Tigers Protect Players With Roster Moves
DETROIT—The Tigers made some interesting choices when they added five prospects to their 40-man roster.
Detroit added three pitchers—lefties Casey Crosby and Matt Hoffman and righthander Tyler Stohr—as well as a pair of young Venezuelan position players in Avisail Garcia and Hernan Perez.
The additions of Hoffman and Crosby, both 23, were expected. Crosby has long been one of the Tigers' top pitching prospects, though he has battled injuries that cost him nearly all of the 2008 and '10 seasons. He went 9-7, 4.10 in 25 starts for Double-A Erie in 2011, then switched to relief in the Arizona Fall League and was 2-0, 1.32 with 13 strikeouts and 10 walks in 14 innings.
Hoffman has shown glimpses of a mid-90s fastball at times, and in 2011 he was a key component in the bullpen at Triple-A Toledo, posting a 2-5, 3.18 record. He had 46 strikeouts but 23 walks in 62 innings.
The other three players are more unheralded. The 25-year-old Stohr bounced back from elbow problems in 2010 to split last season between high Class A Lakeland, where he had 23 strikeouts and just eight walks in 31 innings, and Erie, where he fanned 27 but walked 17 in 26 innings. Stohr's command issues resurfaced in the AFL as he walked nine in 12 innings for Salt River.
Garcia, a 20-year-old outfielder, was one of the Florida State League's youngest players last season and hit .264/.297/.389. He has good size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and speed that allowed him to bash 11 home runs while stealing 14 bases. He struggled with strike-zone command, fanning 132 times with 18 walks.
Perez, a second baseman, was a Midwest League all-star, hitting .258/.314/.364 for low Class A West Michigan. He further elevated his stock by hitting .302/.318/.397 in 18 AFL games.
• The Tigers removed shortstop Cale Iorg from the 40-man roster. Iorg had surgery to repair a torn labrum in late September and could miss the entire 2012 season.
• Among the players left off the 40-man roster and exposed to the Rule 5 draft were 26-year-old second baseman Brandon Douglas, who hit .281/.320/.371 at Erie in 2011, and 23-year-old shortstop Gustavo Nunez, a fine defensive player who batted .304/.368/.431 in 260 at-bats in Lakeland, then hit .215/.252/.289 in 121 at-bats for Erie.