Tigers add Leon, trim 6 players from spring roster

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. — The Tigers made a flurry of roster moves before the game Monday.

Right-handed pitcher Arcenio Leon, 30, who was signed to a minor league deal this offseason, has been added to major-league camp as a non-roster invitee. In four relief appearances this spring, he’s pitched four scoreless innings and featured a 97 mph fastball with an effective slider.

Arcenio Leon, here with the White Sox, was signed during the offseason by the Tigers.

Leon, who pitched for Team Venezuela in the WBC, is expected to return to the club on Wednesday.

“We made the decision to bring to big-league camp before he left for the WBC,” manager Brad Ausmus said.

Right-hander Warwick Saupold, who has had a strong camp, was optioned to Triple A Toledo. He will start for the Mud Hens.

Right-handers A.J. Achter, William Cuevas and Dustin Molleken, plus infielder Brett Pill, were reassigned to minor league camp.

“Saupold pitched well,” Ausmus said. “But with he and Cuevas both, and Molly (Molleken), we didn’t see a lot of them because of the WBC. But we know Saupold and Molly. Cuevas will fight for a rotation spot at Toledo and Molly will be in the bullpen.

“Molly is a guy everyone wants to see do well. He’s a great guy to have around. I told him to be ready just like last year (when he was called up to Detroit).

That applies to all of them. Be ready and if we need help — and we’re going to need help at some point — force our hands. Force us to call you.”

Right-hander Sandy Baez was optioned to High A Lakeland. The organizational consensus is that he will play the bulk of the season year in Double-A Erie, if he continues to pitch well.

“He was probably the most impressive,” Ausmus said. “We’d like to see him go down there and get some experience and work on his fastball command. His stuff is there. His splitter is probably major-league ready, but his fastball command’s not there yet.

“He was at (Low A) West Michigan last year. As much as we’d love to see a guy come up and dominate, it’s probably not going to happen. It makes sense to give him time to develop.”

There are 46 players remaining in camp.