Adam Ravenelle among players left off Tigers' 40-man roster

Lynn Henning



Adam Ravenelle

A left-handed starter from the Rockies farm system joined some high-profile Tigers prospects Monday when Detroit finalized its 40-man roster ahead of next month’s winter meetings and the Rule 5 draft.

The newcomer is Ryan Carpenter, 27, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound pitcher who originally was a seventh-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2011. He was a minor-league free agent who signed a big-league Tigers contract, which secures for Carpenter more money and an invitation to big-league spring camp.

The Tigers purchased the contracts of Mike Gerber, a left-handed hitting outfielder; left-handed starter Gregory Soto; infielder Sergio Alcantara; catcher Grayson Greiner; relievers Gerson Moreno and Eduardo Jimenez; and right-handed starting prospect Spencer Turnbull.

Carpenter is regarded as a workhorse who in 2017 threw 156 innings in 27 games, 25 of which were starts. He had a 4.15 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. He struck out 161 batters and walked 39.

More:Alan Trammell says he'd prefer to enter HOF with Lou Whitaker

Among those not included in the 40-man group: relief pitchers Adam Ravenelle and Paul Voelker; and outfield prospect Jose Azocar.

Ravenelle, Voelker and Azocar could be gobbled up during next month’s Rule 5 draft. Players with minimum time in the minors who have not yet cracked the 40-man roster can be plucked by another team as part of the Rule 5 process.

While there were no shocking exclusions Monday as the Tigers formalized their 40-man cast, they were forced to bail on an uncommon number of prospects who had reasonable promise.

Ravenelle and Voelker are hard-throwing, right-handed bullpen projects who couldn’t crack the roster, even when the Tigers are dealing with their annual anxiety over relief pitching.

Ravenelle was a fourth-round pick in 2014 after he helped Vanderbilt win the College World Series. He throws a high-90s fastball. But control issues have hurt him, and with young relievers now the strength of a shallow Tigers farm system, Ravenelle was squeezed.

So, too, was Voelker, a 10th-round grab in 2014 out of Dallas Baptist. Voelker is 5-10, 185 pounds, and has 217 strikeouts in 172 innings during his four seasons in the bushes. But the Tigers decided he lacks the size and long-term power they see in a pitcher who beat him out, Turnbull, a starter who is 6-3, 215, and could yet find his way into the bullpen. Turnbull was a second-round pick in 2014 from the University of Alabama.

Eaves is a left-handed hitting infielder who had a nice season at Double A Erie and won a ticket to the Arizona Fall League, where he made the AFL All-Star team. But the Tigers have moved heavier prospects into their infield plans and Eaves, who came to Detroit in a 2016 trade for Jefry Marte, was bypassed Monday.

Another casualty was Azocar, 21, a right-handed hitter who is 5-11, 160. The Tigers watched in past summers as Azocar repeatedly swung at pitches galore in Single A and decided Monday they were out of room.

Those who won 40-man slots were more prized prospects considered to be in little danger.

Gerber, 25, is a left-handed hitter who can play all three outfield spots and who will join the Tigers big-league team at spring camp in February.

Soto, 22, had a brilliant 2016 season and could be in the Tigers rotation by 2019. He has a power fastball and next season could win an eventual upgrade to Triple A Toledo.

Alcantara, 21, came to the Tigers in July’s trade that sent J.D. Martinez to the Diamondbacks. He is a speedy defensive infielder who figures to be, at the very least, a big-league back-up.

Greiner, 25, and a third-round pick in 2014 from the University of South Carolina, is part of a deep Tigers catching group. He is likely to be in Detroit, as a back-up or more, by 2019.

Moreno and Jimenez are heavy-throttle relievers who likewise were guarded by a Tigers team that needs a surplus of arms in its reconstruction bid.

Players who were on the 40-man bubble and missed Monday’s call can win a lovely consolation prize: a Rule 5 invitation, however unlikely it would be for a more marginal player such as Azocar. It was the Rule 5 draft that last season brought to the Tigers left-handed reliever Daniel Stumpf.

Rule 5 players must stick with the claiming team’s 25-man active roster, or be returned to the player’s previous club for one-half the $100,000 acquisition price.

The Tigers are keeping one roster spot open as they prepare to add offseason pitching and, perhaps, a player in the Rule 5 draft.


Here is the Tigers' current 40-man roster. There is one open spot.


Victor Alcantara

Sandy Baez

Chad Bell

Matthew Boyd

Ryan Carpenter

Buck Farmer

Michael Fulmer

Shane Greene

Blaine Hardy

Eduardo Jimenez

Joe Jimenez

Jairo Labout

Artie Lewicki

Gerson Moreno

Daniel Norris

Zac Reininger

Bruce Rondon

Warwick Saupold

Geovany Soto

Daniel Stumpf

Spencer Turnbull

Drew VerHagen

Alex Wilson

Jordan Zimmermann


Grayson Greiner

John Hicks

James McCann


Sergio Alcantara

Miguel Cabrera

Jeimer Candelario

Jose Iglesias

Ian Kinsler

Dawel Lugo

Dixon Machado


Nicholas Castellanos

Mike Gerber

JaCoby Jones

Mikie Mahtook

Designated hitter

Victor Martinez