Now that the final month of the regular season is here, we have reached that magical time when major league rosters become flush with minor leaguers looking to get in their reps under the bright lights. September is also a time for reflection, especially for teams with no hope of tasting the sweetness of the postseason. The Detroit Tigers are one of those teams.
The Tigers have called up six players to ride out the rest of the year, all of whom have seen time in Detroit already this season. In fact, they were all on the opening day 25-man roster except Tyler Alexander, though for various reasons such as injury or under-performance (or in some cases, both) they were unable to stick with the big league team throughout the year. Hopefully they all will make the best of their chances in this last month of 2019.
Prior to tomorrow night's game at Kansas City, the Tigers will recall the following players from Triple A Toledo:— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) September 2, 2019
LHP Tyler Alexander
INF Jeimer Candelario
C Grayson Greiner
RHP Zac Reininger
OF Christin Stewart
LHP Daniel Stumpf
Hindsight 20/20: the Detroit Tigers
Baseball Prospectus takes a look back at the past season with a critical eye in this article. This Tigers team had very low expectations going into the year, and did not fail to meet that low bar after demonstrating historical futility along the way. But still, among the darkness, there were a few bright spots.
For the most part, the success of the starting pitching staff came as a bit of a surprise as Matthew Boyd began the season on fire en route to a breakout season, as well as Spencer Turnbull’s solid rookie campaign; even Daniel Norris took some steps forward thanks to the help of his health. Shane Greene also managed a dominant first half before being traded for a couple of useful prospects. On the position side, there was not much to get excited about, though Niko Goodrum took some steps forward to prove his value to the team.
Brandon Dixon discusses his adjustments
This blog piece takes a look the changes Brandon Dixon made in his approach at the plate that has yielded some appreciable results. Among the adjustments he made include changing his footwork and altering his hand positioning — mostly subtle tweaks to get himself more comfortable during his at-bats. While overall Dixon did not have a great season, there is reason to believe with these adjustments and some more reps that he could become a serviceable player with that bat.
Summing up Riley Greene’s first pro season
Riley Greene, the Tigers’ first round selection of the 2019 draft and fifth overall pick, has had quite a summer in his first professional season. Beginning with the Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League team, he managed to ascend all the way to the Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps over the course of just a few of months. This article from MLive takes a look at his 2019 debut campaign.
.@tigers first-round selection Riley Greene has already climbed three levels of the Minors and made equally quick work of this no-doubter for @wmwhitecaps -- his second tater with the club— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 1, 2019
️: https://t.co/3MaZczGaxO pic.twitter.com/yUHXLROfDY
Across three levels of organized baseball, he batted .271 with a .749 OPS, with five home runs, 28 RBIs and five stolen bases (in five tried) over 57 games. He also struck out 63 times against 22 walks in 251 plate appearances. He made several spectacular plays on defense in the centerfield position, showing off his glove as well as plus speed. Greene looks to be an exciting prospect for the organization in the years to come.
Rest in peace, Chace Numata
The Detroit Tigers family suffered a tragic loss on Monday, with minor league catcher Chace Numata passing away after he sustained a head injury in a skateboard accident early Friday morning. The 27-year-old had played in the minors with the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees organizations before signing on with the Tigers this past offseason. The young man from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was a tremendous receiver behind the plate and was well liked by his peers.
Teammate Logan Shore has started a GoFundMe account to help the family defray the costs associated with his accident. You can listen to him interviewed on the SeaWolves City Podcast from mid-August, as well as Erie president Coleman’s thoughts on Numata’s passing and legacy in this YouTube clip.
An odd, Ruthian trend among Tigers trades
Sometimes it seems like whenever the Tigers trade away one of their talented bats that those players go on to finish their seasons on a torrid pace with their new teams. Ken Rosenthal takes a closer look at this phenomenon in this piece from The Athletic. Long story short, there is quite a bit of credence to this thought, as the last three big name hitters traded away — interestingly, all in odd-numbered years — have gone on offensive tears after being moved to a new location.
Tigers claim Tony Stokes Jr.
The Tigers continue to rummage through bargain bin, this time picking up Tony Stokes Jr. who was recently released by the Milwaukee Brewers; pitcher Ryan Carpenter was let go to make room for Stokes Jr. on the 40-man roster. The 23-year-old outfielder had a fairly underwhelming season in Triple-A San Antonio, though he does have some pop in his bat that shows up from time to time. Read more about him in this Bless You Boys overview of the acquisition.
The Detroit Tigers today claimed the contract of OF Troy Stokes Jr. from the Milwaukee Brewers. Stokes Jr. has been recalled not to report.— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) September 3, 2019
To make room on the 40-man roster for Stokes Jr., LHP Ryan Carpenter has been given his unconditional release.
Around the horn
The Lakeland Flying Tigers abruptly finish their 2019 season. Tigers Minor League Report flashbacks: The Randy Smith era, Part 1. Is a pitcher’s ground ball rate important in today’s game? Will robot umpires lead to a new strike zone? Everyone thinks Justin Verlander should be in the Hall of Fame, why don’t the stats agree? The knuckleball pitch is not dead yet.