Well, Sunday was moving day in the farm system, and the major league roster has followed suit on Monday. This morning, the Tigers announced a series of moves involving their pitching. RHP Mason Englert, last year’s Rule 5 pick, has been moved to the 15-day injured list with left hip tightness, retroactive to July 23. Seems like good timing after the beating he took from the San Diego Padres on Saturday. Meanwhile, RHP Alex Faedo has been optioned back to Triple-A Toledo after his solid outing on Sunday.
There are a lot of moving pieces here. Obviously the Tigers are expected to trade multiple pitchers over the next week, and they’re trying to keep the roster fresh. Hence LHP Zach Logue and RHP Brendan White being recalled from Toledo to help bolster the bullpen, and in Logue’s case, possibly get a spot start as they try to spread Tarik Skubal’s outings out and keep him healthy as he builds up from last year’s elbow surgery. So far he’s been pretty hit or miss.
The timing on the Englert move couldn’t be any more perfect. I’ll leave you to ponder that, though AJ Hinch told reporters on Monday that they’d had an ongoing concern about the hip and some variation in his fastball velocity over his recent outings. Still, they managed to time this so that he’s been on the active roster long enough for the Tigers to keep their Rule 5 acquisition even if he’s on the injured list the rest of the way.
FWIW, Mason Englert has spent enough of this season on Tigers’ active roster to satisfy Rule 5 Draft requirements. https://t.co/Pp8rlgXbF8— Jason Beck (@beckjason) July 24, 2023
A.J. Hinch said Tigers were concerned with fluctuations in Mason Englert's fastball velocity and believe hip issues were impacting his delivery. Here's a look at his average fastball velo from game to game this season. pic.twitter.com/HrqfYPItHd— Jason Beck (@beckjason) July 24, 2023
The other big news of note plays right into the theme. RHP Spencer Turnbull, who has been out since early May under rather peculiar circumstances and a vague diagnosis of “neck discomfort” or pain in the neck, to put it more plainly, and perhaps cheekily, will return to action on Tuesday night making a rehab start for the High-A West Michigan Whitecaps, with a follow up start on Sunday scheduled to follow.
Spencer Turnbull will make rehab starts for @wmwhitecaps on Tuesday and Sunday, according to Tigers manager A.J. Hinch.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) July 24, 2023
This all sets up pretty well for a team likely to trade it’s two best starting pitchers this week in an attempt to add some offense to a still weak lineup. Assuming things go well, they’ll get Turnbull back and can use him and one of Alex Faedo or Joey Wentz for the final spots behind Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, and Reese Olson. And at the same time, they’re purging the bullpen of its weak link in Englert. They may not have a great option to replace him with, but it’s hard to do much worse.
Hopefully Will Vest isn’t too far from returning. They could use the help.
Otherwise, there are no real rumors around the Tigers right now. Scott Harris is keeping his cards close. There was a report that teams have inquired about OF/DH Kerry Carpenter as well as the pitching they have for sale, but per Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Tigers aren’t interested in trading him. That’s understandable as they need offense badly, though getting a better player at a key position could still make that worth doing. It’s easier to find a DH than an everyday two-way player.
Trade interest in Tigers OF/DH Kerry Carpenter is robust, but rival execs expect Detroit to keep him for the long term.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 21, 2023
The Tigers view Carpenter as part of their future and believe they can contend sooner rather than later.@MLBNetwork
For now, let’s just say we’re anticipating a busy week, and it will be pretty disappointing if the Tigers don’t do a whole lot. The mission is bat acquisition. We’ll see how Scott Harris acquits himself in his first season running the Tigers.