Chicago – The Tigers may have reached the tipping point with struggling outfielder Tyler Collins.
Collins has been in a deep funk, both offensively and in the field. In his last 20 games, including a three-strikeout performance in Saturday's 3-0 loss to the White Sox in Game 1 of a doubleheader, he’s 5-for-61 (.081) with 30 strikeouts. He followed an 0-for-30 skid with a 2-for-26 slide and is hitting .200 on the season.
Manager Brad Ausmus, when asked directly about Collins’ future after the second game of the doubleheader, declined to discuss the matter.
Clearly, though, a roster move is coming.
John Wagner of the Toledo Blade reported that outfielder Alex Presley’s contract had been purchased from Toledo and he will report to the Tigers Sunday.
There are three plausible options:
• The Tigers could return JaCoby Jones back to Toledo, though that’s unlikely since he was recalled on Saturday.
• They could send outfielder Mikie Mahtook to Toledo. He has a minor-league option left and has been used sparingly.
• They could designate Collins, who is out of options, for assignment.
If it’s the latter, Collins would be exposed to waivers before he could be re-signed to a minor-league deal.
Presley, who started slowly at Toledo after a red-hot spring, will have to be added to the 40-man roster. So, somebody would need to be released – Collins.
Also, after the Tigers' 4-3 win in Game 2, Mahtook was still in the clubhouse kibitzing with his teammates. Collins, who did not play in Game 2, was gone.
Presley, 31 and a veteran of seven big-league seasons, was hitting .250 with two home runs and nine RBIs over his last 21 games. Like Collins, he bats left handed and can play all three outfield positions.
He will be the fifth player called up from Toledo in the last two weeks – Warwick Saupold, John Hicks, Arcenio Leon and Jones are the others. That doesn’t include Buck Farmer, who earned his first Major-League win Saturday – called up as the 26th man for the doubleheader and returned to the Mud Hens.
Nor does that list include outfielder Jim Adduci, who was called up earlier and remains on the Tigers' disabled list.
The Tigers late Saturday night did not confirm any transaction – not even the purchase of Presley’s contract.