How September call-ups fit into Tigers roster

The reinforcements are coming. But can they help the Tigers through the final four weeks of this division race?

The optimistic answer is yes. As the 19-inning loss in Toronto showed, every little bit can make a big difference in a close game, and the Tigers are likely to have a slew of them down the stretch. The realistic answer is that there’s a limit.

Steven Moya can’t make up for a hobbled Miguel Cabrera, and it’s not fair to think that he could. After all, he hasn’t played above Double-A ball, and he had a 161-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio there.

Moya can, however, give an opposing manager something to think about when he looks down the Tigers lineup in the late innings and debates whether to throw in a right-handed specialist to face, say, Rajai Davis.

“He brings power,” Brad Ausmus said. “He brings that threat off the bench to hit the ball 450 feet, and he can hit it to all fields. Opposing teams, opposing managers have to be aware of that. Even if he doesn’t actually get into a game, you have to know that he’s there.”

That’s kind of the theme on the positional players who are being called up, including catcher James McCann. If the Tigers saw them as potential starters down the stretch in a playoff race, they would’ve been called up by now.

McCann, in particular, is interesting, given his ability to hit left-handed pitching (.342 average at Triple-A Toledo). He has been praised for his work handling a pitching staff, and Kyle Ryan noted he kept a book on opposing hitters in Toledo to guide him on calling a game.

Starting out, at least, he appears to be the third catcher the Tigers traditionally call up for September. That said, Ausmus liked what he heard about him from Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish.

“LP really likes him,” Ausmus said, “says we won’t be disappointed in any way with how he works with pitchers. He takes a lot of pride in the defensive side of the game. He’s very solid behind the plate.”

Hernan Perez, who was up for the stretch run last year, appears to be in line for a similar utility infield role this time around, though it’ll be interesting to see if the Tigers give the right-handed hitter a spot start at short at some point (he hit .290 off righties this year with the Hens).

“Hernan Perez is a very versatile player,” Ausmus said. “He had a good year in Toledo. He can play anywhere in the infield.”

Ausmus remembers what he saw from Tyler Collins in limited playing time last year. He seemed to be the trickiest of the decisions, and it might well have hinged on Andy Dirks’ status trying to rehab from back surgery.

“If Dirks was here, I don’t know for sure, but there’s a possibility that one of the left-handed outfielders would not have been called up,” Ausmus said. “I don’t know that for sure.”

On the potential role, Ausmus said, “He doesn’t have quite the raw power that Moya has, but he has power. He can run a little bit, so he gives you that option of power and a little speed.”

Ausmus also noted that Collins could be useful as a defensive replacement in the corner spots.

As for the pitchers, it’s pretty straightforward, at least for now. Though the Tigers called up three pitchers who have started for them, they have one spot to fill. For now, that goes to Kyle Lobstein, coming off his six quality innings against the Yankees last Thursday.

Lobstein will start Tuesday in Cleveland. His spot comes up again next Sunday night against the Giants on ESPN. Whether Lobstein fills the spot likely depends on how he fares Tuesday.

“Lobstein’s the fifth guy right now,” said Ausmus. “We’ll see how Lobber, how Kyle throws and we’ll go from there.”

Ray and Ryan become relievers for now. That could free up Blaine Hardy to be used in a more versatile role, beyond long relief.

34 Comments

September 22. Then KC and Cleveland will end the game

To add on, Verlander will have to deal with hecklers and talks shows due to the leaked photos scandal.

???? What happened

Google it. It’s all over the internet. Someone hacked people’s clouds on their phones and leakd pictures. It’s on TMZ.

Ya I just saw them ….. Everyone likes to talk about how safe computers are …..I always say it’s secure till it’s not.!!

I don’t know how anyone could be so naive as to take pictures like that on their phone. Any phone can be hacked.

I wish he would have stayed with Emily. The best years of her life wasted on that fool.

The cloud server was hacked not the individual phones. Certain company has a lot to explain

Ain’t that the truth Kathy. The day he dropped his high school sweetheart for celebrity fame was the day I lost a lot of respect for him.

Wait, you guys have details on why JV and Emily broke up?

After all those years, I hope she got paid.

The most important issue of the day is how is David Price going to squash the hopes of the Cleveland Indians.

The next year talk below does not mean I have given up. (And I hope they haven’t either!)

Guys we should put behind us and wish them well after this year:
Andy Dirks
Don Kelly
Danny Worth
Guys we should not expect anything from:
Melvin Mercedes
Rob Ray
Daniel Fields
Guys we should be excited about:
Stephen Moya
Devon Travis
Dixon Machado
James McCann

I hope Dobrowski is able to put the disappointment of not getting the commish’s job behind him and concentrate on an effective bullpen. One in which the closer is not over 30 years old but yet proven.
I also think this is the year where you at least entertain trade proposals for formerly untouchable players. There is potential for instant team-making changes on this roster.

Funny how you want to give up on a 22 year old starter (Ray). He was rushed this year. He had two qualty starts and got hit hard the other 2. He needs to work on his off speed pitch. He has a bright future, and he is the same age as J. Crawford, our #1 pick in 2013 who is still in low A. Perspective people.
And why give up on Dirks? That makes no sense.
Worth is gone. Kelly is always on the edge, no suprises there.
Mercedes needs a chance. He is still young. He is not a strike out pitcher, so that makes him less glamorous.
Fields is still young, and our CF prospects are bleak (that is why Travis was moved there recently.) Fields was hurt this year.
Another name to add to the guys to get excited about: Kevin Ziomek. LHP, had an outstanding year. Pitched for Vandy (so has big game experience). Kubitza is also one to watch.

Soria is 30 YO and proven.
Right about most of them.

“He was given a tough task right out of the chute,”… “There was an expectation for us to win. We have a lot of veterans who were, in some cases, under-performing. We had some young guys we were giving opportunities who we expected more from.”

Amaro about Sandberg quoted by Rob Neyer

I still have Felix, Sale, Kluber

I seriously can’t believe they would have Scherzer above all three guys you’ve mentioned.

Most voter are traditionalists that still value the Wins and the W.L% and he is at the top of both

i’m wondering why price isn’t on that list. mlb-dot-com lists him as the strike out leader of the entire mlb. (and looks as if espn lists the formula used to calculate the list & it appears that Ks are a significant variable.)
it’ll be interesting to watch. thanks eltigre for keeping us up to date.

Thanks.
Same factor , opposite direction , W-L%.
BTW: one vote was the difference between him and Verlander in 2012. Morosi voted for Price because he regularly pithed against stronger lineups

Wagner:
I am told #Tigers took @MudHens C James McCann off roster today, not waiting until Tuesday. And the replacements? (1 of 2)

Lineup: Kinsler, Hunter, Cabrera (DH), Martinez, Martinez, Castellanos, Avila, Suarez, Carrera.

I’m happy we have David Price but in my mind he is the 3rd behind Kershaw and Sale.
NB KC has Greg Holland!!

We’re starting two lefties against Cleveland, something that rarely if ever has happened in recent years. That might help.
With last night’s game outcome hanging in the wind until the 22nd, we’re kind of like one quarter game out of first place.
Looking at today’s lineup, it just seems to flow better with Miggy in the 3-hole, even if he’s hobbled. The other guys assume their usual positions.
Not sure I’d play Suarez much at all. Two rookies on that side has been as bad as some of us had feared.

Playing Miggy will be the undoing of September.
Castellanos has certainly had some pretty iffy moments this year. I am actually surprised he has not consistently progressed with Omar as an instructor.
He has potential at the hot corner going forward.
Suarez is absolutely not the answer at short.
Not that I would think it right or just but wasn’t the ruling on rain-outs that the game between the Tribe and Royals technically a rain out and a victory for the Tribe?
Did that rule change? If so, when?
I mean I have always known the ruling after 5 (or 4 1/2) on a rainout but I don’t remember games being suspended due to rain other than post-season.

4.12 SUSPENDED GAMES.
(a) A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if
the game is terminated for any of the following reasons:
(5) Weather, if a regulation game is called while an inning is in progress and
before the inning is completed, and the visiting team has scored one or more
runs to take the lead, and the home team has not retaken the lead; or

The rule has been the same since around 1980 at the instance of Steimbrenner who saw the Yankees losing because Weaver maneuvered to prevent his O´s from batting.
Anyway, under the old rule was a suspended game anyway, because it was the 10th inning

If this isn’t one of Detroit’s craziest years, I don’t know which was….. The two teams who pulled off the biggest trades this year, expecting to play for the AL championship, who both screwed up their offenses and lineups, are now the two wild-card teams. So, if neither team wins their division but end up as wild cards, can you imagine a 1-game playoff with Lester vs Price!!! And how about 1st impressions with the call-ups tonite?

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