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Tiger Transaction Breakdowns

John Stroba- Writer

April 2, 2010

March 31: Tigers optioned OF Clete Thomas, OF Wilkin Rameriz assigned to Double-A Erie.

With Thomas going down to Toledo, it gives Don Kelly the 25th roster spot. The trade for Austin Jackson this winter really said alot about the Tigers confidence of Clete Thomas being anything more than a stop gap player for them. Thomas does have some speed and pop in his bat, but his swing tends to get long and then he is very overmatched at the plate. Kelly's ability to play 3b halfway decently is a key so that Leyland can rest Brandon Inge and his two surgically repaired knees more often.

Rameriz is getting sent down to play at Erie where he can get a lot more ABs and it lessens the pressures of the Mud Hens OF (Strieby, Thomas, Boesch and others). If Rameriz could ever control the strike zone then he could be a very good player. However, he does not and as a result is dropping in the OF prospect pecking order (such as it is in Detroit). Unless that changes he is starting to looking like organizational fodder.

March 30: The Tigers optioned INF Brent Dlugach to Toledo. Traded LHP Nate Robertson to the Florida Marlins for LHP Jay Voss.

Not a big surprise here. Dlugach is a slick fielding SS that does not have have an idea on how to control the strike zone. He does have some pop, but at 27 years old he does have the look of being a slick fielding backup IF option that hangs on to the roster for his ability to play the left side of the IF. Should one of the MI get hurt for the Tigers then Dlugach is probably looking at a callup.

Now, this is a surprise. Robertson not only does not make the rotation but gets dealt away for something "more than nothing". The Tigers after seeing some very bad pitching from Robertson over the last several years, and are not buying into the Spring Training "good pitching" that some people are seeing. It is telling that the Tigers are only able to get a LOOGY prospect back in Voss while paying nearly all of Robertson's 10 million dollar contract. It shows the MLB teams are not buying into what Robertson is doing this spring. While others are going to be saying Robertson is the most likely option to bounce back, the question is bounce back to what? Nate is a below average innings eater pitcher if he does bounce back. That is not much of an upside.

Bonderman and Willis are longer shots to hit, but if they do they are going to have a lot bigger impact on the Tigers. If neither of them hits, the below average pitching of Robertson is not going to be enough to float the Tigers to contention. The Tigers can probably get that from numerous other options such as Miner, Coke and Bonine to name a few. Leyland is making reference to Nate being unhappy if he is heading to the pen. That seems pretty likely sincce Nate made some rumblings about that last year. Voss does not require a 40 man spot, it could mean there might be a trade in the works or that the Tigers are going to be scouring the waiver wire for someone out of options to pick up.

March 27th: Tigers placed RHP Zach Miner on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 26, with tendinitis in his right elbow. Detroit options LHP Daniel Schlereth and OF Wilkin Rameriz to Triple A Toledo.

Miner will start the year on the DL. Now, Miner if is going to be a starter he will probably go on a rehab assignment to be stretched out should the winner of Willis/Robertson #5 slot struggles out of the gate. More likely he will be back in mid to late April as a multi inning bullpen guy. Schlereth is a possible closer that is going to be a possible first RP called up should the Tigers need a guy. Schlereth needs to learn a bit more control, but the upside is very high here. Wilkin Rameriz is all tools that scream very good player, but he just does not seem to be able to put it together.


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