11 July 2012
In a move that should surprise no one, the Tigers optioned relief pitcher Jose Ortega back to Toledo on Monday. The team had been carrying an extra pitcher for the final six days of the season after Max Scherzer was bumped back from a start due to hamstring soreness. Duane Below filled the role of the nominal starter on July 3 in what amounted to a bullpen start.
The organization hasn’t yet announced a corresponding move (the active roster sits at 24 players), but my money is on Danny Worth returning to the big leagues to re-establish the balance of 13 position players and 12 pitchers. Worth was optioned (along with reliever Luis Marte) to make room for Ortega and Darrin Downs back on July 3. Players optioned to the minor leagues aren’t eligible to be recalled for 10 days (unless they’re being used as a replacement for a player that goes on the disabled list), so an official move won’t be able to be made until Friday July 13 (in time for the opening of the second half of the season).
Worth has played six games since being sent down this time around and has put up a slash line of .261/.346/.435. He’s reached base safely in all six games. For the season, Worth has recorded a .902 OPS over 100 triple-A at-bats, but none of that success has translated to the major leagues where his season OPS sits at just .470.
The only other position player options currently on the 40-man roster are outfielder Avisail Garcia (who was only recently promoted to AA), second baseman Hernan Perez (who’s been struggling to hit in A-ball), and catcher Bryan Holaday. Other candidates to be added to the active roster include Andy Dirks, who appears to still have at least a couple weeks of recovery ahead of him, or a non-40-man roster player such as AAA outfielder Ben Guez.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Guez get an opportunity to do something in the big leagues, but with Quintin Berry solidifying himself in the lineup, Delmon Young’s power surge, and Brennan Boesch kinda sorta maybe starting to hopefully break out of his slump, the Tigers probably aren’t looking at shaking things up with respect to corner outfield spots at the moment.