About once a week during the season, I'll do a post like this to recap the moves made in the Tigers' farm system. It should let you know when players move around within the system or make a trip to the disabled list. I'll also sprinkle in some thoughts or observations, just to spruce up the posts a bit. Just to keep things orderly, I break the moves down by squad as follows:
Ryan Perry (RHP) assigned to Toledo for rehab assignment
Al Alburquerque (RHP) called up to Detroit
Robbie Weinhardt (RHP) assigned to Toledo
Omir Santos (C) activated from disabled list
The Tigers have said they expect Ryan Perry's stay on the disabled list was going to be minimal, so we expected a quick rehab stint now that his eye has apparently recovered. He threw a scoreless inning in Toledo's day game, Monday, and I'd imagine will be back Wednesday when he's eligible to come off the DL.
Robbie Weinhardt had come up to fill in for Perry, but was sent back down on Thursday in favor of Al Alburquerque. Weinhardt's brief stint didn't go too well, but you'll have that when the strikeouts fall off. Those haven't been a problem for Alburquerque, who has already K'd four in his 2 2/3 innings of relief with Detroit. They're coming mostly from his nasty slider, which he's thrown over half the time so far.
Having Perry back might solidify some roles in the Tiger bullpen but I'm curious to see who will be sent down as a result. It'd be nice to have both Villarreal and Alburquerque's arms (and the strikeouts they bring) in the pen. If Villarreal and Alburquerque can pick up multiple innings, I'm not sure Enrique Gonzalez is needed.
Finally, we have Omir Santos returning from the disabled list. He'll be sharing the catching duties with John Murrian, and we'll have to wait to see what happens once Max St. Pierre comes back from the inactive list.
Jeff Kunkel re-assigned to Erie
Billy Alvino sent back to extended spring training
Santos getting game ready meant the Hens had one too many catchers, and they decided that extra was Jeff Kunkel. Not surprising in the least, and Kunkel going "ofer" in his two games with Toledo made it less so. Also not surprising was Billy Alvino's being re-assigned back to extended spring training.
William Bergolla placed on disabled list
Ryan Soares re-assigned to Lakeland
Zach Samuels assigned to Lakeland Flying Tigers (Soares sent down)
Shawn Teufel placed on disabled list
Jay Voss assigned to Lakeland
Teufel going on the disabled list was unfortunate since he had given the Flying Tigers nine scoreless innings in three outings. Jay Voss was called up from extended spring training to fill in for him. Interestingly, though, the next day Zach Samuels was also assigned to Lakeland. The Flying Tigers certainly seem to be beefing up the pitching staff since Ryan Soares was the player who was sent down when Samuels was called up.
Of course, Soares was called right back to the Lakeland roster the next day when Bergolla was put on the disabled list after being hit by a pitch in the seventh inning of Saturday's game.
Billy Nowlin activated from disabled list
James Meador re-assigned to extended spring training
It's interesting to see Nowlin go from being an intriguing bat without a position to an assignment all the way down to West Michigan. That has to be alarming for the 24-year-old who split last season between Lakeland and Erie and has now been squeezed out of either roster. Of course, it may be alarming for Nowlin but it's great news for Cap fans. He'll likely be the team's best hitter while he's down there.
It's not surprising the Caps lost an outfielder when Nowlin was activated. They had six on the roster, after all. I'm just a little surprised they picked James Meador. I suppose they looked at what they had and decided he wasn't going to get enough time. So, it's drills and games on the back fields of the Lakeland complex until he's either ready or the short season starts.
I tried to find out why Dixon Machado didn't play between the Caps' opener and Sunday, but I found nothing. I assume there's no truth to the rumors the stiff winds combined with his 140-pound frame and a baggy uniform made the coaching staff nervous.