The Tigers have announced that right-handed pitcher Drew VerHagen will be called up to make his major league debut in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians. VerHagen, the team's fourth round pick in 2012, is 6–7 with a 3.67 ERA in 19 starts for Triple-A Toledo this season.
Who is Drew VerHagen? The 23 year old righty was the Tigers' fourth round draft pick in 2012. He posted excellent numbers in the low minors in 2012 and 2013, including a 3.00 ERA and 3.69 FIP in 12 starts at Double-A Erie last year. He has been in Toledo all season long, holding opponents to a .684 OPS and 3.73 FIP in 110⅓ innings. Despite being absolutely huge — he is listed at 6'6", 230 pounds — VerHagen is a ground ball specialist who has only struck out 63 batters this season.
Prior to the season, Jordan rated VerHagen as the No. 12 prospect in the Tigers' farm system. Here's a snippet of what he had to say about VerHagen's abilities.
When watching a Verhagen start, the first thing I notice is that hitters never seem to get a good look at him, and rarely have a comfortable at bat. As I mentioned before, he elicits weak contact frequently, and that's definitely apparent, as his BABIP is only .250, very low for a ground baller. BABIP can be misinterpreted if you don't know what you're looking at, especially at the minor league level. It's important to take these numbers with a grain of salt, however, this low number been a trend so far in Verhagen's career, and if he continues to spot his fastball, I don't see any reason why that wouldn't continue. There's a difference between a squared up ground balls, like ones that Rick Porcello often gives up, and the ones that are hit off Verhagen at this time.
VerHagen's call-up will not displace anyone on the 25 man roster, as Major League Baseball stipulates that a 26th player can be called up for double headers. The Tigers will need to make a 40-man roster move, however. That move will be announced before tomorrow's game.