The Detroit Tigers have placed outfielder Steven Moya on outright waivers, according to a report from ESPN’s Jayson Stark. Moya, a 25-year-old left-handed bat with immense raw power, is out of minor league options. With several other outfielders ahead of him on the pecking order heading into Opening Day, there was no room for Moya on the 25-man roster.
Stark’s initial report said that the Tigers had placed Moya on release waivers, but this is not true. Moya’s placement on outright waivers is important, because it allows the Tigers to send him to the minor leagues if he clears waivers. Other MLB clubs will now have a chance to claim Moya, but they are subject to the same roster restrictions as the Tigers, and must place him on their 25-man roster to retain his services.
The 6’7 Moya has always been blessed with prodigious raw power, but equally raw pitch recognition skills and plate discipline left him striking out far more often than the team liked. He was the MVP of the Double-A Eastern League in 2014, hitting .276/.306/.555 with 35 home runs and 105 RBI in 133 games. However, he was never able to solve pitching at the Triple-A or MLB levels. In two seasons at Triple-A Toledo, Moya hit an unimpressive .260/.295/.457. While he still has the power to hit 25-30 home runs as an everyday player, his overall approach is far too unrefined for the Tigers to rely on him as part of their MLB roster in 2017.
With Moya no longer in the picture, the Tigers’ Opening Day roster is all but set. They currently have 28 players remaining in major league camp, but lefthander Daniel Stumpf will reportedly not make the team. Outfielder J.D. Martinez will begin the season on the disabled list, leaving the Tigers with four outfielders — or five, if you count Andrew Romine.
The two remaining roster spots will likely go to relievers Kyle Ryan and Shane Greene, leaving Mike Pelfrey as the odd man out. There have been no reports that Pelfrey is being sent packing, but the Tigers do not want to roster both he and Anibal Sanchez in the bullpen. Ryan and Greene both have minor league options remaining as well; if either one of them were to be sent down, they would have been lumped in with the rest of Wednesday’s roster cuts.
So, barring any surprises, this is your likely Opening Day roster.
C: James McCann
1B: Miguel Cabrera
2B: Ian Kinsler
SS: Jose Iglesias
3B: Nick Castellanos
LF: Justin Upton
CF: JaCoby Jones
RF: Mikie Mahtook
DH: Victor Martinez
Bench: Tyler Collins, Alex Avila, Andrew Romine, Dixon Machado
Rotation: Justin Verlander, Jordan Zimmermann, Michael Fulmer, Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd
Bullpen: Francisco Rodriguez, Bruce Rondon, Justin Wilson, Alex Wilson, Kyle Ryan, Shane Greene, Anibal Sanchez
Opening Day 2017 Preview!Posted by Bless You Boys: For Detroit Tigers Fans on Wednesday, March 29, 2017