Tigers will wait on Toledo before adding extra September help

Lynn Henning
The Detroit News
Christin Stewart 
(Robin Buckson / The Detroit News)

New York — Blame yourselves, Mud Hens.

If you weren't chasing a playoff spot that Triple-A Toledo hasn't known since 2007, a bunch of you gents already would be with the Tigers.

But it's not happening — yet.

The Tigers were allowed Saturday to pad their customary 25-man active roster with as many players from their 40-man group as they preferred, but Christin Stewart and a handful of pitchers must wait.

The Tigers won't be summoning Stewart, a left-handed hitting outfielder who has slammed 23 home runs in 2018, until Toledo's season officially ends. A playoff ticket was still within the Mud Hens' reach Saturday and the Tigers won't interfere until Toledo's season is officially finished.

 The Tigers also intend to call up several, unnamed Mud Hens pitchers. But they're on hold, as well. The Mud Hens regular season ends Monday.

"It's easier to wait," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said Saturday, hours before the Tigers and Yankees met in an afternoon game the Yankees won, 2-1. "I've been on both sides of that."

Gardenhire was talking about his minor-league managing days when a skipper hoping to have a full battalion of playoff players could be poached by the big-league club's September call-ups.

The Tigers did claim one extra player Saturday when Sandy Baez, a right-hander who had been working at Double-A Erie, joined the team.

Big-time bullpen

Tigers relievers have been hot of late, and rarely warmer than they were Saturday.

Drew VerHagen, Buck Farmer, Daniel Stumpf, and Victor Alcantara combined for 3⅔ innings of one-hit relief. 

VerHagen arrived when starter Daniel Norris departed in the fifth with a left-calf cramp and kept the Yankees in line, despite two walks.

More:Daily recap of Tigers' minor leagues (Updated: Sept. 1)

More:'Happy to be here': Tigers' Norris back after four-month layoff

Farmer pitched 1⅓ innings, allowed the bullpen's lone hit Saturday, while striking out one and walking one. 

Stumpf pitched two-thirds of an inning and had a strikeout.

 Alcantara, whose ERA is 2.82, had a hitless, scoreless eighth, striking out one and walking one.

Stumpf was seen limping after a play at first, but there was no immediate word on any injury or issues that might affect his status in Sunday's series finale.