March 14, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Quintin Berry (66) steals second base during the bottom of the fifth inning of a spring training game against the New York Mets at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
With outfielder Austin Jackson apparently still having lingering problems and the Tigers having no real threats on the basepaths, Detroit's front office made the decision to purchase the contract of Mud Hens outfielder Quintin Berry. The corresponding move was designating for assignment the contract of right-handed reliever Collin Balester.
Berry (stats) is a player who has very little power. He also has a career OPS of .697 in the minor leagues across seven seasons. However, two things that could help Detroit this year are his ability to get on base and what he can do when he gets there. Berry has a .365 on-base percentage with Triple-A Toledo. His career number is .358.
Berry will be making his major league debut on Wednesday, manager Jim Leyland confirmed during his interview.
As for why Berry had to happen: Jackson's injury is concerning. He may yet end up on the DL. With Ryan Raburn also away on the bereavement list, the Tigers lacked for depth.
#Tigers Jackson sounding down - will shut down activity on Wed - how abdominal strain feels Thurs could determine DL or no DL— Tom Gage (@Tom_Gage) May 23, 2012
Here's what Patrick wrote about Berry during spring training:
If you search the transaction records on the Tigers' website, you won't even find Berry's invitation to spring training listed. Berry is a 27-year-old left-handed hitting and lefty throwing outfielder who is known much more for his speed and his defense than he is for his power, although he has shown some surprising pop in his bat with the Tigers this spring.
But hey, if Berry can get on base it's worth a try. Before Tuesday's game, only three batters in Detroit's lineup could boat an OBP higher than .360. You can't drive in runners that don't exist.
As for Balester, he did OK in his time with Detroit. Not wonderful, not awful. The 6.50 ERA was bad, obviously. But the 1.39 WHIP was OK. Still, you're going to be hard pressed making a living out of 5.5 walks per nine innings when your strikeout rate is hardly any better. This was a move that was bound to happen at some point -- especially if Luis Marte continues to find success during his rehab appearances in the minors.