Ortega optioned, Lennerton outrighted

If you were expecting a major move from the Tigers to make room for Robbie Ray, it wasn’t going to happen.

Jose Ortega hadn’t pitched in a game since the Tigers’ last loss. That was a week and a half ago, when he walked four of the nine Minnesota Twins he faced and hit one of the other five. He had been rumored to be headed back to Triple-A Toledo immediately after that outing, until Anibal Sanchez landed on the 15-day DL.

Thus, when it came time for the Tigers to send down a reliever to make room for Ray, Ortega was the choice to create a spot on the 25-man roster.

As for fitting Ray on the 40-man roster, the Tigers used the opportunity to get Jordan Lennerton through waivers while he was off to a miserable start at Triple-A Toledo and outright his contract to the Mud Hens. It comes less than three months after he was experiencing the thrill of his first Major League camp at age 27.

He made an impression in camp, though he was one of the earlier roster moves. He has struggled ever since, batting .165 (15-for-91) with two doubles, a home run and six RBIs. His on-base percentage and OPS are boosted by 23 walks, but he has also struck out 28 times.

Though speculation around town centered on Phil Coke, that wasn’t happening. Beyond weighing Coke’s potential against Ortega, such a move would have required the Tigers to weigh the downside of having only one left-handed reliever amidst a stretch in which the Tigers face key left-handed hitters on the Twins this weekend (Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel), the Orioles next week (Nick Markakis, though probably not Chris Davis) and the Red Sox next weekend (David Ortiz, Mike Carp, A.J. Pierzynski). That’s not to say Coke would be the primary option, but it means there’s a value to two left-handers, even when one is struggling. If Coke were to be dropped, it would appear more likely to involve bringing another lefty reliever up, not make room for a right-hander or a starter.

22 Comments

The problem with your last paragraph Jason is Coke can’t get LH batters out any better than ANY pitcher in the Tigers system. Maybe if Ray pitches well in his starts they’ll put him in the pen and dump Coke, but I doubt that.

If they had more depth in starting pitching in Toledo and could get Ray enough work to learn and develop, I could see it. For now, with the Mud Hens rotation a mess, Ray is their only insurance starter.

In other words two more weeks of Coke giving up hit after hit to LH batters because he is a a LH pitcher, and umm, ahh, hmm,…. give me a minute, there must be another good reason for keeping him on the staff.

If not for his legal problems, Reed would be the answer. He is as good as Coke against LHB.
Last year, when many wanted Smyly sent to the minors, the saying was only one LH is needed for the bullpen. Now, two.
Anyway, there is no reason to carry a real LOOGY. It is just a waste of a roster spot

Looks like we are stuck with Coke for awhile longer . Thats baeball folks.

If they had two effective lefty relievers in the ALCS, they might have gotten to the World Series.

I mean, a LH to pitch only against LH like Coke. Smyly has no problems getting out RH

Can you imagine how badly Mauer, Kubel, Markakis, Ortiz, Carp and Pierzynski want us to give Coke one last chance?

Ausmus does consistently say that “we need him” (re Phil Coke). Don’t get hooked into “Hope & Dream” Brad.

If I was the manager, I’d say the same thing. As I would about any employee in any field.

yes, if Coke is one of the 25 guys on the roster, you ‘need’ him to perform. want some positive contributions from 1 thru 25 on the team. for now, perhaps Coke’s positive contribution is soaking up innings in a blowout, while he tries to figure things out. i suspect Ausmus is savvy enough not to use him in an important point in the game. officially, you don’t ‘need’ him anymore when he is out of the organization. it is simply a matter of semantics.

Come on now, if they dropped Coke a bazillion Tigers fans would have to find someone new to complain about.
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I agree with ElTigre that carrying a real LOOGY is a waste of a roster spot. There are spots for 25 ballplayers, not 24.5.

Kilgore reporting that Fister talks regarding in long-term extension with Nats were unsuccessful this offseason.

Everything I could say about Coke has been said. How are all those LH relief pitchers in Toledo or elsewhere that the Tigers loaded up on doing? Is there anyone who could replace Coke?
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Lennerton is 27 years old? Doesn’t look like there will be a spot for him on the Tigers any time soon. Plays 1B, right? Heaven forbid that Miggy goes down but they do have Victor and Kelly.
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Ray couldn’t ask for a better team to face than the Astros. It just doesn’t seem like Tiger rookie pitchers do well at first. Let’s hope that will change tonight.

Fister wants to return to the Tigers when Max takes that $20 million a year from another team.

You’re guessing on that, right? I like the scenario.

Absolutley wrong. The Tigers approached Fister about an extension and he said he wanted to go back to the West Coast when he becomes a free agent. Hence the trade.

$20 million/year? Do you think he is going to regress? Because he keeps pitching the way he did last night, he might get 30.

As to players to complain about: Kelly will not “LOSE” you a game. He is very serviceable, albeit pretty unexciting. But, Coke, on the other hand will LOSE you a game and perhaps several.
Complaining about him is entirely justified.

Not saying it’s not worth complaining about. Just saying that if something happens, it’s most likely going to be to bring up a lefty that will do the job better, not just for the roster space. Could be wrong, but I don’t see them going with one lefty.

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Wasn’t directed at you JB!
I think it is a very good move on Brad’s part to have Avila catch the rookie’s 1st game.

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