The book has long been closed on the Tigers' 2014 season, especially now as the 2015 roster starts to take shape. Here at BYB, we have tried to look back while keeping an eye on the future. After a brief hiatus, we will conclude our report card series with a few more grades, many of which belong to players who didn't see much action in 2014.
Danny Worth: D+
Throwing a pair of relief innings and allowing one run isn't a bad start to a pitching career. Had one of the Tigers' young relievers done this, he would have gotten a favorable review. Unfortunately, Danny Worth is a shortstop, and this was still the highlight of his season. Worth's knuckleball was an entertaining way to end a pair of crappy games against the Texas Rangers in May, but a .408 OPS in 46 plate appearances was a disappointing way to end his career as a Tiger.
Pat McCoy: C-
Even if you take away the outing in which he walked five batters in three innings, McCoy's peripheral numbers weren't all that great. He ended up striking out 11 batters and walking 13 in 14 innings of work, but the 3.86 ERA wasn't too bad when compared to some of his teammates. Half of the runs he allowed on the season came in one bad outing -- on BYB Meet-Up Day, at that -- and his 2.59 ERA in 31 1/3 innings at Toledo was somewhat promising. Unfortunately, he was claimed by the Baltimore Orioles in October.
Evan Reed: D
Reed missed half of the season due to legal troubles, but he wasn't all that impressive when he did pitch. He struck out 26 batters to 12 walks in 32 1/3 innings, but allowed a 4.18 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. For someone with his fastball velocity, an 18 percent strikeout rate is not very impressive.
James McCann: Incomplete
Tigers fans clamored for McCann to get called up throughout the second half of 2014, but the 24 year old catcher didn't join the big league club until after rosters expanded in September. He wasn't given much of a chance down the stretch either, leaving some to wonder where he stands in 2015. Will McCann form the short side of a platoon with Alex Avila? His .865 OPS against left-handed pitching at Triple-A Toledo last year suggests that this would be the perfect role for him.
Hernan Perez: Incomplete
It feels like Perez has been around forever, but the Venezuelan infielder was just 23 years old in 2014. He only saw action in eight games at the major league level, but pounded Triple A pitching for a .287 batting average and .735 OPS in 596 plate appearances. Perez could be in the mix for a utility role in 2015, depending on what the club decides to do with Andrew Romine.
Jose Ortega: Incomplete
Ortega only got one shot to prove himself at the big league level in 2014, and it did not go well. He walked four batters and gave up four runs in just 1 1/3 innings, taking the loss in a late April matchup with the Minnesota Twins. He allowed a 3.58 ERA in 58 innings at Triple-A Toledo, but still walked 5.59 batters per nine innings. Ortega signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies after the season ended.
Luke Putkonen: Incomplete
Putkonen only logged 2 2/3 innings at the MLB level and 9 1/3 innings across all levels in 2014. He had elbow surgery to remove bone spurs in June but was unable to progress beyond a couple of appearances for Single-A West Michigan in late August. The Tigers activated Putkonen off of the 60 day disabled list a few weeks ago, so it appears that he is in their plans for 2015.
Drew VerHagen: Incomplete
VerHagen was the Tigers' second spot starter of the season, nailing down a one-off appearance in a mid-July doubleheader with the Cleveland Indians. He worked four scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the fifth, ultimately taking the loss in a 6-2 defeat. VerHagen put together a solid season at Triple-A Toledo, allowing a 3.67 ERA and 3.70 FIP in 110 1/3 innings. His season ended prematurely when he had surgery to repair a stress fracture in his lower back, but should be ready to go in 2015 if there are no setbacks.
Kevin Whelan: Incomplete
Remember him? Whelan made an appearance for the Tigers against the Pittsburgh Pirates in August. He allowed two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings and was sent back to the minors soon after. He was a solid contributor at Triple-A Toledo, allowing a 2.70 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 43 1/3 innings. He signed a minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics after the season.