his career were pretty much the minimum that could be justified and that was only because he was a defensive wizard. To take 25% off an otherwise meager production is just too much to warrant a spot in the lineup.

Worth definitely appears to have the defensive chops to man the position based on scouting reports and our chance to see if him during his brief stint at second base. His minor league hitting numbers aren’t especially encouraging but he should be able to outperform Everett.

It would seem that Gerald Laird would be the next player sweating his position, though there isn’t another internal option. He’s likely to see less playing time, but barring an acquisition from outside the organization he will stick on the 25 man roster.

Carlos Guillen is back

Carlos Guillen has been activated from the disabled list. Danny Worth is the odd man out and will return to Toledo with an impressive week of MLB experience under his belt.

Guillen will slide into the 6th spot in the lineup behind Brennan Boesch. Worth meanwhile played defense that was impressive enough to give many pause about Adam Everett’s longevity with the team.

Everett isn’t expected to hit much, but like Gerald Laird he’s expected to hit more than he is. It’s one thing to trade some offense for defense, it’s another to forfeit a spot in the batting order. Despite Worth’s ability to pick up some singles in his short stint, he isn’t a good bet to hit much more than Everett. Worth has the benefit of being the new guy and the possibility of the new guy is certainly more intriguing than the reality of the current guy.

On the other hand we’ll see how much defense fans are willing to sacrifice for offense with Guillen moving to second base. I have a feeling the experience won’t be nearly as bad as many feel it will. At the same time I’d take slightly below average defense for Guillen’s offense at the position.

Tigers option Sizemore and Scherzer – Guillen to play 2B

The Tigers have optioned Scott Sizemore and Max Scherzer to Toledo. In their place come Armando Galarraga and Danny Worth. Worth wasn’t on the 40 man roster so his contract was purchased.

The Galarraga move isn’t the least bit surprising, he was the scheduled starter. The fact that the Tigers think Scherzer isn’t close enough to correcting his problems in side sessions is pretty telling and disappointing.

Also disappointing has been Sizemore’s performance offensively where he hasn’t been able to find that line drive stroke that produced an 889 OPS between AA and AAA last year.

Danny Worth was drafted by the Tigers in 2007 and his defense earned him a quick assignment at Lakeland. The question all along has been his bat. Worth is OPS’ing .665 for Toledo this year so it hasn’t exactly blossomed. My guess is this is a chance for Sizemore to fix some things while putting some pressure on Adam Everett as the defensive specialist.

Also, it should be noted that Worth was selected over Brent Dlugach who has very similar rate stats (673 OPS this year) but who is striking out at an epic rate with 52 K’s in 149 at-bats.

Also factoring into the middle infield situation is the fact that Carlos Guillen will need  a spot in a couple weeks and Brennan Boesch is playing too well to sit. Guillen has begun taking infield at both second base and shortstop.

UPDATE: Carlos Guillen will be the regular second baseman when he comes off the DL. When was the last season without a major position shift for Guillen?

Tigers Minor League Wrap 5-31-08

Toledo 3 Indianapolis 4
Matt Joyce homered and drove in 2. Brent Clevlen doubled, singled, and walked twice and is now sporting a 320/405/572 line. Chris Lambert allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, a walk, and 5 K’s in 6 innings.

Altoona 3 Erie 8
Max St. Pierre homered twice. Justin Justice, Ryan Roberson, Wil Rhymes, and Max Leon had 2 hit games. Josh Rainwater allowed 3 runs over 5 innings.

Altoona 6 Erie 5 (8 innings)
Danny Worth went 3 for 4. Justin Justice was 1 for 2 with a walk. Matt Righter allowed 5 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 2 K’s in 4.2 innings. Anthony Tomey took the loss allowing 1 run in 3 innings.

Lakeland 10 Dunedin 7
Jeramy Laster, Cale Iorg, Lou Ott, and Pedro Cotto all went deep for Lakeland. James Skelton was 1 for 3 with 2 walks. Jordan Tata struggled allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 3 innings with 3 K’s. Ramon Garcia allowed 3 runs, 1 earned, in 5 innings of relief work.

South Bend 5 West Michigan 1
Cory Middleton and Chris Carlson had the only 2 hits for the Caps. Carlson’s was a homer accounting for the only run. Brandon Hamilton allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, 3 walks, and 4 K’s in 4 innings. Matt Hoffman made an appearance in relief and allowed an unearned run while fanning 4 in 1.2 innings.

Tigers Minor League Wrap 5-30-08

Toledo 2 Indianapolis 3
Brent Clevlen homered, singled, and walked and has pushed his average to .313. Mike Hollimon was 1 for 4. Matt Joyce went 0 for 4 with 3 K’s. Yorman Bazardo allowed 2 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings, walking none and fanning 3. Denny Bautista allowed an unearned run on 1 hit and 1 walk in 2 innings of work. He threw 27 pitches, 17 for strikes.

Altoona 8 Erie 6
Jeff Frazier went 3 for 5, as did Ryan Roberson. Wilkin Ramirez and Danny Worth each had 2 hits, including a homer for Worth. Lucas French allowed 8 runs on 12 hits and 3 walks in 6.2 innings.

Lakeland 11 Dunedin 5
Scott Sizemore and Lou Ott each had 3 hits. Brennan Boesch homered, tripled, and drove in 4. Cale Iorg and Jeremy Laster had 2 hits each.

South Bend 6 West Michigan 1
Roger Tomas went 2 for 3. Casper Wells hit a solo homer for the only Caps run. Jon Kibler allowed 4 runs on 6 hits in 7.1 innings while fanning 8 and walking none.

Baseball America’s 2008 Tigers Prospect List

There isn’t an official top prospect list, but BA’s is kind of the standard. Today they announced the Tigers 2008 top 10

  1. Rick Porcello, rhp
  2. Cale Iorg, ss
  3. Scott Sizemore, 2b
  4. Michael Hollimon, 2b/ss
  5. Yorman Bazardo, rhp
  6. Jeff Larish, 1b
  7. Matt Joyce, of
  8. Danny Worth, ss
  9. Francisco Cruceta, rhp
  10. Brandon Hamilton, rhp

Rick Porcello is the clear cut stud, but after that things get cloudy. I’m surprised to see Cale Iorg rated so highly. While he may have all the tools, those tools haven’t really even been on display for several years. Plus a hamstring injury in the Hawaiian Winter League added to the lack of exposure to competitive baseball.I have a hard time rating him that highly, at least this year.

I’m also surprised to see Scott Sizemore rated number 3. While I like what Sizemore has done, the AFL is his only exposre to players in his age range.

The rest of the list is pretty much in line with who’d you would expect to see. As for the order, I don’t think there is a lot of separation so the composition is probably more important than the ranking.

There are write-ups on the top 10, but they are premium content. I will point out a couple of items though:

Bazardo

It would come as no surprise if he opened the season as Detroit’s fifth starter.

I’d be quite surprised given the rotation is set barring injury. I do like him as the 6th starter though and do expect him to make the team. (edit: in his chat, Morosi indicated that was written before the Willis trade)

Hollimon:

Second base would be his best position, but the Tigers have Placido Polanco under contract through 2009. Hollimon is athletic enough to play in the outfield, but Detroit has no plans to move him there this year in Triple-A.

Hadn’t heard him listed as a potential outfielder before.

Joyce:

Joyce has moved swiftly since signing in 2005, and he’ll move up to Triple-A this season. If all goes well, he’ll challenge for a big league job in 2009.

I’d like to see him at AAA, but with Timo Perez, Freddy Guzman, and Brent Clevlen the outfield appears full.
Worth:

Worth will return to Lakeland or Erie to begin 2008 and could move quickly in a system that lacks depth at shortstop in the upper minors.

Brent Dlugach, Tony Giarratano, and Hollimon figure to provide depth. Not that Dlugach should block anybody, but he’s still depth. Plus Tony G is still on the 40 man.

Talking Tigers prospects with Jonathan Mayo

Jonathan Mayo covers the minor leagues and the draft as a senior writer for MLB.com. Mayo also has a book coming out that has some remarkable timing. It is a look at what it is like to face Roger Clemens and is appropriately titled Facing Clemens. The book was written and put to bed prior to the release of the Mitchell Report and will be available on March 1st, though you can pre-order it now.

Regardless of your feelings about Clemens, steroid users, and their place in history, the book looks to be a fascinating read. Mayo interviewed many of the great hitters about what it was like to dig in with Clemens on the mound. Whether or not Clemens did it naturally doesn’t change what the batters experienced when squaring off against the Rocket.

Mayo was kind enough to answer some questions about the now-depleted Tigers farm system as well as a look forward to the 2008 draft.

Detroit Tigers Weblog: After the trades this off-season, the Tigers seem to be deepest in the middle infield. Of Scott Sizemore, Mike Hollimon, Danny Worth, Cale Iorg, Tony Giarratano, and Audy Ciriaco who do you see having the highest ceiling, and who is most likely to make it to the majors?
Jonathan Mayo: From a pure upside standpoint, I think Ciriaco is still the guy. I know he only hit .224 in his full-season debut, but he’ll still be just 20 when the season starts. I think he has to start taking the raw tools and turn it into performance this year. As for “most likely to succeed,” I’d probably go with Worth or Hollimon at this point. I’ve seen Hollimon play several times and he just looks like a big leaguer to me. He also has the best bat of this group as of right now. Those kinds of offensive skills will play at 2B in the bigs. Worth, even though he hit when he got pushed up to Erie, will be a big leaguer more because of his glove. How much he can hit will determine whether he’s an every-day shortstop or a utility guy.

Continue reading Talking Tigers prospects with Jonathan Mayo

Tigers have 3rd best draft in 2007

While it is probably a little premature to rate any draft after only 4 months, this is especially true in baseball. In many cases drafted players haven’t played in a league type setting, or if they have the experience has been limited to short season ball. Still, Baseball America likes the early returns for the Detroit Tigers in this year’s amateur draft.

BA rated the Tigers as having the 3rd best draft behind the Nationals and Rangers. Detroit ranked ahead of the Giants and Yankees who rounded out the top 5.  The full article is premium content, so I’ll just hit the highlights.

The Tigers draftees received some individual accolades on a variety of top 5 lists including:

  • Danny Worth – 4th best defensive player
  • Rick Porcello – 2nd best fastball
  • Rick Porcello – 4th best secondary pitch
  • Colin Kaline & Cale Iorg – 3rd and 4th most intriguing backgrounds
  • Rick Porcello – 5th closest to the majors among high schoolers

There was also a draft all star team selected based on performance and level of play.  No Tigers made the team. 

In terms of early returns I’d have to say that Charlie Furbush (61 2/3 innings, 2.35 ERA, 69K, 14 BB at GCL and West Michigan) and Danny Worth (251/325/363 in High A ball) had the strongest debuts.  While Worth’s numbers weren’t dazzling, he gets extra credit because he debuted at such a high level for a new draftee.

Of course the strength of the Tigers draft was in the players who signed late and haven’t yet competed outside of the instructional league. In addition to Porcello, players like Casey Crosby, Iorg, and Matt Hoffman are who helped earn the Tigers such a high overall ranking. They are also the players who will hopefully make for an entertaining minor league season.

BaseballAmerica.com: Draft: 2007 Draft Report Cards Overview
2007 Tigers Draft – The Baseball Cube