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Tigers claim LHP Josh Smoker off waivers from Pirates

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Warwick Saupold has been designated for assignment.

Philadelphia Phillies v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Perhaps it’s not the move many were expecting from the Tigers this close to the trade deadline, but Detroit has claimed left-handed relief pitcher Josh Smoker off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates, adding him to their 40-man roster. In a corresponding move, right-handed relieve Warwick Saupold has been designated for assignment.

Josh Smoker, who is 29, has only appeared in seven major league games this season and has not acquitted himself terribly well, racking up an 11.12 ERA, an 9.69 FIP, and a 2.824 WHIP over a mere 5.2 innings of work. His numbers in the minors for Triple-A Indianapolis are considerably more appealing though, with a 2.82 ERA in 32 games. The Tigers, who are always in need of lefty relief pitching, are likely hoping his poor performances in the majors have been a fluke. However he did two seasons of work with the New York Mets that resulted in a 5.02 ERA over 74 games.

Warwick Saupold appeared in 13 games for the Tigers this season and had a 4.46 ERA over 34.1 innings work. In Triple-A Toledo he had much uglier results over seven games with a 6.38 ERA.

Smoker has been optioned to Triple-A Toledo, and should Saupold clear waivers, he will likely be outrighted to Toldeo as well.