Tigers lefty prospect Gregory Soto being promoted from Erie, starts Saturday
Detroit — The kid from Erie is coming up. No, not that one.
Left-hander Gregory Soto, who only has pitched 13.1 innings above A-ball and started the season with a suspension, is being promoted to the Tigers.
Soto will start one of the games of Saturday's doubleheader against the Twins. As of Thursday morning, Spencer Turnbull was scheduled to start Saturday's day game in Minnesota.
Tom Reisenweber of the Erie Times-News first reported the promotion, following Erie's 13-8 win over Akron.
The Tigers haven't yet announced the move, as Soto could be the 26th man that teams are allowed to add when playing a doubleheader. The Tigers and Twins open the four-game series Friday at Target Field.
Soto, 24, a 6-foot-1, 240-pounder, was signed by the Tigers as a teenager out of the Dominican Republic, and has steadily risen up the ranks of the organization's prospects.
Over seven seasons, he's 31-23 with a 3.36 ERA, but a 1.439 WHIP because of some control issues. He's a power pitcher, though, with 491 strikeouts in 453 innings.
He began this season on the suspended list, a 20-game ban for what was termed "Conduct Detrimental or Prejudicial to Baseball." When activated, Soto began the year at Single-A Lakeland, made one four-inning start, and was swiftly promoted to Double-A Erie.
At Erie, he made two starts, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits in 13.1 innings, while striking out 12.
Erie, the Tigers' Double-A affiliate, is home to the system's brightest crop of starting pitchers, including the team's last three first-round picks — Casey Mize, Alex Faedo and Matt Manning.
The Erie pitching staff has made all kinds of headlines lately, with two no-hitters, with Faedo tossing seven innings of one of them, and Mize going the distance in the other. The staff as a whole had its streak of 44 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run snapped Wednesday.
Soto was the Tigers' minor-league pitcher of the year in 2017.