Monday, August 27, 2012

Tigers September Call-up Options

On Saturday, September 1st, ML rosters can expand to include anyone from the 40-man roster.  Here’s my take on the likelihood of who the Tigers will call-up.  Note: Ryan Raburn is currently in a rehab assignment in the minors and will likely be reinstated in September, but because he’s down there due to an injury and not optioned, he won’t technically be a September call-up.  Raburn will be eligible for the post-season roster, but these players won’t unless they are replacing an injured player or get called up before September 1st.   Don Kelly might be back in September, but will have to be put back on the 40-man roster.

No Doubters

It is very likely that these players will get called up right away.

Danny Worth:
MLB – 83 PA, .206/.321/.250/.571, 0 HR, 0 SB, 14.5% BB, 26.5% K, 63 wRC+
AAA – 241 PA .275/.372/.441/.813, 5 HR, 10 SB, 12.4% BB, 21.6% K, 131 wRC+

Worth has been up and down so many times that it was hard to tell when he was on the team and when he wasn’t.  Worth has been much better in AAA where he gets to play every day, but he has a surprising good walk rate in the majors.  He’ll provide good infield depth, especially if Miguel Cabrera has to spend more time DHing with a sore ankle. 

Duane Below:
MLB – 46 1/3 IP, 3.88 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 5.63 K/9, 1.55 BB/9, 4.11 FIP
AAA – 7 IP, 5.14 ERA, 2.14 WHIP, 3.86 K/9, 6.43 BB/9, 8.20 FIP

Below spent most of the year with the Tigers until one day the Tigers surprisingly decided to send him down for Luke Putkonen, who had unimpressive numbers both at the ML level and AAA.  Later, the Tigers had to send down Putkonen for Drew Smyly for a spot start when Doug Fister had to miss a start due to a groin injury.  The Tigers kept Smyly to use out of the bullpen instead of recalling Putkonen or another reliever.  It’s obvious that the Tigers prefer Smyly on the post-season roster over Below, who both would be serving similar roles (lefty long-reliever). 

Al Alburquerque:
AAA – 8 2/3 IP, 2.08 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 15.58 K/9, 3.12 BB/9, 2.62 FIP

Alburquerque spent most of the season on the 60-day DL recovering from off-season surgery on his elbow.  He was officially optioned to Toledo instead of being put in the Tigers bullpen when he got healthy.  After the year he had last year in the Tigers bullpen, it’s a no-brainer he’ll be called up in September.


It could go either way.  They could call them up right away on the first day of expansion; wait a week or so and then call them up or ignore them altogether.

Avisail Garcia:
AA – 210 PA,  .312/.348/.462/.810, 5 HR, 9 SB, 3.3% BB, 17.1% K, 125 wRC+
A+ – 287 PA, .289/.324/.447/.771, 8 HR, 14 SB, 3.8% BB, 19.9% K, 118 wRC+

Garcia always had the tools, but is finally putting them together this year.  The problem is that he still refuses to take a walk, but his speed and defense can help the Tigers down the stretch. 

Adam Wilk:
MLB – 11 IP, 8.18 ERA, 2.18 WHIP, 5.73 K/9, 2.45 BB/9, 7.37 FIP
AAA – 143 2/3 IP, 2.76 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 7.52 K/9, 1.75 BB/9, 3.29 FIP

Wilk had 3 starts at the beginning of the year with unimpressive stats.  Then he got sent down to AAA and put up a very nice ERA and WHIP.  The Tigers might reward his great AAA season with a September call-up.  Personally, I think his great season in Toledo gives him a leg up for  a bullpen spot next year in a role similar to what Duane Below provided this year.

Bryan Holaday:
MLB – 11 PA, .300/.300/.400/.700, 0 HR, 0.0% BB, 9.1% K, 86 wRC+
AAA – 272 PA, .237/.309/.320/.629, 2 HR, 7.7% BB, 15.8% K, 78 wRC+

Holaday was briefly with the ML club when the Tigers needed another catcher.  If the Tigers call up Holaday, it would be for catcher depth only. 

Luis Marte:
MLB – 17 1/3 IP, 3.63 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 7.27 K/9, 3.63 BB/9, 5.87 FIP
AAA – 22 2/3 IP, 3.97 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 9.13 K/9, 3.97 BB/9, 3.07 FIP

Luke Putkonen:
MLB – 9 2/3 IP, 6.52 ERA, 2.28 WHIP, 6.52 K/9, 6.52 BB/9, 3.82 FIP
AAA – 53 2/3 IP, 4.36 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 7.55 K/9, 3.02 BB/9, 3.31 FIP

Marte and Putkonen have both spent some time on the Tigers ML roster, despite less than stellar AAA numbers.  If the Tigers call them up it’ll be for bullpen depth and the fact that Leyland is familiar with them.  

Not Likely

It would be very surprising if these players get called up.  Leyland has stated that he only likes to call up players that he’ll use, and it’s unlikely that these players will get used often enough to justify a September call-up.

Andrew Oliver:
AAA – 115 2/3 IP, 4.98 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 8.84 K/9, 6.77 BB/9, 4.44 FIP

Oliver’s poor year has knocked him out of the AAA rotation and likely out of the Tigers’ top prospect list.  His biggest problem has been his walk rate, however he has been doing better out of the bullpen.   

Nick Castellanos:
AA – 307 PA, .285/.319/.417/.736, 7 HR, 4.6% BB, 20.5% K, 98 wRC+
A+ - 243 PA, .405/.461/.553/1.014, 3 HR, 9.1% BB, 17.3% K, 186 wRC+

After having a very good performance in A+, Castellanos was promoted to AA where he’s shown that he may not quite be ready for prime time.  Castellanos isn’t even on the Tigers 40-man roster, so a move would have to be made in order for the Tigers to call him up.  Even though it might be a good idea to give him some ML experience with the Tigers this year, it might be wise to just wait until ST and reevaluate. 

Bruce Rondon:
AAA – 5 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 12.60 K/9, 9.00 BB/9, 6.00 FIP
AA – 21 2/3 IP, 0.83 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 9.55 K/9, 3.74 BB/9, 3.48 FIP
A+ - 23 1/3 IP, 1.93 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 13.11 K/9, 3.86 BB/9, 2.26 FIP

Like Castellanos, Rondon isn’t even on the Tigers’ 40-man roster.  The Tigers probably have enough other pitching depth that Rondon might not be needed, even though he remains a top prospect.

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