There weren't a ton of moves this week, and thankfully more good news than bad on injury fronts. Still, the Hens and Caps tried to address some roster weaknesses and the Tigers bid adieu to a couple of minor league free agents.
Released Clay Timpner (OF)
Re-assigned Ben Guez (OF) from Erie to Toledo
Activated Danny Worth (IF) from disabled list
Released Cesar Nicolas (IF)
Earning a 50-game suspension doesn't get you released from the organization, but it certainly doesn't seem to curry favor either. I know there are some guys who have had suspensions and stuck around, but Nicolas and Ronnie Bourquin stand out as a couple who were released soon after returning from amphetamine suspensions. Of course, being ineffective and/or expendable doesn't work in your favor either. With Nicolas working best as a corner infield/DH-type, he was the latter. That makes playing time hard to come by and that makes it hard to prove he's not also the former (though he was just 2 for 20 when he played). As Worth returns, he will try to advance his argument as a major league bench player by putting in more work at third base and trying to build on what has a chance to be his best season at the plate.
I was surprised at the beginning of the season when both Deik Scram and Guez were assigned to Erie. With Guez swinging a hot bat and the Hens offense needing just that, the Tigers decided to give Guez another go in Triple A. I know the fact that Guez and Timpner are outfielders makes it look like the moves coincide, but they don't. Timpner had been on the disabled list, so his release probably has more to do with him just not having a spot. His .111/.226/.111 line with the team made the decision easier than he would have preferred, I'm sure.
Re-assigned Bryan Pounds (1b/3b) from Toledo to Erie
This is a tough break for Pounds, was moved down to make room for Guez and was made expendable by Worth's return. In his brief time in Toledo, he was hitting .375/.417/.500. That was with 11 strikeouts in less than 40 plate appearances, but he must have been squaring the ball up pretty well to post a .550 BABIP. He'll just have to hope the Tigers remember the next time Toledo could use somebody of his talents.
Sent Edwin Gomez (OF) to extended spring training
Re-assigned Steven Moya (OF) from extended spring training to West Michigan
Placed Ramon Lebron (RHP) on the 7-day disabled list with back spasms
Activated Jeff Ferrell (RHP) from the 7-day disabled list
Bruce Rondon (RHP) suspended for three games
Sent Ryan Enos (OF) to extended spring training
Signed Ryan Hamme (OF) as minor league free agent
The Tigers won't try to get the Whitecaps wins at the expense of prospect development, but when the team is struggling they will certainly work around the edges to help out. I think that's what these non-injury moves are. Neither Enos or Hamme are going to work their way onto any prospect lists, but Enos was hitting .204/.279/.278 before being sent back to Florida. Manager Ernie Young had Hamme last year, liked him, and Hamme had recently been released by the White Sox organization.
The more significant move from a prospect standpoint is basically swapping Gomez for Moya. Gomez had struggled in the GCL the past two seasons, but the Tigers probably wanted to see what he could do in the challenge of the Midwest League instead of having him wait for a third round of short season ball. Hopefully, he learned what he needs to work on as he struggled to post a line of .182/.222/.247. Moya did anything but coast in the GCL last season, but he's talented and the Tigers like his progress since then. His strikeout and walk totals from last year tell me there will be times where it's ugly for him in Grand Rapids, but he's talented and will be watched.
Now we move to the involuntary moves. Rondon played a part in a bench-clearing situation back on April 28th and was forced to sit out this weekend as a result. He was back lighting up the radar guns on Monday, though. We also have Ferrell and Lebron trading spots between the roster and the disabled list. Ferrell has been a starter, though, while Lebron has been working in relief. That leads me to wonder who will be moved from the rotation to make room for Ferrell's starts. Brennan Smith had been used to fill his spot, but I'm not sure Smith will be the one bumped.