The Detroit Tigers have made quite a few roster moves over the past 48 hours. Some (if not most) of you reading this might already be aware of these transactions. This post might be more for me to catch up, as I spent a large part of yesterday attempting to get a hole in the side of my house repaired and nursing a migraine. (Wah!)
Okay, let's begin with the biggest moves, and work our way down in no particular order:
Carlos Guillen was recalled from his minor league rehab assignment and activated from the disabled list. (He got right to work, batting a combined 3-for-7 in yesterday's doubleheader.) To make room for him on the roster, Josh Anderson was designated for assignment.
Though Lynn Henning seems surprised that Anderson was booted instead of Magglio Ordonez (Henning will just continue to beat that drum until he's right), there really wasn't any other move to make. Sure, Anderson has speed, but with an on-base percentage of .282, how much was he really using it? And though he might be able to cover more ground than any other left fielder the Tigers had on the roster, he seemed to get poor jumps on balls and would make bonehead plays like letting sinking line drives bounce between his legs.
Besides, are the Tigers really losing Anderson by designating him for assignment? What are the chances an outfielder batting .242/.282/.315 passes through waivers? Unless he just doesn't want to play in the Detroit organization anymore, he's probably on his way to Toledo soon enough and can be called back up if the Tigers feel his presumed speed and defense is worth a roster spot. For now, however, they need a guy who can hit.
After starting Friday night's game, Eddie Bonine was sent back down to Toledo and reliever Casey Fien was called up to take his place. (Even if the Tigers wanted to recall Dolsi, he has to stay in the minors for 10 days unless he'd be replacing an injured player.) This is a long overdue move for the Tigers.
Fien almost made the team last year out of Spring Training, and since then has been one of the organization's most promising bullpen prospects. He didn't start off the season very well, blowing a couple of saves, but seems to have settled into a groove in recent weeks. For the season with the Mud Hens, Fien has a 2-1 record and 3.61 ERA with eight saves. Most importantly, he has 51 strikeouts and 13 walks in 47.1 innings.
Bonine was called up from Triple-A Toledo to start the second half of Friday's doubleheader, and reliever Freddy Dolsi was sent down to clear a spot for him. The Tigers needed an extra starter, with two games in one day, and no off-day until Thursday. So someone had to make a spot start.
Dolsi was totally expendable, as he hadn't pitched in two weeks and had only appeared in five games since being called up to replace Ryan Perry (who returned last week when Joel Zumaya went on the DL). He'd only given up one run in 9.1 innings, but had allowed six hits in his last two appearances (covering 4.2 innings), and appeared to be relegated to mop-up duty.
This isn't a move that's been made yet, but Jeremy Bonderman could be on his way back and might... pitch out of the bullpen? After Bondo was shut down in mid-June, it looked like his season was effectively over. Coming back to pitch in September seemed to be an optimistic forecast.
Apparently, however, he's made some big strides in his recovery. Not so much as to rejoin the starting rotation, but perhaps give the team 35 pitches or so in a relief outing. According to the Tigers, it's when Bondo tried to stretch out into higher pitch counts that his shoulder became sore.
But how effective could he really be? Bondo was having trouble throwing his fastball above the high-80s/low-90s, and was (for now, anyway) more of a finesse pitcher. Maybe he could dial it up higher in a shorter outing? Or maybe the Tigers are just thinking he could be a warm body to use in middle innings during September.