Results tagged ‘ Jeff Larish ’

Peralta here, Frazier up, Larish and Sizemore down

By now you already know Jhonny Peralta was in uniform soon after first pitch at Tropicana Field, and Scott Sizemore was optioned to Triple-A Toledo to make room. After the game came word that the Tigers swapped bench bats, designating Jeff Larish for assignment and purchasing the contract of Jeff Frazier from the Mud Hens.

Frazier is batting .273 in Toledo with 32 doubles, 23 home runs and 68 RBIs in 104 games. Eight of those home runs have come in July, including a two-homer game Wednesday against Pawtucket. It’s a good story for Frazier, a former Tigers draft pick who left and came back via trade a few years ago and was hoping his numbers to get him a call-up this season, as John Wagner chronicled in The Blade this morning.

The big plus for Frazier that helped get him the call is the fact that he’s a right-handed power bat. With Damon and Boesch and Kelly, the Tigers had enough left-handed bats available in the outfield, but kind of a shortage from the right side now that Raburn is pretty much playing close to every day. Detroit will face left-hander Jon Lester Friday night and then is on track to fellow lefties John Danks and Mark Buehrle next week.

Larish was out of minor league options actually has an option left, so they had didn’t have to designate him. If he passes through waivers, the Tigers will be able to outright him to Toledo.

Ordonez, Guillen heading to DL

UPDATE: Another source confirms Blade report: Larish and Rhymes are heading to Detroit.

Late news from Detroit and Toledo is that Carlos Guillen will join Magglio Ordonez on the 15-day disabled list Sunday morning. With Guillen’s right calf strain and the Tigers already short-handed, they couldn’t wait it out. Ordonez is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a broken right ankle.

According to the Toledo Blade, the Tigers will purchase the contracts of slugging corner infielder Jeff Larish and second baseman Will Rhymes from the Mud Hens on Sunday. Both were supposedly informed of the moves after the game. Neither is on the 40-man roster, so the Tigers will have to make some moves.

The 27-year-old Larish, a Tiger for parts of the last two seasons before being taken off the 40-man roster over the offseason, is batting .275 with 15 home runs and 55 RBIs for the Hens. He can play third base, has been there much of the season for the Hens, and probably will get some time there in Detroit now with Sizemore still being treated cautiously with his hip injury.

Plus, plain and simple, Larish is a left-handed power hitter. If he’s right, he has a chance to be a run producer, and the Tigers desperately need some of that with Ordonez out.

Rhymes, also 27, has never been in the Majors, but he has hit his way to the cusp of the big leagues this season. His .304 batting average ranks fifth in the International League to go with a league-high six triples, 19 doubles, 34 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He has a chance to play a bigger role than one might expect in Detroit.

Inge to DL, Fien recalled

The Tigers need an extra arm in the bullpen at the moment more than they need a third baseman to replace injured Brandon Inge. So Detroit placed Inge on the 15-day disabled list and recalled right-hander Casey Fien from Triple-A Toledo Tuesday afternoon to provide an extra arm while it ponders what to do at third base.
Inge is expected to be out 4-6 weeks after fracturing a bone in his left hand Monday night against the Rangers.
After Monday’s 14-inning loss to Texas, a fourth-inning exit from Andy Oliver Sunday afternoon and a day-night doubleheader that included another extra-inning game Saturday, Detroit’s bullpen has pitched 20.2 innings over five games in four days since the All-Star break. Five relievers pitched Monday night, including closer Jose Valverde for the second consecutive day.
That left the Tigers looking for an extra arm to handle work Tuesday night if Armando Galarraga can’t work deep into the game. Enter Fien, who was up with the Tigers for two days a few weeks ago before Ryan Perry returned. Fien pitched two scoreless innings June 30 at Minnesota.
Fien’s arrival means third base will fall to the Detroit’s utilitymen for at least Tuesday. With the Rangers starting right-hander Tommy Hunter Tuesday night, Don Kelly appears likely to get the start at third base for the second time in three days. Kelly gave Inge a day off Sunday at Cleveland and replaced him at third base in the fifth inning Monday. 
Once the Tigers get their bullpen back in order, they have a few options to replace Inge positionally. Jeff Larish has been the primary third baseman at Triple-A Toledo, and is batting .298 with 12 doubles, 10 home runs and 36 RBIs since June 1, but the Tigers didn’t consider Larish an everyday third baseman during his stints in Detroit. He was playing there to enhance his versatility.
Scott Sizemore, the Tigers’ Opening Day second baseman, has hit well since coming back from injuries and could feasibly return to the big leagues if the Tigers move Carlos Guillen to third. However, Sizemore just recently came off the DL with a hip injury, and Guillen hasn’t played third base since spending half the ’08 season there.
Guillen likely won’t have a problem moving again. How he does there remains to be seen. His middle infield instincts have allowed him to handle second base a little better than expected.
Detroit’s best defensive option could be to go with Kelly, an infielder by trade coming up through the Tigers farm system before adding outfield to his resume in recent years in the Pirates and Diamondbacks organizations. He’s batting .219 (25-for-114) with Detroit this year with three doubles, a home run and eight RBIs. Fellow Tigers utilityman Ryan Raburn also has experience at third base.

Tigers down to 27, Avila makes team

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Tigers’ catcher of the future will be their backup catcher of the present. Alex Avila will open the season in the big leagues, the Tigers decided Tuesday morning.

The move became official Tuesday morning once the team assigned veteran backup catcher Robinzon Diaz to minor league camp. Avila received the call from his father, Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila, Monday night over dinner.

The Tigers also optioned shortstop Brent Dlugach to Triple-A Toledo. Infielder/outfielder Jeff Larish and relievers Josh Rainwater and Robbie Weinhardt were assigned to minor league camp. The moves reduce the Tigers’ roster to 27 players; they have until Sunday to finalize their 25-man roster, but are expected to do that within the next day or two.

The moves with Dlugach and Larish leave the battle for the final positional roster spot down to utilityman Don Kelly and outfielder Clete Thomas. That decision could come in the next 24 hours. The one decision left after that is the pitching staff, where Dontrelle Willis, Jeremy Bonderman and Nate Robertson are battling for the final two spots in the rotation.

For the backup catching spot, the choice was essentially a decision on Avila, who has had only one full season as a pro after converting to catcher a few years ago at the University of Alabama. Avila started at DH Monday against the Blue Jays and went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk in what should be his final action before he finds out where he’ll open the season. The Tigers know he can hit in the big leagues, and his .394 average this spring hasn’t disappointed.

The Tigers had to make their best judgment whether he was better off catching a couple days per week in Detroit behind starter Gerald Laird or catching every day at Toledo.
Diaz was essentially the backup option if the Tigers chose the latter.

Avila spent the final two months last season with the Tigers and provided an offensive boost with his left-handed power bat. However, he caught only sparingly in September behind Laird, whose defense and game-calling skills made him a regular option despite his offensive struggles last year.

Laird has shown strong signs of being a better hitter this spring, but the Tigers still value Avila for his bat. He’ll also likely work on his catching on the side in Detroit.

Two of the three rotation candidates start Tuesday. While Jeremy Bonderman starts in a Triple-A game at Tigertown, Dontrelle Willis will be with the big club facing the Orioles Tuesday afternoon in Sarasota, Fla. It’ll be his first road start this spring, and it’ll be a good test if the Tigers needed it in their decisions.

Nate Robertson is scheduled to make his final spring tuneup Thursday against the Braves at Joker Marchant Stadium. By then, the decision will most likely have been made. What happens with the guy who doesn’t make the rotation, whoever that is, is another matter.

About that last roster spot …

The Tigers roster isn’t set yet, but manager Jim Leyland has a very good idea how it would play out if it was solely his choice.

“If I was to write down the team today, I could write it down,” Leyland said Sunday. “That doesn’t mean it would be the team. I don’t have the final say.”

He isn’t telling what it is, but he’s giving an idea that versatility is
important. Jeff Larish, he said, would have a better chance if he could play center field.

What went unsaid, of course, is that Don Kelly and Clete Thomas can. They’ve been the other candidates under consideration for the final bench spot. Thomas can play all three outfield positions, while Kelly plays all three outfield spots, third, second and first base. How Leyland feels about Brandon Inge and Scott Sizemore, and how often he’ll want to rest them early in the season, could have an impact. But then, something similar could be said of Austin Jackson and Magglio Ordonez for different reasons.

Damon not in lineup for Tigers vs. Yankees

It’s a day for reunions here in Lakeland with Curtis Granderson and Johnny Damon against their old clubs. For that matter, it’s also Austin Jackson against his old club. But Damon is not in the starting lineup. He has turf toe in his left big toe, which he said he got from working out at home, but supposedly it’s nothing serious. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Damon received treatment and was much improved, but they wanted to sit him as a precaution. They didn’t want him trying to compensate for the injury and then tweaking something else.

“If it was regular season, I’d be in there,” Damon said. “But it’s not, so …”

Damon is listed on the travel roster going to Clearwater for Thursday’s game against the Phillies, so we’ll see if it’s a lingering concern.

Magglio Ordonez is also out of the lineup. He had a muscle tweak behind his left knee that he suffered in the outfield yesterday against the Nationals. Like Damon, Magglio said he’d be playing if it was regular season.

You’ll also note that Scott Sizemore is back in the lineup after being scratched yesterday in Viera with a sore ankle. Also notable is Jeff Larish’s start at third base.


  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Raburn, RF
  3. Strieby, 1B
  4. Cabrera, DH
  5. Guillen, LF
  6. Laird, C
  7. Larish, 3B
  8. Sizemore, 2B
  9. Everett, SS

Tigers outright Larish to Toledo

The mystery of how the Tigers would create roster space for Jose Valverde has been solved. They outrighted the contract of corner infielder Jeff Larish to Triple-A Toledo.

It’s a surprising move when you consider how valued he was last winter, to the point that the Tigers wouldn’t deal him to Seattle in any trade talks for J.J. Putz. He was set up to be a valuable left-handed bat and role player last year, and he made the Opening Day roster, but he batted .216 in 32 games before going to Toledo in early June. He hit .265 with a .397 on-base percentage, six home runs and 26 RBIs in 61 games there, but struggled down the stretch before undergoing surgery on his right wrist.

Larish will still be in Major League camp as a non-roster invitee, so he’ll still have a chance to crack the roster.

The Tigers now have more pitchers (21) on their 40-man roster than position players.

Leyland, Sizemore slated for Mud Hens Fandemonium

The Tigers haven’t announced the final list of players for their upcoming winter caravan and TigerFest, but one lead-up event already has its slate set. The Mud Hens will hold their annual Fandemonium event, this time in conjunction with hockey’s Toledo Walleye, on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at the new Lucas County Arena in downtown Toledo.

Once again, Tigers manager and Perrysburg, Ohio native Jim Leyland is on the roster of guests. His third-base coach, Gene Lamont, is also on the list. All of the listed players were key contributors at some point in Toledo during the season and have a chance to make the big club in Detroit: second baseman Scott Sizemore, Eddie Bonine, Jeff Larish and Don Kelly. Mud Hens pitching coach A.J. Sager is also scheduled to take part.

This year’s event is again a buffet dinner format that will include a baseball or hockey celebrity at each table, a speech from Leyland, a Q&A session and a live auction. Dinner tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for kids age 12 and under. For those who want to skip the dinner, there’s an $8 general admission ticket that includes Leyland’s speech, the Q&A session, live auction and Walleye player autographs.

Tickets are available at or by calling 419-725-HENS.

Tigers part ways with Thames, Treanor

Marcus Thames’ Tigers tenure is likely over. The team removed him from the 40-man roster Friday, the first step towards making the slugging outfielder a free agent.

The move was part of the Tigers’ maneuverings to prepare their 40-man roster. Catcher Matt Treanor also was taken off the roster and will become a free agent. The moves free up spots for Reliever Joel Zumaya and infielder Jeff Larish both of whom were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list as required.

Infield prospect Michael Hollimon also was taken off the DL, but he was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo. Pitching prospect Jay Sborz, who would’ve been a minor league free agent, was added to the 40-man roster.

Thames was eligible for arbitration and was thus expected to be non-tendered this offseason. From that standpoint, Friday’s move makes him a free agent sooner than he would’ve been had the Tigers waited until the December deadline to offer a contract. Nonetheless, it likely ends a career that included several big home runs and torrid stretches in the Tigers lineup, though never culminating in the everyday role he would’ve liked.

Kelly recalled from Triple-A; other moves

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tigers made Armando Galarraga’s addition to the active roster official on Saturday, recalling him from Triple-A Toledo so he can start later tonight. Along with Galarraga, the club called up Don Kelly from the Mud Hens.

In 19 games for the Tigers this year, Kelly hit .250 (12-for-48) with three RBIs. In Triple-A, the 29-year-old raked, hitting .331 with a .404 on-base percentage and .869 OPS in 105 games. Kelly also added six home runs, 40 RBIs and 27 stolen bases.
Kelly played everywhere but pitcher and catcher in Triple-A and gives the Tigers another lefty bat off the bench. 
Detroit also recalled first baseman Jeff Larish and transferred him to the 60-day disabled list. Larish, 26, is out for the year after right wrist surgery last week.
— Alden Gonzalez