Despite all the rumors swirling around the Tigers and their pursuits of free agents and trade targets alike, so far there hasn’t been much in the way of actual news. Apart from the re-signing of INFs Brandon Inge and Jhonny Peralta early in the off-season, the biggest nugget came out when Eddie Bonine was picked up by Philadelphia. Today, the Tigers made a minor league signing of their own, netting left hander Kyle Bloom, late of the Pirates organization.
Bloom has worked almost exclusively as a starter in the Bucs’ system, but has never pitched above Double-A. He has good stuff, but has always battled control problems. In his six minor league seasons, Bloom has allowed fewer than a hit per inning and has done a great job of keeping the ball in the yard, but has walked 4.5 batters per nine innings while striking out seven per nine.
According to Mark Anderson of TigsTown, the Tigers could be shifting the soon-to-be 27 year-old to a full-time relief role in hopes he can add a touch of velocity. If everything goes wonderfully, Bloom could conceivably be in the mix of pitchers vying for a spot in Detroit’s ‘pen. I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one, but if he can ever harness his control, he’s still young enough that he could have a future.
The Tigers had Bloom in Spring Training in 2009, after selecting him from the Pirates in the Rule V draft of 2008, but he was returned to the Bucs after not making the club. MLive had a story on Bloom from February of ’09 in which Jim Leyland was quoted as being very impressed with Bloom’s curveball. Steve Kornacki’s piece also said that Bloom’s fastball touched 97 mph, so he definitely has the tools.