Thomas optioned to Toledo, Kelly coming up
The Tigers announced after the game that they’re optioning OF Clete Thomas to Triple-A Toledo and purchasing the contract of Don Kelly from the Hens to take his place in Pittsburgh.
Thomas started out as a spark for the Tigers after joining the team in early May, but he was batting under .200 since May 16, including 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Thursday. His grand slam last Sunday was one of just three hits for him in 29 June at-bats.
“Thomas has to work on shortening his swing,” manager Jim Leyland said. “This is not a punishment. This is a player that we love.”
Kelly, meanwhile, has been a versatile piece for the Mud Hens. He’s batting .341 for Toledo with three homers, 22 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 17 tries. Moreover, he has added center field to his defensive acument, allowing him to play around the outfield as well as the infield.
“He’s come back and really done well,” Leyland said. “You like to reward people who do well.”
Kelly will join the team in Pittsburgh, which is fitting since he was born and raised in nearby Butler, Pa.