The Detroit Tigers have lost a lot of middle infield depth from their farm system in recent years. Devon Travis, Eugenio Suarez, Hernan Perez, Domingo Leyba, and Willy Adames were all in the system at this time last year, and now all are playing in other organizations. That's a lot of depth to lose in one calendar year.
On Monday, the Tigers made a pair of moves to rectify that situation. They acquired infielder Alexi Casilla from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later. Casilla, a 30-year-old Dominican who has appeared in just one major league game since 2013, drove in the winning run for the Minnesota Twins in Game 163 in 2009. Casilla played for the Toledo Mud Hens on Monday evening. The Tigers also signed infielder Alberto Gonzalez last week and sent him to Double-A Erie.
While adding depth makes sense, the Tigers' plan for Casilla does not. Dixon Machado, a slick-fielding shortstop prospect, has been working at third base recently per the organization's wishes. This isn't a move out of necessity, as Machado has the best infield glove in the system save for defensive wizard Jose Iglesias. Machado has only appeared in two games at the hot corner -- and played shortstop in Monday's game -- but there seems to be little explanation for shifting him off of short. It only marginally increases his trade value, as anyone who sees Machado as more than a utility infielder will stick him at shortstop, not third base.
Of course, there was also this...
Before batting practice, LP is hitting grounders to both Dixon Machado and Alex Avila at 3rd base. Has a grounds crew member fielding at 1st— John Malkoski (@BigBeardedJohn) June 29, 2015
...but Avila insisted he was only messing around.
Humbled Nick Castellanos trying to get back to the hitter he always has been, just what Detroit Tigers need - The Oakland Press, Matthew B. Mowery
"I was never a guy that hit in the cage, I was never a guy that looked at video. I’m not saying I didn’t care, but I didn’t think twice about it. I just kind of went out and did it. I’m trying to get back to that."
Petition: Save the grass at Navin Field, site of Detroit's historic Tiger Stadium - Change.org
The Detroit Police Athletic League reportedly wants to install artificial turf at Navin Field when they take over the grounds in 2017. The Navin Field Grounds Crew has started a petition to keep the natural grass at the former Tiger Stadium grounds.
Indians Class-A affiliate Lake County Captains will wear Ninja Turtle jerseys - Let's Go Tribe, Matt R. Lyons
In a cause that is near and dear to my heart, one Cleveland Indians affiliate will be wearing Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle jerseys (and I agree: Michaelangelo was the worst character to play with in Turtles in Time).
Should the Twins trade for Jeff Samardzija? - Twinkie Town, Jesse Lund
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tends to throw [stuff] and anything else he can find at the wall when it comes to trade rumors, but this one is especially perplexing.
In the Gear Teeth of Industry – The Hardball Times, Tyler Drenon
Think baseball players make too much money? You might see things differently after reading this.
Stanton injury could open NL Triple Crown race - ESPN, Brett Perrotta
There could be a legitimate race for a Triple Crown in the National League this year, while Miguel Cabrera is a home run tear away from entering the conversation himself in the AL.
Signing July 2nd Players Has Gotten Even More Complicated - FanGraphs Baseball, Kiley McDaniel
If you want to know a lot about the amateur free agent signing period, this is your go-to post.