All the speculation about what the Detroit Tigers will do with their outfield logjam when Andy Dirks comes back from injury can be abandoned–at least for now.
It all began early this evening with a strange Tweet from the Lakeland Flying Tigers:
Could this mean Dirks was being brought up to start the second half on the Tigers’ roster? Could this be a trade of Dirks or another player? Could he be on the move to Toledo to continue his rehab efforts?
The answer to all these questions was no.
Dirks, who has been on the mend since back surgery in March, is now suffering from inflammation in his lower back resulting from increased activity. No timetable was given for getting back on schedule.
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It should be interesting to see how long the Tigers will go before shutting Dirks down for the season. They might not be in a major hurry to do that, however. Even if Dirks can’t rejoin the big league club until September, he’d still be eligible for the playoff roster. To be eligible for October, a player must be on the 25-man roster before September 1 (the date of the annual September call-ups), but players on the DL are also eligible.
VERHAGEN TO START FIRST GAME OF DOUBLEHEADER SATURDAY
Drew VerHagen. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Most everyone thought that Robbie Ray would get the call-up for the day portion of the Detroit Tigers’ day-night doubleheader with the Cleveland Indians on Saturday. Instead, Drew VerHagen will get the nod.
VerHagen will be called up for the day from Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers do not need to send anyone down because they are allowed to carry a 26th player on a doubleheader day.
Ranked 12th best prospect in the Tigers’ organization by MLB.com, VerHagen will be making his major league debut. The 23-year old, drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft, is sporting a 6-7 record and 3.67 ERA for the Mud Hens.
The Tigers were poised to use Ray, who started three games for Detroit in May, but he allowed eight runs in last start in AAA. VerHagen, on the other hand, has been trending upward, allowing three runs or less in his last five starts, lasting at least seven innings in four of them.