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Tigers call up Blaine Hardy and Grayson Greiner, per report

Greiner will (hopefully) make his major league debut this weekend.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers have called up catcher Grayson Greiner and pitcher Blaine Hardy, per report, ahead of Friday’s game. Lefthander Chad Bell has already been optioned to Triple-A Toledo to make room for one player.

Following the removal of Miguel Cabrera from Thursday afternoon’s game against the Kansas City Royals, it was obvious the Tigers would need to make a move to bolster their bench. Greiner will provide catching depth for the team, which will give manager Ron Gardenhire the flexibility to use John Hicks more regularly at first in Cabrera’s absence. With both Greiner and Hardy coming up, it’s possible Cabrera ends up on the 10-day disabled list.

Greiner is currently hitting .259/.343/.414 for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens in 17 games. He was the Tigers’ third round pick in 2014 out of South Carolina. At 6’6, he will become the tallest catcher in major league debut when (if?) he makes his big league debut behind the plate. Despite his size, he is a stout defender who put up a strong second half at the plate last year at Double-A Erie.

Hardy’s call up comes as no surprise to anyone who has been following his performance in Toledo. He has been pitching as a starter for the Mud Hens, and has three wins under his belt in four games. He is currently sporting a 0.75 ERA and 0.62 WHIP in seven games, and is averaging 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

With Daniel Norris on the disabled list and starter Mike Fiers struggling, it remains to be seen how the Tigers plan to utilize Hardy. He is no stranger to the Tigers bullpen, and will likely be using in middle relief. But don’t be surprised if Hardy gets used in a start for the Tigers as well.

Both Greiner and Hardy are expected to join the Tigers in Kansas City on Friday. Hardy will be added to the 40-man roster after being designated for assignment during spring training. With Norris currently on (or soon moving to) the 60-day DL, the Tigers’ 40-man roster now sits at 39 players.