According to 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit, Tigers outfielder Brent Clevlen has cleared waivers this afternoon, and will Join the Toledo Mudhens to start the 2009 season. Clevlen, who was battling for the 25th spot on the roster, lost out to Jeff Larish in the final week of spring training. Clevlen hit .279 with AAA Toledo last season, with 22 bombs and 82 RBIs.
Clevlen, who was Baseball America’s #16 top prospect in the organization last season, fell out of the top 30 in the 2009 Baseabll America top Tigers prospects. Last season, Clevlen had a 44 game on base streak with the Mud Hens, but he could still face missing playing time.
The Mudhens outfield is stacked full of talent, including #21 prospect Clete Thomas, and #6 prospect Wilkin Ramirez. Also making the team who can play the outfield is utility man Ryan Raburn and veteran Timo Perez. It will be really interesting to note where thest outfielders play. I would assume due to recent Tommy John Surgery and having best speed on the squad, that Clete Thomas will be the center fielder, Wilkin Ramirez in left, and Brent Clevlen in right. This will be a pretty solid offensive squad. If power hitting Casper Wells heats up at the AA level, he could join this outfield squad as well.
Other News and Notes:
–Mike Hessman has also been optioned to AAA Toledo. Hessman, an Olypmian in 2008, is the Tigers’ version of Crash Davis. Hessman hit 39 bombs combined with the Tigers and Mudhens.
–Jon Heyman believes the Tigers could release or trade names like Magglio Ordonez, Brandon Inge, Carlos Guillen and Jeremy Bonderman at the deadline. I would buy into this idea, especially with the 140 million dollar payroll the Tigers have in a city like Detroit. As much as I hate to say it, this could be the only option at the middle of the season.
— According to the Freep, The Tigers discussed trading Raburn to the Cardinals late last month. Raburn (if they are still talking) could fill in for Troy Glaus if David Freeze struggles. Seems like a good bridge as well between Glaus and top prospect Brett Wallace. Rumor has it the Tigers are looking for relief help (really?) Raburn could return a decent reliever. The Tigers did have a deal done for righty Brian Stokes, who had a 3.51 ERA in 2008.
–Nate Robertson wants out: Ok, maybe not out, but he wants to start, and not sit in the Pen. Does he really have a choice? The Tigers had a chance to possibly trade him before spring, but the way he performed, I don’t see anyone biting. That is unless the Tigers eat some contract, or bring a reliever back in return with a higher salary.This might be me hoping just a bit too much, but the Dodgers have a severe hole at the starters posision. Could the Tigers package something for an out of option reliever like Hong-Chih Kuo? Yet again, the Mets might come a calling if Livan Hernandez or Mike Pelfrey falter.
–What’s on Tap?: The Tigers will take on the Atlanta Braves tonight at 7:05 PM ET. The game is actually at Turner Field. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 2. Zach Minor Vs. Javier Vazquez tonight (awful familiar matchup). Scheduled to pitch for the Tigers include Fernando Rodney, Bobby Seay, Brandon Lyon and Juan Rincon.
–Spring Training Notes:
The Tigers are 4th in the AL in ERA.
Miguel Cabrera has hit safely in six of his seven games sicne returning from the WBC. Same goes for Curtis Granderson.
Gerald Laird is hitting .382 over the last 11 games.
Eddie Bonine has yet to be scored on in his last 10 outings, and Juan Rincon has not been scored on in his only 11 innings.
The Tigers open up in Toronto, and will work out there at about 5 PM on Sunday.