Tigers announce bevy of roster moves

The Tigers made a handful of roster moves today to prepare for the offseason. They are:

  • Mike Hollimon was outrighted to Toledo
  • Marcus Thames and Matt Treanor have been removed from the roster and are now free agents
  • Jeff Larish and Joel Zumaya have been reinstated from the disabled list
  • Jay Sborz had his contract purchased from Toledo

Thoughts

The Hollimon move isn’t surprising. He very may well still have a role in the organization. He has a 260/361/478 line in his minor league career which is solid for a middle infielder. He’s also 27 and has been injured much of the last 2 seasons meaning that he wasn’t going to get claimed.

The Matt Treanor announcement isn’t surprising either. Treanor will unfortunately finish his Tigers career without a hit but he does have the distinction of catching Rick Porcello’s debut.

Continue reading Tigers announce bevy of roster moves

Hollimon has torn labrum

Michael Hollimon, who saw his numbers evaporate after returning to Toledo from his MLB stint, underwent surgery on Thursday to repair a torn labrum. He’ll miss 6 to 9 months.

A couple quotes from the article:

“In such a young player, with a nice future ahead of him, we want to take time and make sure it’s done right,” Rand said Saturday.

The thing is Hollimon isn’t a young player. He’s 26. He’s going to be missing a chunk of his prime production rehabbing. That hurts.

“At times during the season, he felt a little weakness in the shoulder,” Rand said. “He felt that the shoulder wasn’t stable. He was worried that, going down the road, he’d have an issue at some point that would have to be fixed. So, he opted to have the surgery at this time.”

This doesn’t sound good. I fully admit to not being a clinician and not having access to information. But once again, from what is being reported to the public, this sounds curious from a medical management standpoint.

Hollimon undergoes surgery, likely to miss first half of next season | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press

The Call-Ups

It’s September 1st, so it’s the annual rite of infusing of rosters with up and comers and AAA fill-ins. The Tigers announced their round of call-ups. They include: Dusty Ryan, Mike Hessman, Dontrelle Willis, Chris Lambert, Clay Rapada, and Freddy Dolsi.

Dolsi had some nice moments this season, is already on the 40 man roster, and could be a piece of the bullpen puzzle next year. He gets more evaluation time and can pitch some innings as the starters continue to falter. Ditto for Rapada.

Lambert is also a slam dunk, seeing as the Tigers will need to keep him on the 40 man roster if they are inclined to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. Plus they need a 5th starter and they get a closer look at him.

Dusty Ryan has a legit shot at being the back-up next year, and like Lambert will be on the 40 man roster anyways. He’ll probably get a start or two before heading to the AFL.

Hessman hit a lot of homers and struck out a lot (139 times in 396 ABs). But he also plays a solid third base and the Tigers don’t have their regular third baseman. Chances are Hessman will be removed from the 40 at the end of the season.

As for Willis, who knows what will happen. He’ll pitch a simulated game tomorrow. But given his forearm issues, I don’t know if he’ll contribute anything.

As for the guys left out, Mike Hollimon, Brent Clevlen, Casey Fien, and Francisco Cruceta would seem to have been candidates. Hollimon struggled mightily once being sent back to AAA seeing his average drop to the low .200s. Fien and Cruceta were probably victims of roster machinations. Fien wouldn’t need to be added to protect him from the Rule 5, so it makes sense to defer his possible promotion to next spring. Clevlen is probably the biggest surprise. He will be out of options next year, and while he slumped late (.645 OPS in August) it wasn’t to the extent that Hollimon suffered.

Junkballing: Zach Miner, Tiger Stadium, and injured shortstops

Zach Miner starts again

The question of the 5th starter has been answered – for now. Zach Miner will take the spot formerly occupied by Eddie Bonine and before him Dontrelle Willis. Miner had some struggles with control out of the pen this year. But in two “stretch-out” starts for Toledo he has posted a 12:2 strike out to walk ratio in 8.1 innings. I’m in favor of giving Miner a shot, but I think there will be a pretty quick switch if he starts running every count full and walking people.

Is Tiger Stadium saved?

There have been deadline extenstions, and votes to keep some parts, and votes to knock the whole thing down. But now the Daily Fungo points to a news release on Carl Levin’s web site that there is $4 million earmarked for Corktown preservation and redevelopment. Presumably this is the money that the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy is hoping to obtain to save a portion of the stadium.

Injured middle infielders littered throughout the system

When the Tigers traded away their stud centerfield prospects middle infield became the organizational position of strength. Instead it’s become the organizational position of DL stays and ibuprofen. Edgar Renteria is battling a hamstring injury that he reagravated tonight.

Cale Iorg, the Tigers big time bonus pick from last year just hit the DL for Lakeland. His keystone partner Scott Sizemore has missed a big chunk of the season with a broken bone in his hand. Danny Worth, another draft pick from last year who has been a defensive whiz for Erie is now missing time. And high ceiling shortstop Audy Ciriaco just went on the DL for West Michigan.

And while they are health now, both Ramon Santiago and Mike Hollimon missed time this season due to separated shoulders.

It must be something they are putting in the water at second base.

Tigers getting pieces back

It appears that Brandon Inge is close to returning and he’ll join Toledo on Monday for a rehab assignment.

Also, Rod and Mario mentioned during today’s broadcast that Ramon Santiago could be back for the Cleveland series. Going into tonight’s game (and he’s 0 for 2 as I write this), Santiago is 2 for 21 with 2 walks and 6 K’s with the Mud Hens. So he hasn’t found that stroke he had going with the Tigers earlier this season.

Of course Santiago’s return likely means that Michael Hollimon gets sent down. Hollimon has played well since some jitters in his first start in San Francisco.

Junkballing: No shortage of news

I’ve got to give this Tigers team credit for one thing. There’s no shortage of news. Last week I tried to put together a timeline of all the announcements and news coming out of Jim Leyland’s office. I couldn’t get it legible at less than 1200 pixels wide. And that was before all the news from the last week.

Vance Wilson

Wilson received awful news in that he needs to do Tommy John times 2. His contract with the Tigers is up this year and with a 12 month recovery period, he is done as a Tigers player and may be facing retirement. He’s well respected in the Tigers organization and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Wilson back in another capacity in a few years. Best wishes to Vance.

Roster moves: Rapada

Clay Rapada was optioned to Toledo to make room for Eddie Bonine. This isn’t a merit based demotion but a matter of the guy with options getting sent down. It’s something we may see again next week when Rodney and Zumaya return. Dolsi could be one of the guys out based on contract status. Fossum, Seay, Bautista, and Lopez are all out of options.

Granderson’s struggles

Detroit Tiger Tales takes a look at Curtis Granderson’s struggles. He finds among other things that Granderson is taking a lot of pitches, both out of and in the strike zone and it’s possible he’s being to passive. That’s something I could buy, and his timing seems to be off as well with a lot of ball popped up to the left side. I trace it back to the Tim Wakefield game. Look at his gamelogs and see what happens from May 6th onwards. It’s a 554 OPS with only 4 walks. Right now his OBP is the same as Pudge’s.

Zumaya-Rodney updates

I think I spied Joel Zumaya in the Tigers dugout last night. But he is experiencing some soreness in his side. If everything goes as planned he’ll pitch tonight, and then back to back on Monday and Tuesday with a possible return to the team for the San Diego series.

As for Rodney, he had a terrific outing for the Mud Hens last night and will be back Monday provided he feels alright today.

Spit balls

Tigers Make Line Change

The Tigers announced a ton of roster moves today:

  • Clete Thomas and Ramon Santiago hit the 15 day DL
  • Mike Hollimon and Brent Clevlen were brought up to take their places.
  • Aquilino Lopez was placed on the bereavement list and Denny Bautista was reinstated from the DL.

Middle infield depth takes a hit

Ramon Santiago dislocated his shoulder on a diving play today and appears headed to the disabled list. I have to believe that Mike Hollimon would have his contract purchased to be the new utility infielder. At the same time, Lakeland second baseman Scott Sizemore is hitting the DL after injuring his wrist swinging.

The Santiago news is disappointing – and this is from someone who was stumping for Hollimon to make the team over Santiago this winter. Santiago had been playing better than I would have ever expected hitting 353/476/618 in limited playing time going into today. This afternoon he added another walk and one of the Tigers 3 hits. I know small sample sizes and all, but he’d looked very good.

Hollimon stuck in big league camp this spring until he had a sublaxation of his shoulder. He got a late start to his season. He’s not hitting for a lot of average with a 253/325/552 line, but he does have 12 homers and is a switch hitter.

Tigers Minor League Wrap 5-19-08

Toledo 10 Columbus 0
The homer barrage continues with Mike Hollimon hitting 2 (10 in the last 8 games) and Timo Perez and Nick Trzesniak joining him with a pair apiece and Freddy Guzman hit one. So today the Mud Hens hit as many homers as the Tigers have since May 3rd. Casey Fossum fanned 10 in 7 shut out innings.

Erie 10 Binghamton 5

Max St. Pierre homered, walked, and added 2 singles. Wil Rhymes had a 3 hit day and Wilkin Ramirez had 2 hits and a walk. Danny Christensen allowed 5 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in 3 innings.

Palm Beach 0 Lakeland 4
Jonah Nickerson allowed 1 hit and 1 walk while fanning 8 in 7 shut out innings. Brennan Boesch had 3 hits. Jeramy Laster homered, singled, and walked.

West Michigan 4 Lansing 2

Jon Kibler pitched a complete game allowing only 2 hits. He walked 1 and fanned 8. Casper Wells walked twice and singled. Jordan Newton tripled and drove in two runs.

Tigers Minor League Wrap 5-17-08

Toledo 8 Columbus 5
Dontrelle Willis made another rehab start and stuck around for 96 pitches this time. He only allowed 1 run but he walked 4 in 6 innings and fanned 4. Jeff Larish is trying to catch-up to Mike Hessman and he knocked 2 more homers. Mike Hollimon added his 9th dinger and Brent Clevlen his 6th.
Erie 0 Binghamton 2
Wilkin Ramirez had a rough night with 3 K’s in 3 at-bats. Andrew Kown went 4.2 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, a walk and 4 K’s.
Erie 5 Binghamton 7
Danny Worth tripled and homered and Ryan Roberson added a homer and a single. Wil Rhymes and Justin Justice each had multi-hit games. Jon Connolly allowed 7 runs on 10 hits in 4 innings and owns a 7.07 ERA.

Dunedin 4 Lakeland 2
Ryan Strieby doubled, homered, and walked. James Skelton and Jeramy Laster each added 2 hits and a walk. Cale Iorg tripled and singled. Duane Below allowed 3 runs on 7 hits, no walks, and 5 K’s in 6 innings of work.

Lansing 5 West Michigan 3

Chris Carlson had 2 hits including a double. Ronnie Bourquin also doubled. All the runs allowed in this game were unearned coming on the heels of 3 errors. Lauren Gagnier allowed 1 unearned run on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts in 7 innings.

Leyland abandons logic in Sheffield mess

The announcement came out last night that Gary Sheffield’s switch to full time left fielder had come to an end after only 5 games. This latest turn of events isn’t surprising, but the aftermath makes no sense. The Tigers are relegated to carrying a player on the roster who can’t even DH everyday. If only there was some sort of way to deal with injured players so that they wouldn’t take up a roster spot and you could have a substitute for them…

When the news came out that Sheffield was switching to left, it made little sense from a baseball standpoint. Especially since it meant moving better fielding players like Matt Joyce to the DH role. But there was some merit in the move. Given Sheffield and the Tigers problems if there was a chance to get either going I’m all for it. Sheffield didn’t have any miscues in the field, and since the switch he hit 278/458/389 so it cost the team little.

The other reason to be in favor of the move is that it seemed like it would force an action one way or the other. Either Sheffield would respond and show he was okay and get rolling. Or he’d show that he’s not healthy finally prompting what seems to be an inevitable trip to the DL.

But instead we have a player who can’t take warmup tosses between innings and who by his own admission is restricted in his swing and that he “isn’t getting to certain pitches I’d like.”

Now let’s take a step back and look at Sheffield’s recent performance with the nice OBP and empty slugging percentage. In Leyland’s post game presser after Tuesday’s loss he said it’s nice that the Tigers have a good OBP, but he likes slugging and bringing runners around. And yet he continues to trot out a player who admits he can’t drive the ball, who Leyland recognizes can’t drive the ball.

This is bizarre, befuddling, and downright stupid. I understand that Leyland has respect for Sheffield and is trying to do what he can to get him going. But a quarter season of on the job rehab isn’t helping Sheffield and it isn’t helping the Tigers. DL him now. Call up Jeff Larish or Mike Hessman. Larish is left handed and is entirely capable of slugging. Hessman is right handed but can play a couple positions and is entirely capable of slugging. But don’t carry a player who is only capable of playing once a series.
Shoulder relegates Sheffield to the DH

Tigers Minor League Wrap 5-12-08

Toledo 6 Charlotte 5
Dontrelle Willis made a rehab start and he struggled. He walked 3 and allowed 7 hits in 5.2 innings including 2 homers. He threw 46 of his 79 pitches for strikes. Mike Hessman and Jeff Larish homered again, and Mike Hollimon joined in on the fun.

Erie DNP

Lakeland 6 Tampa 2 11 innings
Mike Bertram had two hits. Duane Below fanned 10 in 7.1 innings while walking one and allowing 2 runs.

West Michigan 1 Fort Wayne 2
Kyle Peter had 2 hits. Lauren Gagnier went 7 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, no walks, and 7 K’s.