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Avila: September call-ups will be based on Tigers' needs

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Minneapolis — General manager Al Avila made it clear before the game Wednesday that the September call-ups aren’t a charity action or a reward for being a solid organizational soldier this season.

Al Avila

“The guys we call up, it’s not going to be because, ‘Hey, this guy is nice or he’s a good guy.’ If we bring a guy up, it’s because we feel he’s going to contribute and help the team win. There are some guys down there who can contribute. We have some pitching down there that could help. I am sure Brad (Ausmus) wants a third catcher.

“We will bring as many guys as we need, or, more importantly, guys who can help us win.”

With four regulars presently on the disabled list, the 25-man roster is already loaded with players called up from Triple A Toledo. Casey McGehee, Alex Presley, Tyler Collins, as well as starting pitchers Daniel Norris and Matt Boyd have all been summoned from Toledo this season.

Avila said no decisions have made as to who the club would call up once the rosters expand on Sept. 1 (The Triple-A season ends Sept. 5). But Avila was with the Mud Hens two weeks ago and assistant general manager David Chadd is with them this week.

The third catcher summoned is likely to be John Hicks, who is on the 40-man roster. Hicks, 26, went to the same high school as Justin Verlander (Goochland in Virginia) and played 17 games for the Mariners last season.

“The thing is, can he come in the eighth inning and catch the last two innings of a tight game?” Avila said. “If he can’t do that, he ain’t coming. Those are the questions that David Chadd will be evaluating.”

As far as pitchers, Avila mentioned right-hander Buck Farmer, who has been up and down with the Tigers multiple times this season. Presumably, left-hander Blaine Hardy, who was sent back down to Toledo recently, will also be considered.

Right-handers Warwick Saupold and Dustin Molleken, who pitched in Detroit this season, are two others.

Zimmermann's first rehab start is Friday in Toledo

As for position players, Avila said center fielder Anthony Gose, who has been at Double A Erie, would be considered.

“He’s been playing better, hitting better,” Avila said. “He might be a guy. Again, we haven’t made any decisions. We may decide we don’t need him.”

Presumably, outfielder Steven Moya and infielder Dixon Machado, who have both spent time with the Tigers, are likely to be considered, as well. 
Avila said he wasn’t sure whether right-handed power pitcher Joe Jimenez would be considered.

“When I was there, he probably didn’t have his best outings,” Avila said. “David has seen him pitch better outings. That’s a hard one. I’m still struggling with whether we should bring him up or not.

“I don’t know that he’s 100 percent ready, and we’re going to put him out there with a game on the line? I don’t know.”   

Twitter: @cmccosky