The Detroit Tigers opened the regular season missing a couple of key pieces, including a high-leverage left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin, Jose Cisnero, and rookie phenom Riley Greene. Now, just a couple of weeks into the season, Detroit has lost starting pitcher Casey Mize and star shortstop Javier Baez.
Both players were placed on the 10-day Injured List (IL) on back-to-back days Friday and Saturday.
The Detroit Tigers are expected to start Michael Pineda in place of Mize against the New York Yankees early next week. The 33-year-old starter has posted a career-earned run average of 3.98 over eight seasons, split between Seattle, the New York Yankees, and Minnesota.
The Tigers also have added Wily Peralta to their bullpen; in addition, they designated Bryan Garcia for assignment. Peralta is a starting pitcher by trade, but neither veteran is stretched enough to pitch deep into a game after visa issues are delayed and already abbreviated Spring Training.
Also, Matt Manning was lifted after throwing just two innings on Saturday with an apparent shoulder issue. When it rains, it pours.
Former top prospect Willi Castro is expected to get another kick at the can with the Detroit Tigers.
It seemed like Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch was hoping to avoid placing Baez on the IL, but after being scratched for the second straight day following being penned in on the initial lineup, a stint on the IL seemed inevitable while dealing with a thumb issue.
Before Saturday’s game in Kansas City, Hinch mentioned that thumb injuries can be tricky, and the organization doesn’t want to risk further damage.
The Tigers did not make a corresponding move ahead of Saturday’s contest but are expected to call Willi Castro up ahead of Sunday’s game. The Toledo Mud Hens are on the road playing Iowa, roughly three hours away from Kansas City.
Castro was scratched ahead of Saturday’s game, speculating that he’s on his way to Kansas City to join the Tigers.
Recently I wrote that Castro’s chances seemed to be running out, and many fans will wonder why Detroit wouldn’t call up Ryan Kreidler, but he’s not currently on Detroit’s 40-man roster. If Baez, who was placed on the IL retroactive to April 13th, it is expected to be a short stay, so rather than designating another player for assignment to make room for Kreidler, bringing up Castro for a brief stint makes more sense at this point.
The 24-year-old Castro slashed a respectful .296/.387/.556 throughout 14 Spring Training games. Castro hit two doubles, a triple, and a home run, driving in two but striking out nine times this spring in 31 plate appearances.
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Castro is hitting .265 with two doubles and an RBI, and three stolen bases over eight games in Toledo this season.