All spring training, an interesting question was present: Just how would the Tigers put so many outfielders into so few open spots in Triple-A Toledo.
The answer, as provided by Seawolves.com writer Nick Underhill at his blog: Wilkin Ramirez was demoted from the Mudhens to Double-A Erie.
As things stand now the infield would consist of: 1B (Michael) Bertram, 2B (Danny) Worth, SS (Cale) Iorg, 3B (Audy) Ciriaco. That’s solid.
Outfield: (Deik) Scram, Wilkin (Ramirez), (Andy) Dirks
This is all subject to change at any given moment, but, if nothing else, it will be really hard to score runs on these guys.
With so many outfielders in Toledo (Clete Thomas, Brennan Boesch, Ryan Strieby, Casper Wells) playing time was going to be an issue. The Tigers are moving Ramirez to center field in Erie, although I don't think you should expect the toolsy player will be making a major league career out of the position. He'll get the at-bats he needs down there and hopefully figure out how to hitting the breaking ball.
As far as Ramirez’s standing as a prospect, it’s obviously not good to have other players push you back a level. But there should be enough roster volatility to let him force his way back to Toledo if he hits well enough. Of course, that may not happen if they’re going whole hog in trying to make him a center fielder
And a long as I'm looking at minor league transactions today, here's another of interest, via TigsTown: Reliever Brent Jensen retired. The 6-7, 180 pound 27-year-old actually had some really nice stats in Erie last year: 3.19 ERA and 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings. But he called it a career.
In other news:
- Zach Miner is staying in Lakeland as his Tigers teammates head north to open the season, as he begins to make up for two weeks away from his pitching program. However, he's probably not going to be rejoining the team until mid-April at the earliest, MLB.com's Jason Beck reports.
- Injury updates from the Freep:
Carlos Guillen's hamstring still hurts.
- Gerald Laird will catch tonight after tweaking his groin.
- Ryan Raburn has the flu.
- And speaking of Beck, I'd seen him refer to Eddie Bonine a couple times this spring as "knuckleballer." Well that seemed a bit odd to me. Knuckleballer? Beck shared more information on that.
"For the final starting assignment of Spring Training, Tigers coaches sent Bonine to the mound with instructions to throw more knucklers and see what sort of reactions he got. The results were four scoreless innings, three strikeouts and more than a few tentative swings from a Braves team that had several Major League hitters in their starting lineup."
- Update: Mark Anderson of TigsTown says Bonine was a knuckleballer prior to the Tigers selecting him in the minor league rule 5 draft in December 2005.
- About Adam Everett not being concerned about his batting average (.091 at the end of the Grapefruit League)? He's concerned after all, MLive's Dick Scanlon reported.
"If I were to tell you I’m not concerned at all, that would be a lie," said the Tigers shortstop, who hit .091 in spring training. "I’m just like everybody else. I like to get hits, but they’ll start to come."
- Curtis Granderson is an autograph hound. And that really made Pat Venditte's day.