The Tigers were on the verge of yet another player move from Triple-A Toledo Sunday night. But the move appears to be a simple call-up, likely to get the Tigers back to their usual number of position players on the 25-man roster, rather than a precursor to any larger move.
Casper Wells was in the Mud Hens’ starting lineup for their game Sunday at Columbus before he was pulled and sent to Detroit in time for Monday’s series opener against the Royals, MLB.com has learned. However, the move is not believed to be related to any trade talks on current Tigers. Indications suggest the Tigers have nothing going on the trade front at the moment, though reports stated they placed Johnny Damon and Brandon Inge on waivers last week.
The Tigers went to an eight-man bullpen ahead of their series last week in New York to help ease the strain on their exhausted bullpen, sending down outfielder Jeff Frazier and calling up lefty reliever Daniel Schlereth. Detroit swapped pitchers with Toledo on Friday, sending down Robbie Weinhardt and calling up Alfredo Figaro, but decided to stay with an extra reliever after three consecutive starters lasted just five innings against the Yankees.
Detroit’s bullpen is in much better shape now after back-to-back seven-inning performances against Cleveland Friday and Saturday from Armando Gallarraga and Max Scherzer and an eight-inning outing from Justin Verlander Sunday. Manager Jim Leyland said Sunday they would not be staying with eight relievers for long. Still, who’s heading back to Toledo isn’t yet clear.
Wells was up with the Tigers in May, starting two games and entering two others as a defensive replacement. He’s hitting .233 for the Hens this year with 21 home runs and 46 RBIs, but his recent numbers are outstanding. He’s batting .354 (23-for-65) in August with seven doubles, three triples, five home runs, 12 RBIs and a 1.246 OPS. His OPS since the All-Star break is 1.040 to go with a .295 second-half average.