Tigers sign Darin Downs to minor-league deal

The Tigers have signed free-agent lefty Darin Downs to a minor league contract, according to a tweet from his agents at Sosnick Cobbe Sports.

It’s not a headline deal by any means, but it’s the kind of depth signing that sometimes pay dividends. Downs, who turns 27 the day after Christmas, is pitching winter ball in Venezuela right now after spending the summer in the Marlins farm system at Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans. His pitching coach with the Tigres de Aragua is Greg Sabat, who coaches in the Tigers system.

Combine Downs’ Double- and Triple-A numbers, and he went 5-7 with a 4.66 ERA over 18 starts and 14 relief appearances, striking out 87 batters over 112 innings. Until then, he had just about an even ratio of strikeouts to innings pitched for his pro career, getting swings and misses with finesse and deception rather than power.

Downs was born in nearby Southfield, but went to high school in Florida.



Numbers with Tigres de Aragua, Cabrera´s team in Venezuela:

4 games. 16.1 inn.19 H 12 R 7 ER 0 HR 5 BB 12 K 1.47 whip 3.86 era.
The manager of the team is Bud Bailey, five times national champion and one of the caribbean in the last 8 years. He is the new Captain Hook. He pulls early his staters and use his reliever the less possible.He really takes care of the arms of his pitchers and drive crazy fans and journalists alike( Not me , I root for Justin Henry´s team)

While we are at it:
Justin Henry: 262/346/622

The roster is made of 34 players. 26 active weekly.Thats is way he can rest his pitchers


I saw Jim Thome play in Philadelphia during his first go-around there. There was a lot of mutual affection between him and the fans. Good deal there. They get a popular veteran presence and very professional hitter to PH for them, and he gets another year in the game. I like that one.

I think it was a few months ago i suggested the reason Santiago isn’t a starter is because he wears down quickly…..like…fatigue issues. Ppl replied that that wasn’t true and there was no proof he would wear down. But i just saw in an article by Jason this quote “The belief among club officials has always been that Santiago wears down if he plays every day for long stretches.” So, yeah, i guess we’ll see if the club officials are correct for sure, next season when he starts somewhere else. But i knew I wasn’t incorrect about the teams thoughts on y he doesn’t start.

Well, if Jim game him a day off now and then like he he seems to do with every other starte not named Cabrera and Avila, and Inge (until recently) maybe he’d be rested enough to be an everyday player.

No one said you were incorrect, we said you were buying into management’s opinion on Santiago. That opinion has been challenged here for years, so when anyone says Ramon wears down, it hits a nerve. Leyland and Dombrowski have been saying this for six years now without regard to the fact that Santiago has gotten bigger and stronger during that time, due to his workout programs.
I think 2012 would be a perfect time to put this theory to the test, but it appears it will be tested elsewhere. And that’s a shame. We only went 30-8 after Ramon became the starter.

glad that’s laid out there. I guess i understand people might get to like’n mr. santiago and want to give him the shot at 2B. I’m in that camp too – it’s a shame the “santiago full season” experiment didn’t happen THIS past year and we could be talking about facts about santiago’s full season ability.

But, honestly it seems strange to me that it is more believable management would ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ players based on something unrelated to baseball….then that management might know some intangibles or insider information, and subsequently give some players more opportunities than others.

His last season as a regular is 2003. He ended with 225. He was 225, 205,190 in June, July and August before rebounding to 271 in september.444 AB for 225
In 2010, as a bench player he had 320 AB for 263.
20 errors in 2003 . 10 at 2B. 10 at SS. His fielding % was the same in 2003 and in 2010.
But when traded to Seatle, he did not played too many games.So Seatle tought the same about him?

ah yes – assessing the month-by-month statistics during “full seasons” might be a way to determine whether he has shown to “wear out”.

At the official Detroit Tigers webpage is the information. Year by year. Month by month. You need to type Santiago in search because he is now out of the roster.

They difn’t like Omar Infante either. He’s done alright with other teams. He ooesn’t wear out for them, though.

With Infante, the problem was lack of hustling. Trammell sent him to AAA for that. And yes, he played hard for other teams.

Regarding Betemit, I’m not advocating him as the answer to anything, but we need to keep in mind that he hit well for us, and drove in some big runs, making our lineup longer and deeper. He got injured near the end of the season and pressed when he came back, but we missed his bat during the postseason. You remember we didn’t score many runs. I’m pretty certain he will be elsewhere next year, but we do have to replace him. Inge alone is not the answer at third.
Between Betemit and Santiago, we may be better served keeping one of them, unless there is a solid plan for replacements. There are no good free agents that we would sign, and trades require agreement by two or more parties.

Sorry about all my spelling errors today. Goodness, gracious after I read those posts I just cringed. Sure wish we had something else for spell check beside our own eyes.
Well, Rich, Betemit did hit well for the Tigers in crucial situations. I don’t think many people knew of his injury at the end of the season. He made errors and had some terrible at bats, but maybe that’s because of his injuries.
Almost every team is looking for pitching. How lucky, if you can call it luck, were we to get Mister Fister. Now, that pick-up was a stroke of genius by Mr. Dombrowski. Such a different personality from Verlander, but the results are, so far, very similar. We got a steal with that guy.

I thought these stats were interesting:
Wilson’s defense stats: .947 Fielding %, 2.55 range factor
compared to inge this year: .964, 2.94
and Kelly this year at 3b: .972, 2.04

If you haven’t seen this, it’s worth a click:
It’s a photo gallery from Lynn Henning of possible acquisition considerations for the Tigers. Like me, you’ll probably agree with some and not with others. Grady Sizemore holds some interest for me, and I’ve already mentioned Kelly Shoppach for backup catcher. The relievers included are also intriguing. Nice photos if nothing else.

I mentioned Buerlhe, the left handed , veteran presence, and Ramirez, power and contact with an iron glove , before.
I tought of Nathan ,but even recovering from an injury , he wont like to be the 7th inning pitcher.
Sizemore would be a good addition to play LF and lead-off, but his health will be always a question mark.
Wright? Too costly for a year. He can void his 2014 option if traded. According to the rumours webpage , the Mets wants a CF and two arms for him. It would mean Ajax, Oliver and Turner. No way.
Aaron Hill? I would keep Santiago.
Catcher. Both Barajas and Stoppach are a fit for the Tigers . But Molina would be better.

He can void 2013 option

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