Robbie Weinhardt gets the call

We here at Detroit Tigers Weblog have long been supporters of Robbie Weinhardt, so we’re thrilled to see him get his promotion to the big club. Armando Galarraga was optioned down to make room. The team doesn’t need a 5th starter before the All Star break, but they do need relief help after Andrew Oliver’s short outing on Monday and the extra inning affair Tuesday night.

Weinhardt was one of the last cuts of the camp, and seemed poised to slide into a bullpen slot when one opened up. But a remarkably stable and effective bullpen kept him in Toledo where he only walked 4 batters in 27.1 innings. Unfortunately Weinhardt suffered an arm injury at about the same time the Toledo-Detroit shuttle heated up, delaying his promotion.

Weinhardt was the 10th selection in the 2008 reliever draft. He was selected after Cody Satterwhite, Scott Green, and Brett Jacobson but has outperformed them all. For Lakeland in his first season he fanned 11.2 per 9 while only walking 2.8. He continued to progress up the chain with stellar strike out numbers (9.5/9 for his minor league career) and earned a spot as a Tigers AFL representative where he led the league in strikeouts last fall despite being a reliever. Also worth noting is the fact that Weinhardt has allowed just 3 homers in 135 professional innings.

His promotion at this point in time though is about effective roster utilization and it remains to be seen how long he’ll stick with the club beyond the All Star break. With a big series against the Twins coming up though he certainly has a chance to make an impression.

Tigers Minor League Wrap 5.30.2010

Toledo 8 Buffalo 7
Jeff Frazier and Brent Dlugach each singled and homered. Casper Wells added his 8th homer of the season. Scott Sizemore went 2 for 3 with 2 walks. And to check in on infield alignment, Danny Worth was playing shortstop, Sizemore at second, and Dlugach at third. Ryan Ketchner allowed 3 runs in 4.2 innings on 6 hits, a walk, and 3 K’s. Casey Fien got the save with a scoreless 9th after Brendan Wise went 2.2 innings of relief to get the win.

Harrisburg 8 Erie 6
Wilkin Ramirez hit his 14th homer, but left after 3 at-bats. Audy Ciriaco doubled and homered. Thad Weber gave up 8 runs, but only 3 were earned, in 5 innings.

Lakeland 4 Palm Beach 5
The Charlie Furbush freak show continues with 10 K’s and 1 walk in 6 innings. He did surrendered 3 runs on 5 hits this time. Furbush was the subject of a Lynn Henning feature article today and is now sporting a 90K/11BB ratio in 62 innings. Alden Carrithers got 3 more hits. including his first home run.

Dayton 4 West Michigan 7
Jered Wesson pitched 6 shutout innings with only 3 hits and 2 walks allowed against 4 K’s. Mark Newman struggled and allowed 4 runs on 5 hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. Nolan Moody fanned 3 in his 1.2 inning save. Jamie Johnson homered and doubled. Avisail Garcia went 3 for 4. Chris Sedon drew 2 walks and singled.

Roster Moves

I’m way behind in covering this, but the Tigers made a bushel of roster moves this week. Some were a cascade effect from the Robbie Weinhardt DL assignment (the injury doesn’t appear to be too serious). Others at West Michigan were more performance based. Take 75 North has them all covered.

Tigers Minor League Wrap 5.24.10

Toledo 3 Syracuse 6
The Tigers faced uber-prospect Stephen Strasburg, and managed to score. Deik Scram tripled and scored on a wild pitch. In the 4th inning Carlos Guillen singled (1 for 3 with a walk and 2 6-4-3 GIDPs on defense), Jeff Frazier doubled (3 for 4), and Casper Wells followed with a ground ball between third and short. LJ Gagnier allowed 6 runs in 5.2 innings but only 1 was earned, but a couple came around after his own error. Robbie Weinhardt faced one batter and was removed after the ominous “injury delay” according to the game recap.

Erie 4 Trenton 6
Duane Below allowed 5 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks in 3.2 innings with only 2 strikeouts. Anthony Shawler ate 3.1 scoreless innings. Cesar Nicolas and Michael Bertram each doubled and singled. Josh Burrus hit his 5th homer.

Lakeland 4 Tampa 1
Adam Wilk starred with 8 innings of 1 run ball on only 4 hits. He didn’t walk a batter and he fanned 8. Julio Rodriguez had 2 hits. Alden Carrithers reached base 3 times with a single and 2 walks.

West Michigan 2 Fort Wayne 3 (10 innings)
Jordan Lennerton doubled twice as part of a 3 for 5 day. Alexis Espinoza also picked up 3 hits. Trevor Feeney went 8 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, 1 walk, and 6 K’s. Melvin Mercedes walked 3 and had a wild pitch in 1.2 innings and took the loss.

Seay, Miner hit the DL

The Tigers trimmed their roster down to 32 this morning with a couple of disabled list moves and other cuts. Most notable was the placement of Bobby Seay and Zach Miner on the 15 day disabled list.

Seay has been traveling from doctor to doctor in search of a diagnosis on his balky left arm (UPDATE: It’s a torn rotator cuff. There’s more info at the bottom of the post). Miner’s malady seems less dire but he won’t be ready for the beginning of the season. The moves do open up two spots on the active roster.

Miner’s long relief role could be the destination for the loser of the Nate Robertson-Dontrelle Willis-Jeremy Bonderman battle (assuming Robertson doesn’t get traded). Right handed reliever Robbie Weinhardt also remains in camp meaning he still has a shot. On the left side of things it would see to boost Brad Thomas’ chances of heading to Kansas City for the opener.

Daniel Schlereth, one of the lefties looking for a spot in the pen, was among those cut today. Scherleth was optioned along with Wilkin Ramirez to Toledo. Enrique Gonzalez, Phil Dumatrait, and Max St. Pierre were sent to minor league camp.

UPDATE: The injury to Bobby Seay is a torn rotator cuff. The plan is for Seay to try and rehab the injury and avoid surgery if at all possible. While the Tigers have other lefty options, it really is a blow to Seay who is a free agent after this year and will likely have his open market value severely hampered due to the injury.

The Tigers AFL Update

Things continue to go well for the Tigers’ Arizona contingent – excepting Scott Sizemore’s injury of course. Robbie Weinhardt’s rough 3 outing start is a thing of the past. Casper Wells continues to hit.  Andy Oliver, Thad Weber, and Scot Drucker are all seeing some success as the Peoria Javelinas lead the league.

Robbie Weinhardt

Weinhardt gave up 7 runs in his first 3 appearances, and none since. In his last 5 outings he’s thrown 10 scoreless innings. He’s allowed just 1 walk and 5 hits with 17 strike outs over that span. His 25 K’s lead the league. Those are remarkable numbers in an offense dominated league.

Casper Wells

Wells is leading the AFL in slugging at .750 and he’s 4th in on base percentage. He did have to leave yesterday’s game when trying to beat out a play at first. The Daily Fungo’s Mike McClary was in attendance and tweeted that Wells was able to limp off under his own power.

The Rest

In Oliver’s last 7 innings (4 games) he’s only allowed 1 unearned run, 3 walks, and 6 hits while fanning 8…Thad Weber has walked only 1 batter in 9 innings while fanning 10…Drucker has been up and down vacillating between good and bad outings. Today was a good one with 3 scoreless frames…Cale Iorg had a 2 game break out that saw him hit a homer and a double. But in 45 at-bats he has a .512 OPS and 16 strike outs.

Desert Update: Sizemore Shines

sizemoreThe Tigers representatives in the Arizona Fall League now have a week under their belts. Since the opener most have handled the challenge quite well so far with your likely 2010 second baseman Scott Sizemore leading the way.

Scott Sizemore

All he’s done is homer 3 times, double twice, and walk twice in 18 plate appearances. That’s good enough for a 375/400/1.063 slash line and prompting Kevin Goldstein to say “there isn’t really a glaring weakness in his game.”

Casper Wells

Mark Anderson of TigsTown thinks that a big fall could put Wells in the mix for the outfield rotation in 2010. So far he has a 444/450/889 line in 19 plate appearances. He has fanned 8 times though so it appears he’s either hitting the ball hard or not at all.

Cale Iorg

So far Iorg seems to be picking up his AFL season where his Erie season ended, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. He has a 182/182/250 line so far but I guess the good news would be that he’s only fanned 4 times. In Kevin Goldstein’s BP 10 Pack he listed this scout’s comment on Iorg:

I like the tools and what he does with the glove… but he just can’t hit.

Andrew Oliver

After getting knocked around a little bit in his first outing he bounced back nicely fanning 3 and walking 1 in his next outing which lasted 2 innings. He followed that up with a 1 inning stint that saw him allow 2 hits, but no damage while notching another strikeout.

Robbie Weinhardt

Weinhardt also improved with his second outing, but that was really the only way for him to go. But he still allowed 2 runs in 1.1 innings. Weinhardt has allowed 7 runs in 3 AFL innings on 9 hits and 3 walks. For someone who allowed just 8 earned runs in 30 AA innings this year this is certainly uncharacteristic.

Scot Drucker

Drucker isn’t really viewed as a prospect, but he has done well with this opportunity so far. He’s allowed just 1 run on 2 hits in 5 innings despite just striking out 2.

AFL Season kicks off

The Arizona Fall League started today. The Tigers had quite a few representatives in today’s effort, a game that saw the opposition hang 17 runs on the board.

I guess the bad news first, the Tigers had 3 pitchers in today’s game. Scot Drucker started and allowed a run in 2 innings. It was downhill from there. Andy Oliver drew a tough assignment for his first professional action and he was tagged for 4 runs due to 2 hits, including a homer, and 2 walks in his inning of work. Robbie Weinhardt got knocked around for 5 runs on 6 hits, a walk, a wild pitch, and a hit by pitch in 1.2 innings.

Offensively things were a little better. Scott Sizemore had an 0 for 4, but Casper Wells doubled and singled and Cale Iorg went 1 for 3.

Winter Leagues: Arizona Fall League: Statistics | MLB.com: Events

UPDATE: Take 75 North weighs in on the game and Fire Jim Leyland looks at Oliver’s pitch f/x data.

Tigers Minor League Wrap & More 8/25/09

Louisville 3 Toledo 2
Wilkin Ramirez and Wil Rhymes each had 2 hits. Nate Robertson started and went 6.2 innings, he allowed 3 hits, no runs, 2 walks, and he fanned 9 – and it only took him 68 pitches to do it. Jeremy Bonderman didn’t fare as well allowing 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk in 1 inning.

Erie 5 Reading 8
Michael Bertram was a single short of the cycle. Casper Wells had 3 hits including 2 doubles. Jared Gayhart got another start and lasted 4 innings with 5 K’s, 2 walks, 4 hits, and 1 run.

Lakeland 4 Daytona 6
Devin Thomas and Jeramy Laster each had 2 doubles. Lauren Gagnier allowed 2 homers and 4 runs on 8 hits, 2 walks, and 5 K’s in 5 innings. Austin Wood pitched a scoreless inning with a strike out.

West Michigan 3 Lansing 4
Billy Nowlin homered for 1 of his 3 hits. Ben Guez and Luis Salas each had 2 hits, and Salas added 2 walks. Luke Putkonen fanned 8 in 6 shutout innings allowing 2 walks and 4 hits. Jade Todd was lit up for 4 runs in 2.1 innings.

Oneonta 1 Staten Island 4
Jamie Johnson doubled and walked. Alexis Espinoza doubled an singled. Mark Newman pitched 4 shutout innings with 4 hits, no walks and 2 K’s.

GCL Tigers 1 GCL Blue Jays 4
Brett Anderson went 2 for 4. Rayni Guichardo pitched 6 shutout innings and fanned 5 against 3 walks and 3 hits. Melvin Mercedes picked up his 15th save with a scoreless inning.

Minors Notes

The Tigers preliminary Arizona Fall League roster was announced. Robbie Weinhardt, Cody Satterwhite, Thad Weber, Ryan Strieby, Cale Iorg, and Scott Sizemore will represent the Tigers. Take 75 North breaks down the selections.

Also of note, Jeff Larish is done for the year as his wrist required surgery. Larish did pretty much nothing at the plate the latter part of the year and at least with an injury there is some explanation.