August 31st, 2012

Tigers call up Garcia, DFA Baker

Tigers five-tool prospect Avisail Garcia is getting the call to the big leagues — not a September call-up, an August 31 call-up.

After word out of Erie earlier today that Garcia was getting called up, the Tigers announced this afternoon that they were calling him up in time for tonight’s game against the White Sox. He’ll take the spot of Jeff Baker, who has been designated for assignment.

Garcia leaves Double-A Erie with a .312 batting average in 55 games, having homered six times with 22 RBIs and an .810 OPS. After Nick Castellanos, he might be the best offensive prospect the Tigers have, and is probably the best all-around position prospect in the upper levels of the organization.

“I thought he was one of the best all-around tools players we have [in the system],” manager Jim Leyland.

Garcia was en route to Detroit as of mid-afternoon and is expected to arrive in time for the game. Leyland said he’ll play tomorrow night against White Sox lefty Francisco Liriano. He’ll be an option as a defensive replacement in games against right-handers, and Leyland didn’t rule out giving him a stretch of games if he heats up at the plate.

As for Baker, who went 7-for-35 with 10 strikeouts in 15 games for the Tigers after his trade from the Cubs, Leyland said, “It’s certainly unfair to judge a guy in the short time we’ve seen him. It just wasn’t working.”