The Detroit Tigers announced today via their official twitter account that Shortstop Cale Iorg has been added to the 40-man roster, thus protecting him from the Rule V draft. I had speculated in late October that the Tigers might leave him unprotected, but they obviously have more faith in Iorg’s development than I do.
As I said, the move to protect Iorg was a surprise to me. The scouts have long been a fan of his many tools, especially defensively, but his bat has never been anything close to productive. If Iorg were to play in the big league on a full-time basis, I’d expect him to not only lead the league in strikeouts, but perhaps even challenge Mark Reynolds‘ record.
His glove work is tremendous, however, so the Tigers must have felt that there was a real possibility of losing him to another club, so they made the move to protect him. If his bat ever comes around, he could yet become a real gem. If not, he’s just taking up space on the roster. Having just turned 25 in September, Iorg could still blossom, but he hasn’t shown any ability to make consistent contact as of yet.
Paul Wezner of TigsTown tweeted this quote from Dave Dombrowski regarding the move.
"“His ability as an athlete and defense at shortstop made him attractive to other teams, not a chance we wanted to take”"
In addition to Iorg, the Tigers added RHPs Lester Oliveros, Jose Ortega, and Brayan Villarreal to the roster along with LHPs Charles Furbush and Duane Below. The roster is now full at 40 players. If the Tigers make any major league free agent signings, another player will have to be designated for assignment in order to accommodate the incoming player.