March 25th, 2013

Tigers keep Lobstein in system, trade Casali to Rays

The other Tigers Rule 5 situation is now closed. They’ll be keeping left-hander Kyle Lobstein, having acquired his full rights from the Rays in exchange for catcher Curt Casali.

The Tigers swung the trade on Monday, then promptly outrighted Lobstein to Double-A Erie.

The Tigers picked up Lobstein in December’s Rule 5 Draft out of the Rays system, where he was an extra starter in a pitching-deep system. It became clear early on this spring, though, that he wasn’t going to earn a spot in Detroit’s bullpen, which was all that was up for grabs. Considering the Rays didn’t need him, a trade seemed inevitable.

Lobstein gave up 12 runs, 10 earned, on 18 hits in 12 innings with six walks and 10 strikeouts. He’ll pitch at the Double-A level for the second straight season, having gone 8-7 with a 4.06 ERA at Montgomery last year.

The Tigers liked Casali, having brought him into camp the last couple years. Realistically, though, he was down the depth chart in the Tigers system, despite the lingering offensive questions about the prospects above him (Bryan Holaday and James McCann). Casali batted .270 with nine home runs and 43 RBIs in 94 games between Class A West Michigan and Lakeland as a 23-year-old, but he also threw out just under a third of all would-be basestealers. It’s a nice addition for the Rays system for a pitcher they didn’t really need back to stock their system.

Monday: Tigers at Marlins

The Marlins have lefty Wade LeBlanc starting today, so Matt Tuiasosopo gets the start in left. Kevin Russo gets the start in right, with Torii Hunter at DH with Victor Martinez off. Russo has quietly been enjoying a solid spring (though not likely one that will land him on the club out of camp, especially with a 1-for-14 walk-to-strikeout rate).

Former Tigers prospect Rob Brantly gets the start behind the plate. He has been having a solid spring in Marlins camp and is in position to serve as Miami’s regular catcher. Good to see. He’ll be hitting fifth today, right behind ex-Tiger Placido Polanco.

Reminder: Today’s game is on Fox Sports Detroit live starting at 1pm ET, and on delay on MLB Network beginning at 5pm ET.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Torii Hunter, DH
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Matt Tuiasosopo, LF
  5. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  6. Omar Infante, 2B
  7. Alex Avila, C
  8. Brayan Pena, 1B
  9. Kevin Russo, RF

P: Rick Porcello

MARLINS

  1. Wilson Valdez, 2B
  2. Chris Coghlan, LF
  3. Mike Stanton, RF
  4. Placido Polanco, 3B
  5. Rob Brantly, C
  6. Justin Ruggiano, CF
  7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
  8. Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
  9. Wade LeBlanc, P
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