Tigers promote Dean Green to Triple-A Toledo
Dean Green ended his first half of the season with Double-A Erie on the road at Harrisburg. Then he drove to Baltimore for a flight to the Eastern League All-Star Game in Portland, Maine on Wednesday. He knew before he hit the road that his next stop would be at Triple-A Toledo.
So on Thursday, he flew from Portland to Detroit, then flew back to Erie to pick up his stuff and head to Toledo. Then he started for the Mud Hens as the designated hitter Thursday night.
“It’s been a hectic last couple days,” Green said, “but it’s been fun. It’s been little rest, to say the least, but it was all worth it.”
It puts Green one step away from the big leagues. If he can hit, it could give the Tigers another option if they need it to fill in for injured Miguel Cabrera. But that seems to be a ways off.
Green ended his SeaWolves season batting .316 (79-for-250) with nine doubles, 10 home runs, 42 RBIs and an .872 OPS. He had nearly as many walks (30) as strikeouts (33).
“I did want to work on seeing the ball a little bit longer into the count and getting a few more walks too,” Green said. “I feel like it helped me out a lot this year, just because I was more disciplined at the plate and I was able to see pitches a lot better, just recognize them a lot more.”
He’ll get a test against more veteran pitchers in the International League. All the travel might have caught up with Green on Thursday, when he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout, a popup and two groundouts, although his game-ending groundout was hit relatively hard to first base.
Green started at DH Thursday, but the plan calls for him to get some work at first base, continuing an effort to get him at least serviceable at the position.
“He’ll play some at first,” Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said. “We’ll see.”
He will not be a slick fielder by any means, but the goal is to get him to make the expected plays.
“I’ve been getting my work in every day out there,” Green said. “Our infield rover, Scott Fletcher, made sure that I was getting my work in out there every day. I’ve been going out there trying to work as hard as I can on taking grounders, working on my footwork, stuff like that. So I feel like I’m adequate over there right now. I can still improve but I’m good to go. …
“I can hold my own over there, but I’m not going to toot my own horn about it.”
That does not necessarily put him on a fast track yet, as evidenced by the Tigers’ call-up of utility infielder Dixon Machado to fill in for Marc Krauss while he’s on paternity leave the next few days. Still, it’s a step closer.
“I hope Miggy gets better soon,” Green said. “You hate seeing a great player like that go down. But as far as that goes for me, that’s out of my hands. I just have to go out there and take care of my business. Whatever the organization decides to do, they decide to do. But I can’t worry about that. I have to go out and take care of my business and the rest will take care of itself.”