April 11th, 2012
All along, the roster question surrounding Drew Smyly’s eventual call-up for his big-league debut seemed to be whether Clete Thomas or Andy Dirks would go to make room. It was Thomas, whom the Tigers announced will have his contract designated for assignment on Thursday morning.
Thomas has been a part of the organization ever since the Tigers drafted him in 2005. He played in 102 games for Detroit in 2009, which is more than Marcus Thames or Ramon Santiago played that year. But once he lost his 2010 season to microfracture knee surgery, and Brennan Boesch and Andy Dirks emerged over the last two years, Thomas was in a tough spot.
It’s possible a team will claim him on waivers and add him to their 40-man roster to provide a left-handed bat in the outfield. If this move had happened near the end of Spring Training, it would have seemed very possible. It seems like a tougher fit now that teams have set their rosters.
If he goes unclaimed, he’ll be outrighted to Toledo, and the Tigers will still have his bat available if they want or need to make changes or injury fill-ins later on.
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Brennan Boesch, RF
- Miguel Cabrera, 3B (8-for-19 off Shields)
- Prince Fielder, 1B
- Jhonny Peralta, SS (just four starts last year in 5th spot, 8-for-16 off Shields)
- Alex Avila, C (3-for-8 off Shields)
- Andy Dirks, DH
- Ramon Santiago, 2B (5-for-12 off Shields)
- Don Kelly, LF
P: Justin Verlander
- Desmond Jennings, CF
- Carlos Pena, 1B (5-for-16 off Verlander)
- Evan Longoria, 3B
- Matt Joyce, LF (6-for-11 off Verlander)
- Ben Zobrist, RF (2-for-23 off Verlander)
- Stephen Vogt, DH
- Jose Lobaton, C
- Sean Rodriguez, 2B
- Reid Brignac, SS
P: James Shields
After further examination from Dr. Richard Steadman, Victor Martinez will not need reconstructive surgery on his left knee. He did undergo a smaller surgery to help further the healing.
What this means about his chances of playing this season: There’s at least a chance now. He’ll get examined in July to determine it.
“If everything looks favorable from the healing standpoint, that would allow him to begin functional activity to try to get back,” head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Wednesday morning.
If he did come back, it would be at the end of the season, no sooner than late August.