The Detroit Tigers recently addressed their depth issues in the outfield with the trade of Austin Meadows. However, losing rookie outfield Riley Greene continues to cause a ripple effect. During the game Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox, Robbie Grossman experienced some right tightness in his groin. At this point, it is unclear whether he will need time in the IL.
Detroit Tigers Moves
This morning, the Detroit Tigers made a minor league deal to acquire right-handed utility player Jamie Westbrook from the Milwaukee Brewers for cash considerations.
Westbrook, who was a former Top 30 prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks system, has over 256 games as a second baseman and 225 in the outfield. According to a Baseball America scouting report ($), he shows above-average arm strength and is mainly known for being a gap hitter.
This move makes sense. It was reported this morning that outfielder Daz Cameron was in the clubhouse as an option. But if you look at the first week with the Tigers Triple-A team, the Toledo Mud Hens, the Tigers are looking at various options in the outfield who are on the 40-man roster. Willi Castro, Zack Short and Kody Clemens, who have traditionally have been infielders, have seen time in the outfield since last season. Clemens has started four games so far for Toledo this season in left field and is off to a solid start, hitting .300/.323/.500 with an OPS of .833.
However, Toledo leads the International League with 87 strikeouts in just seven games. While it is early in the season and it takes time for the bats to catch up, there is still cause for a concern if Clemens does not have plate discipline. Clemens can play multiple positions, but as far as an everyday outfielder is concern, you have Cameron on the 40-man roster. Jacob Robson, who was on the 40-man roster last season, is also an alternative. But room would have to be made.
If Detroit can stay competitive with the current roster until the All-Star break, the Tigers could stay pat. However, it will need some players to step up. Akil Baddoo is off to a slow start but it is way too early. Regardless, if Riley Greene comes back, there are no guarantees that he will come out of gates hitting over .300. Perhaps a trade for a veteran outfield could provide a spark, similar to Austin Meadows has done so far.
With the bullpen short-handed, can the Detroit Tigers afford to have another portion of the team short-handed? Time will tell if Daz Cameron gets pressed into duty. Let’s hope he can deliver on the intangibles Detroit liked about him when they traded Justin Verlander for him.