Tigers adjust roster, purchasing veteran catcher Dustin Garneau; Robson sent down
Detroit — Tigers manager AJ Hinch was asked before the game if there were any roster moves pending.
“We’re considering some things,” he said. “Let’s get through batting practice first.”
There were a lot of balls still in the air Wednesday as the Tigers were not only trying to put together a roster to finish the series with the Angels, but also go through the logistical hassles of preparing the team and a taxi squad for a weekend trip to Toronto, Canada.
“We have a full taxi squad that’s coming and a couple of injured guys who are working their way back,” Hinch said. “But the lineup I posted is the one we’re going with.”
Some of the balls landed an hour before game time when the Tigers announced the following moves:
► Catcher Dustin Garneau, who had been in the Tigers system earlier this season, was acquired for cash from Colorado. He’d been playing at Triple-A Albuquerque.
► Outfielder Jacob Robson was optioned back to Toledo.
► Catcher Jake Rogers was transferred to the 60-day injured list to clear a roster spot for Garneau. The earliest he could return is Sept. 17.
The move for a catcher was hastened by tightness in Eric Haase’s low back area. He was scratched from the lineup Tuesday and was not in the starting lineup Wednesday.
“He’s doing OK,” Hinch said. “He came in early today and he’s moving around quite a bit. He hit, did some throwing. He’s not going to play today but we hope to have him over the next couple of days. We’re going to be very conservative with him, but he felt significantly better than he did yesterday.”
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Still, the Tigers couldn’t go across the border with one and a half healthy catchers.
“Yeah, it’s daunting to think about when you lose a catcher,” Hinch said. “That’s one position where you can’t just throw anyone in there and pretend. Zack Short has already offered his skill set (laughing) and Harold Castro has begrudgingly told me he could do it.
“But I’d probably activate myself or (assistant coach) Josh Paul before I go that route.”
Garneau, who has played parts of six seasons in the big leagues, three with Colorado, is a far better option.
The 34-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Tigers this winter and was beaten out for a roster spot and started the season at Toledo. He was injured early on (wrist fractureand played only 17 games before he opted out.
He considered retiring but ended up signing a minor league deal with the Rockies and played 11 games at Albuquerque.
There may be another roster move coming in the outfield, as well. Both Akil Baddoo (concussion) and Derek Hill (ribs) made rehab starts at Toledo Wednesday. Hill was expected to rehab with Toledo all weekend, Baddoo has cleared the concussion protocol and the initial thought was he'd be activated for the trip to Toronto.
Hinch said that's not happening.
“Akil is playing in Triple-A (Wednesday) and staying there through the weekend,” he said. “Some of that is to get him up and running full-go and get his swing back to where it was before the injury. Also, it’s hard getting in and out of Canada. Getting to Toronto has been some tough planning.”
Besides the usual passport and customs procedures, the entire traveling party has to be tested twice for COVID-19, entering and leaving the country.
Daz Cameron (toe) is close to being ready to come off his rehab assignment and could be activated before the Toronto series, or sooner. With Robson being optioned back, and with the Tigers set to face a string of left-handed starters, the Tigers could activate right-handed hitting Cameron.
Infielder Isaac Paredes (hip) was activated off the injured list Wednesday and optioned to Toledo. Hinch didn’t offer any promises that Paredes would be back with the Tigers this season.
“We need to see him play well,” Hinch said. “I don’t think he’s mastered Triple-A to the level that he shouldn’t be there. These opportunities present themselves, but the door opens and closes quickly depending on how everyone else around you is doing.
“We just want him to continue to develop.”
Around the horn
…Right-hander Jose Urena (groin) threw his first rehab inning Tuesday. Hinch said his fastball was hitting mid-90s. He will extend to two innings in three days, shooting to be stretched to three or four innings by Sept. 1, at which point the Tigers could bring him back into the rotation.
...Lefty Matthew Boyd (elbow) threw three scoreless innings and 43 pitches in his second rehab start Wednesday night in Toledo. He struck out four and allowed two hits. He will likely make one more rehab start before a decision is made on his activation.
Angels at Tigers
First pitch: 1:10 p.m.
TV/Radio: BSDet, 97.1
TBD, Angels: Scheduled starter Patrick Sandoval was placed on the injured list Wedneday with a lumbar fracture. The Angels will likely deploy a bullpen game.
RHP Matt Manning (3-5, 6.10), Tigers: He seemed to find a comfortable stride distance in his last start in Baltimore and was able to unleash some velocity. He hit 97.6 mph with his two-seamer and averaged 94.6, more than a mph faster than his season average. He still gave up a lot of hard contact (91 mph average exit velo) and didn’t generate much swing and miss (four), but he pitch six full innings and earned a win.
— Chris McCosky