The Detroit Tigers have filled the two remaining vacancies on their 40 man roster, adding shortstop Dixon Machado and relief pitcher Angel Nesbitt, the club has announced. The two players are now shielded from the Rule 5 draft, which will be held on December 11 at the Winter Meetings.
Machado has been on the roster previously, being added in November of 2012. He was optioned to the minors for the 2013 season and was designated for assignment last December to make room for Joe Nathan after a disappointing season. Machado has always had superior defensive skills, but he had a bounce-back season at the plate in 2014 between Lakeland and Double-A Erie, clinching his return to the roster.
Machado, 22, hit .286 with 75 runs scored, 31 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 40 RBI in 131 games between Advanced-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie in 2014. After being promoted to Erie, he batted .305 (89-for-292) with 23 doubles, one triple, five home runs and 32 RBI in 90 games.
Nesbitt, 23, posted a 1.49 ERA in 66-2/3 innings, with 72 strikeouts and 20 saves in 48 appearances between Lakeland and Erie during the 2014 season. He limited opponents to a .183 batting average between both levels. He was named a midseason All-Star and also selected a postseason All-Star for the 2014 season.
Rob recently profiled Nesbitt in his weekly mailbag column, stating that he may be ready to contribute at some point in 2015.
A dark horse candidate for some MLB innings next year could be right-hander Angel Nesbitt. He torched the Florida State League in 2014, allowing three earned runs in 34 1/3 innings. He was called up to Double A in mid-June and didn't show any signs of slowing down, with a 2.23 ERA. His command can be iffy at times -- he walked 4.2 batters per nine innings in Erie -- but reports indicate a big bump in his fastball velocity from 2013 to 2014. The command will need to be better and his secondary offerings need work, but mistakes at 96 miles per hour are much tougher to handle than they are at 90. I would expect the Tigers to test him at Triple A to begin the year, with a call-up to Detroit if things continue like they did in '14.
Not added to the roster was pitcher Edgar DeLaRosa, who will be exposed in the Rule 5 draft, unless he is added to the roster later today. DeLaRosa is a six foot eight, right handed starting pitcher, who posted a 3.30 ERA in 139 innings at Lakeland, allowing 116 hits, striking out 91 batters and walking 53.
The Tigers will now have to remove another player from the 40 man roster in order to add any more players via trade or free agency. They would also need a vacancy on the roster if they plan on selecting any players in the Rule 5 draft.