As has been reported in several places, the Tigers had their second round of "cuts" yesterday. Virgil Vasquez, thought to be a candidate for the team's long relief role, was optioned to Toledo, as was Brent Clevlen. Freddy Dolsi, Chris Lambert, and Preston Larrison all made great impressions in camp, but were reassigned to Minor League Camp yesterday. It will be interesting how quickly those impressions are forgotten if they struggle in their minor league assignments. Also reassigned were catchers Nick Trzesniak and Max St. Pierre, both unlikely to make the team, and infielders Scott Sizemore and Michael Hollimon. I'll have more on Michael Hollimon later.
According to Baseball America's transaction page, the Tigers signed two pitchers to Minor League deals. Blaine Neal, 30, is a right-handed reliever who came up in the Florida system before bouncing around the past few years. He hasn't been effective in the Majors since 2002, so it's hard to get excited about him. Neal will likely fill into the Toledo bullpen in the event of some injuries. The other player brought in was 28 year-old Nick Martin, who hasn't been in organized baseball since 2004. He throws with his left hand, though, so he may grab a lower level bullpen spot.
The Tigers also announced Vance Wilson, Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney, and Jordan Tata will be placed on the disabled list. Some will wonder why Tata is going on the disabled list instead of being sent down, and the answer to that is that he is out of options. If the shoulder problem persists and he needs to miss the whole season, the Tigers will be able to send him down to Toledo next year if needed. The news doesn't sound good on Fernando Rodney, who hasn't progressed through his shoulder problems. The further he goes on without progressing, the more I will be inclined to think this is more than just tendinitis.
The Michael Hollimon injury was a devastating one. For a guy who, with a great season in AAA this season, could have forced his way into a bench role a la Ryan Raburn by midseason, being out for much of this season will hurt. Hollimon also had the potential to be a credible backup in the event of a Renteria or Polanco injury. The team is now stuck with Ramon Santiago in that event. Yeah, not good.