Tampa, Fla. – The Detroit Tigers reassigned 11 players Tuesday, but for a couple of them, it was more like, “goodbye for now.”
Left-handed starter Ryan Carpenter and outfielder Mike Gerber, both assigned to Triple-A Toledo, have a good shot at playing for the Tigers at some point this season.
“It’s a good bunch of people we sent down,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “They will probably help us at some point.”
Carpenter in four appearances allowed three runs with 12 strikeouts in 9.2 innings this spring. He was in the battle for the final rotation spot and is expected to be at the top of the rotation for the Mud Hens.
“We love his angle (to the plate),” Gardenhire said of the long-limbed, 6-5 Carpenter. “He’s got some mechanical things that Boz (pitching coach Chris Bosio) has changed to get him in a better position when he is releasing the ball. And he’s receptive. He’s tried everything we threw at him.
“We think he’s going to be a good one. I’ve always liked a big angle like that.”
There are six starting pitchers left in camp: Michael Fulmer, Matthew Boyd, Jordan Zimmermann, Francisco Liriano, Mike Fiers and Daniel Norris.
Gerber, who made two highlight-reel worthy catches in center field, hit .350 with a home run and three doubles in 20 at-bats.
“The kid in center can play,” Gardenhire said. “We told him to cut down on your strikeouts. There are things he can work on, but he can run the ball down.”
Gardenhire said they talked to Gerber about maintaining his strength, too.
“After games, you have to learn how to take care of yourself,” he said. “Work a little harder and get stronger as you go along. That’s the way of the world now.”
Catcher Grayson Greiner was also sent to Toledo.
Optioned to Double-A Erie were right-handed pitcher Sandy Baez and shortstop Sergio Alcantara. The Tigers took a long look at Alcantara this spring. Acquired in the J.D. Martinez trade, he played in 15 games and hit .263. He finished last season at High-A Lakeland.
“Lots of tools,” Gardenhire said. “He can really pick it but he has to gain some strength all the way around. But he knows how to play a little bit. He can pick it and he’s got a cannon (for an arm).”
Right-hander Eduardo Jimenez was assigned to High-A Lakeland.
Also re-assigned were three right-handed pitchers who were non-roster invitees: Enrique Burgos (who pulled his groin muscle Monday), Kevin Comer and Mark Montgomery. They were sent to minor-league camp, but could all end up at Toledo.
Catchers Arvicent Perez and Jake Rogers were also sent to minor-league camp.
Forty-one players remain in camp.