On Saturday, the Tigers recalled reliever Phil Coke, and utility infielder Hernan Perez from Toledo. To make room, they temporarily optioned Luke Putkonen and Jeremy Bonderman to the minor leagues, but those two players aren't going anywhere.
On Sunday, the Tigers will call up their top prospect, left fielder Nick Castellanos, as well as relief pitcher Evan Reed, and another utility infielder they’re quite familiar with in Danny Worth.
Following the end of the minor league season, manager Jim Leyland has said that the team will recall Bonderman and Putkonen, as well as left handed spot starter and reliever Jose Alvarez and catcher Bryan Holaday. Putkonen will be available Monday since he was assigned to Lakeland, and the others will be up Tuesday. That's a total of seven more Tigers who will be suited up for games in September.
There could be more. Relief pitchers Darin Downs and Jose Ortega have major league experience and could be added to the roster, while hard throwing right hander Melvin Mercedes is on the 40 man roster, but is a long shot to be recalled this season.
Veteran right hander Octavio Dotel has missed almost the entire season, and remains on the 60 day disabled list and on a rehab assignment in Toledo. Dotel's status is uncertain after he left Friday's game with soreness in his pitching forearm.
Jason Beck of MLB.com had this quote from Tiger President and General Manager Dave Dombrowski:
"I'm not really sure where that stands as we talk right now," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "We're still visiting on that situation. If he (Dotel) was healthy, he would have been with us as of Sept. 1, but right now, I do not know where that stands."
Since Castellanos will occupy the last available slot on the 40 man roster, the Tigers would need to make room if they were to activate Dotel, or add another player not currently listed among the top 40. That could be accomplished by transferring Luis Marte, who is done for the season, from the 15 day to the 60 day disabled list. They could also designate another player for assignment, removing him from the 40 man roster. That is something they will likely do after the season, regardless, to make room for graduating prospects.
Roster expansion gives the club a chance to measure the performance of more players, but if the playoffs were to start today, the Tigers would go to battle with the 25 players who are currently on the 25 man roster. That includes Coke and Perez, but does not include Castellanos, Bonderman, Putkonen, nor any of the players who will be recalled in the next couple of days. Those players, or any others in the organization could be used to replace any eligible, injured player on a playoff roster.
When the regular season is done, and rosters shrink back to 25 man size, Rick Porcello will move to the bullpen, as part of the usual compliment of seven relief pitchers and a four man rotation. The extra spot will be used for an infielder. Jhonny Peralta will be eligible, but it’s not yet clear if the Tigers will be willing or able to bring him in the post season.