Tigers DFA Rule 5 pick Reed Garrett, who could be lost to Rangers

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — You can talk about the rebuild all you want. But the Tigers still are trying to win ballgames, they're doing an absolutely horrible job of that lately, and patience is clearly running thin.

Third baseman Jeimer Candelario got the boot to Toledo on Wednesday, and after Thursday's 17-3 loss to the Oakland A's, it was Reed Garrett shown the door.

Garrett was designated for assignment following his latest horrific outing — an inning in which he gave up four runs on four hits, including a home run. He's given up 14 earned runs in 15.1 innings.

In the postgame clubhouse, he sat solemnly near his locker, a bag half-packed, as teammates came over to offer consoling hugs.

Tigers pitcher Reed Garrett sits in the dugout in the seventh inning. He allowed four runs on four hits in one inning.

"He can't control the strike zone at all right now," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's got a wonderful arm, but we have to have innings out of him.

"You can't use him. You've gotta be usable, no matter how hard you throw.

"With the way our situation is, we can't live with it."

Garrett, 26, was acquired by the Tigers in the December Rule 5 draft, meaning he'd have to spend the entire 2019 season on the Tigers' active roster or they risk losing him.

If he clears waivers, Garrett will be offered back to the Texas Rangers, the team that took him in the 16th round of the 2014 MLB Draft.

He's got a powerful right arm, averaging more than 95 mph with his fastball. Problem is, the exit velocity off the opponents' bats (94.2) is almost as fast as that average fastball — significantly worse than the league average.

He's allowed runs in each of his last six outings, which an ERA of 17.55 in that span.

"Great arm, yes, but he just misfires too much," Gardenhire said. "We love the kid, but it's just too much. It's not working."

Taking Garrett's place on the roster will be right-hander Sandy Baez, and this won't comfort you: He has an 7.58 ERA in 19 innings at Triple-A Toledo this season. But the Tigers, who got four innings or less from a starter for the fourth consecutive game Thursday, need arms. Any arms, and Baez qualifies. He had a nine-game with the Tigers in 2018, with a 5.02 ERA over 14.1 innings.


Twitter: @tonypaul1984