Tigers GM Avila begins September roster call-ups

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Tigers pitcher Buck Farmer was called up from Triple A Toledo after Detroit beat Chicago 3-2 at Comerica Park.

Detroit -- Let the roster expansions begin.

With the calendar turning to September, the Tigers and every other major-league club can up their active rosters by as many as 15, to 40.

The Tigers won't come close to that, of course. In a playoff race, they're on record saying they're only interested in adding minor-leaguers who can possibly help.

And, so, the first two up will be reliever Buck Farmer and catcher John Hicks, manager Brad Ausmus announced after Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park.

"Those are the only two right now," Ausmus said. "There'll be more.

"But not till after their season."

Farmer has made several trips up and down between Detroit and Triple-A Toledo this season.

In 10 appearances for the Tigers this season, he has a 3.94 ERA and has struck out 15 -- to nine walks -- over 16 innings.

This will be the second trip to the majors for Hicks, who played briefly with the Seattle Mariners last season. He was claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins earlier this year, and has done a great job at Toledo, at the plate and in the field.

He's batted .303/.356/.485 with eight homers and 42 RBIs in 70 games with the Mud Hens, and has throw out 24 of 61 would-be base stealers.

Other guys expected to join the Tigers once Toledo's season ends Monday are lefty Matt Boyd, who should slide back into the rotation; infielders Dixon Machado and Casey McGehee; and outfielders Steven Moya and Alex Presley.

Hard-throwing relief phenom Joe Jimenez appears to be a question mark at this time.

Jordan Zimmermann (neck/side) and Mike Pelfrey (back), of course, will be joining Detroit from Toledo soon, after they each make one more rehab start.

Zimmermann made his latest one Wednesday in Indianapolis, allowing a run on one hit and a walk in four innings. He struck out four and threw 60 pitches, the target.