Tigers calling up Moya from Toledo

The Tigers, victims of Max Scherzer’s 20-strikeout performance Wednesday night, are about to get offensive reinforcements from the minors. Slugging outfield prospect Steven Moya is joining the team from Triple-A Toledo.

The Mud Hens announced the move on their twitter account prior to their game Thursday morning, with lefty reliever Blaine Hardy optioned to Toledo to make room. The Tigers have not made an announcement on their end. John Wagner of the Toledo Blade first reported the move.

The move restores the Tigers’ outfield and positional depth to normal after Detroit carried an extra reliever Wednesday night. But the 24-year-old Moya, Detroit’s 10th-ranked prospect by MLBPipeline.com, isn’t likely heading up to sit the bench.

The 6-foot-7 Moya, the Tigers’ best power-hitting prospect the last few years, has torn up Triple-A pitching this season, batting .310 (39-for-126) through Wednesday with 11 doubles, nine home runs, 24 RBIs and a .968 OPS. It’s a carryover from what he showed in Spring Training, when he hit for power to all fields and cut down on what had been a crippling strikeout rate.

Moya had been Toledo’s everyday right fielder until the last couple days, when Mud Hens manager Lloyd McClendon moved him to left to try to improve his versatility. That was around the same time that Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said they were considering giving struggling left fielder Justin Upton a day off.

Moya’s promotion gives the Tigers a chance to sit Upton for a game or two to clear his head if they want. Though Upton ended an 0-for-19 slump with a double off the center-field wall against Scherzer in Washington Wednesday night, he’s batting .221 (29-for-131) while leading the Majors with 53 strikeouts in 33 games.

The Tigers open a four-game series in Baltimore Thursday night. Ubaldo Jimenez, the Orioles’ scheduled starter for the series opener, is giving up a .355 average (22-for-62) to left-handed hitters this season.

19 Comments

It’s imperative that Moya get regular ABs. With neither Upton or JD having ever played CF, I’d like to see how this works.

It’s simple. Upton sits until Moya fails. If Moya produces, than the Tigers can market him for a badly needed dependable Starter.

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Play Upton in Center, the Met’s made a similar move when Cespedes was moved from left to center. At this point its worth a try, and Gose can move to Center in the 8th of 9th for defensive purposes and then Upton slides back to left. At this point they really need some more left handed balance in that lineup.

Gose will not be replaced at this point. The question is who becomes available to trade or send down. The issue is complicated in a good way by Maybin being on the verge of coming back up. Who THEN goes one way or another, be it demotion, trade or release? Aviles, Gose Pelfrey, Romine or one of the BP?

Moya can do a decent job in RF and probably in LF JD has proven very decent in both spots. Neither of them can handle CF and Upton can’t seem to handle any OF spot well. And he hasn’t done anything with his bat so far this year. Upton just broke up a 0 for18 streak with a double, but is hitting only .083 with 13 SOs over his last 24 ABs..

Cespedes had played CF before. Can’t say that for Upton. I can just hear the howls when he misplays one.
It’s not at all simple. Upton is just going to sit on the bench with that BA and contract and then bring us a dependable starter?

Well, I’ll spell it out since you asked. First,rread my earlier comment about his stats and look at his overall contributions as we approach the first quarter mark of the season.The guy still has value, despite that. But he hasn’t performed to date and the Tigers obviously have to do something . It’s a matter of assets and needs. So Upton sits and if Moya gets on fire, Upton is trade bait Other MLB teams recognize his streakiness and I’m sure more than one will be willing to take a flyer on him. And I never said an ACE could be acquired at this point, I said “dependable.” If Upton had been hot he could bring back a lot more given his age and track record. But, he’s not and the Tigers are near the point where they no longer have the luxury of patience with Upton.. So…the Tigers just have to sell low for a “dependable” Starter before the window of opportunity on this season closes. The Tigers have to deal from a low leverage position. What is the alternative, dealing a productive player?

Mine was a rhetorical question. As I said above, I’d like to see how this works.

Here’s hoping Steven makes life difficult for Ausmus and Upton.

And that could very well happen . Upton could be another guy just passing thru.

My son is 38 and a gym rat. He lifts weights about 4 times a week. Last year, he had to stop going for several months and I teased him about his waistline. Within several months he was back to his svelte self. No big gut. Some of the players need to get back in the gym or push themselves away from the table. IMO.

Moya can play RF. JD is doing nothing right now.
Upton has an opt out after 2017. You need him to perform or he will be a Tigers problem for 4 more years

Of course, the best option is Upton to CF and Kose to the bench

Today 97.1 radio is beating up on Ausmus & Scherzer.

Why would you beat up on Scherzer, the guy did nothing but win in Detroit and become one the most dominant pitchers. The Tigers didn’t want to pay his rate, and he went for big money elsewhere, great for him. I wish we had team full of Scherzer’s right now.

As expected Upton 8, Moya 7

Yeah, smaller outfield in Baltimore. Okay, that works for now……..I hope.

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