Well we had fun for a little while. On Friday night after the Tigers’ drubbing at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays, Evan Petzold of the Freep reported that the club would finally be designating veteran infielder Jonathan Schoop for assignment on Saturday. The move corresponds with outfielder Riley Greene’s return from the 15-day injured list.
Cutting Schoop opens an active roster spot for Greene, but it also opens a 40-man roster spot for Beau Brieske, presumably. The right-hander could be optioned to Toledo where he’s been rehabbing over the past few weeks after a procedure for ulnar nerve entrapment at the beginning of the season, but that assignment is due to come to an end.
The Tigers will be on the hook for about $3.5 million remaining on Schoop’s two-year, $15 million extension signed in August of 2021. If another team won’t take that on and he clears waivers, he’ll be free to sign with any team that wants to give him a look.
The 31-year-old infielder first signed with the Tigers for the 2020 season. He put together two of the better seasons in his 11 year career back in 2020 and 2021 before his production cratered in 2022. Playing only occasionally this season, Schoop has just 151 plate appearances. He hasn’t hit a home run since September of 2022, and holds a .213/.278/.272 line.
The Tigers certainly gave it plenty of time to turn around, but this decision had to finally be made. Perhaps Schoop can turn it around if he can catch on somewhere else, but as a hitter who never had particularly good plate discipline, a little slippage in batspeed can quickly topple a hitting profile. Perhaps that’s the case here, as Schoop has been trying to turn things around for a season and a half now with no success. He’s been a likable Tiger and provided some sparks during a pretty bleak period in Tigers baseball. We certainly wish him the best.
One other bit of fallout is that Jake Marisnick, who has done a nice job in center field and provided a bit of offense, has a bit of a reprieve. Without Schoop, there’s plenty of playing time for Zack McKinstry and Andy Ibáñez in the infield, and Matt Vierling was reportedly taking ground balls at second prior to Friday night’s game. The Tigers have five outfielders in Greene, Vierling, Baddoo, Kerry Carpenter, and Marisnick, but if Vierling can handle some infield duties they can mix Carpenter into the DH spot and put a good defensive outfield against any matchup. Hopefully the team can stay healthy for five minutes and we can get a good long look at what they’re working with in the second half.