The Detroit Tigers announced a flurry of roster moves after Monday’s loss to the Texas Rangers. The two biggest moves involved a pair of right-handed pitchers; Alex Wilson and Jordan Zimmermann were both placed on the 10-day disabled list. Daniel Norris, already on the DL after having groin surgery last week, was shifted to the 60-day disabled list. With an extra spot available on the 40-man roster, the Tigers purchased the contract of utility infielder Pete Kozma and called him up to the majors. Reliever Zac Reininger was also recalled from Triple-A Toledo.
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Wilson’s DL stint comes after he tweaked his foot while running to cover first base in Monday’s game. The official diagnosis was a plantar fascia strain, which anyone with past foot problems will vouch for, can be notoriously difficult to heal. Zimmermann was diagnosed with right shoulder impingement. His injury was a surprise announcement after he pitched well over the weekend against the Kansas City Royals. He has not allowed a run in his past two starts, with 10 strikeouts and four walks in 12 innings.
The Tigers have some interesting decisions to make with their rotation going forward. They only have four starters on their active roster, but thanks to an off day on Thursday, will not need a fifth starter until Tuesday, May 15. The Tigers could wait until then to make a move for another starter, or use lefthander Blaine Hardy as a fifth starter until Zimmermann is ready to return. Hardy was Toledo’s best starter to open the season, holding opponents to a paltry 0.74 ERA and 0.62 WHIP in seven appearances (including four starts). Other possibilities are righthander Artie Lewicki and lefthander Ryan Carpenter, though neither has pitched well for the Mud Hens so far.
Reininger has enjoyed a solid start to the season out of Toledo’s bullpen. He has a 2.63 ERA in 11 apperances, and has 15 strikeouts in 13 2⁄3 innings. He struggled in limited MLB action last year, allowing eight runs on 16 hits in 9 2⁄3 frames. An eighth round pick in 2013, Reininger mixed a mid-90s fastball with a mid-80s slider and the occasional curveball last year.
Kozma is a 30-year-old veteran best known for his playoff heroics while plying his trade for the St. Louis Cardinals. He is a career .215/.282/.285 hitter in 740 MLB plate appearances, but is a capable defender at all infield positions. He has a .548 OPS in 90 plate appearances with the Mud Hens this season.
By adding Kozma, the Tigers’ 25-man roster now consists of 13 position players and 12 pitchers.