Tigers call up Joe Mantiply
The Tigers added to their bullpen depth on Saturday by purchasing the contract of Joe Mantiply from Double-A Erie, bringing up the lefty reliever for his first Major League stint.
Mantiply is expected to be available to pitch for Saturday night’s game against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. He becomes the second reliever the Tigers have added since rosters expanded on Thursday. Detroit designated Donn Roach for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
The fact that Mantiply made the jump from Double-A makes the move a bit of a surprise. Though the 25-year-old spent most of July at Triple-A Toledo, he gave up four runs on 11 hits over 8 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out seven. He had much more success at Erie, posting a 2.47 ERA while allowing 40 hits over 51 innings with 11 walks and 62 strikeouts.
Mantiply was a Cinderella story of sorts in the Tigers system a couple years ago, vaulting from a 27th round Draft pick in 2013 to big-league camp two years later. He isn’t a power pitcher, but his sidearm delivery gives him deceptiveness — particularly against left-handed hitters, who batted .147 (15-for-102) with 41 strikeouts against him this season and .228 (18-for-87) last year.
Mantiply’s arrival gives manager Brad Ausmus another option against left-handed hitters as he tries sort through his lefty relief corps. Justin Wilson has given up a .301 (25-for-83) average to left-handed hitters, and has given up an .897 OPS on 24 hits over 17 2/3 innings to all hitters since the All-Star break. He gave up singles to all three batters he faced Friday night, creating a threat the Tigers had to call on Shane Greene to extinguish.
Kyle Ryan has emerged as a viable lefty matchup reliever, allowing a .247 (20-for-81) average to lefty hitters, and has been dominant over the past month. Blaine Hardy rejoined the Tigers at the end of August for depth but has yet to pitch in a game since his return.
Meanwhile, the Tigers have many more matchups with prominent left-handed hitters looming in September, from Royals All-Star Eric Hosmer to Baltimore’s Chris Davis and Pedro Alvarez, to even new White Sox DH and familiar foe Justin Morneau.