Detroit Tigers lefty Joey Wentz is having a strong AFL campaign, the Tigers add and subtract a few more names and more in this week’s Monday notes.
The Detroit Tigers are home for the winter, but the exciting MLB postseason has been filling the baseball void. Fans in San Diego and Philly are going to see their teams in the National League Championship Series. Meanwhile, Atlanta and L.A. fans are left shaking their heads after terrific regular seasons were spoiled by early playoff exits.
Here in Detroit there were a few additions and subtractions to both the Tigers roster and their front office. But before we get to that, check out latest addition of “Tiger Talk” as Dan Dickerson talks to the new President of Baseball Operations, Scott Harris, on his expectations and how he plans on building the team. If you have Spotify, you can find the link by clicking here or on Apple Podcasts.
Narrowing down the candidates for the next Detroit Tigers General Manager
Per our sources, the Tigers were targeting two names in particular. The top candidate was Randy Flores, who is the scouting director for the Cardinals. Flores, who you may remember as a reliever for the 2006 St. Louis team that won the World Series, has an impressive track record since taking over as the scouting director in late 2015. Since 2016 St. Louis draft picks have a combined WAR of 46.9, the most of any team. But the Cardinals inked Flores to a contract extension earlier in the week — perhaps due to interest from other clubs.
We’ve also heard the name Mitch Colahan, who is the assistant director of amateur scouting for the Yankees. It’s unclear if Colahan is a candidate for GM, or if he is being targeted to become Detroit’s new director of scouting. Other popular targets are Dana Brown of the Atlanta Braves, James Harris from the Cleveland Guardians, and Jason McLeod, who spent several years in the Cubs front office with Scott Harris.
The Tigers farm system showed some positive growth in 2022, with standout seasons from Colt Keith, Izaac Pacheco and Wilmer Flores, just to name a few. The young crop of international players, headlined by Cristian Santana and Roberto Campos in Lakeland, showed the fruits of the recent international signings, something Detroit has struggled with for quite some time. You can read more about their season here.
Back on October 8th, the Tigers parted ways with Scott Pleis, their director of scouting. That was first reported by the Detroit Free Press.
Thank you, Drews
Right-handed pitcher Drew Hutchison was designated for assignment on October 11th. By doing this, Detroit let him hit the free agent market early. Hutchison did an admirable job eating innings for a Tigers team desperate for healthy arms. His 105 1/3 innings and 18 starts both ranked second for the Tigers, trailing only Tarik Skubal.
Per MLBTradeRumors.com, reliever Drew Carlton has elected free agency. Carlton, who was taken by Detroit in the 32nd round of the 2017 MLB Draft, had a few cups of coffee with the ballclub. He appeared in nine games over the last two seasons out of the bullpen.
Catcher Ali Sanchez was also designated for assignment. Detroit replaced him on the 40-man roster with catcher Michael Papierski, most recently of the Cincinnati Reds. Papierski was drafted by the Astros in 2017, and they traded him to the Giants in May. He spent five games with San Francisco before being waived and picked up by the Reds.
The Tigers also added another infielder, claiming Jermaine Palacios off waivers from Minnesota.
Joey Wentz finishing his 2022 on a high note
Lefty Joey Wentz was one of the players highlighted recently by MLB.com in the Arizona Fall League. Wentz had Tommy John surgery in 2020 as was limited to just 72 innings in 2021. A shoulder strain in June cost Wentz a chunk of this season, too, but when he was healthy he put up an impressive 1.73 ERA and held hitters to just a .161 average. He is now pitching for the Salt River Rafters, where he has allowed just just one hit and two walks while striking out 11 in eight scoreless innings. Wentz threw 86 innings between Detroit and the minors this year, and it appears the Tigers want to get him over 100 total innings on the year.
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