When word came down this morning that left hander Duane Below would be called up to make the start tomorrow against Oakland, the general feeling was that centerfielder Austin Jackson would likely be landing on the disabled list. Jackson, out since July 10 with a sore wrist, is feeling good enough to return to the lineup tonight, however.
The Tigers are sending their best eight guys plus third baseman Brandon Inge out there tonight against former Tiger farm hand Guillermo Moscoso, who was traded to the Rangers to get Gerald Laird prior to the 2009 season. Moscoso will be making his ninth start for the A’s tonight and has a sparkling 2.16 ERA through 50 innings this year. He walks better than three batters per nine, however, and strikeouts less than five, so you get the sense he’s been doing it with mirrors.
Jackson’s return comes with the addition of a wrap on his wrist, one he says will likely be there throughout the rest of the season. It also muddies up the decision on who will be leaving the active roster to make room for Below after tonight’s game. It figures the Tigers will option a hitter rather than a pitcher, as the staff has been a man short since just before the break when Charlie Furbush was demoted.
Since it won’t be Jackson going on the shelf, the guess is that one of the three backup outfielders will be headed south. Ryan Raburn, recently displaced from his second base job, has an option remaining, but I’d guess the move will be to demote Casper Wells over Raburn or Andy Dirks. With Raburn’s ability to play the outfield (limited as it may be), Wells becomes a redundant bat. Dirks can play all three outfield spots about as well as Casper does and he hits from the left side.
Of course, given that we are now just 12 days away from the trade deadline, a lot can happen between now and this time tomorrow.