Detroit Tigers Re-Assign Joe Jimenez, Three Others

Feb 23, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Joe Jimenez (77) catches a ball during the Detroit Tigers spring training camp at Joker Merchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 23, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Joe Jimenez (77) catches a ball during the Detroit Tigers spring training camp at Joker Merchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Detroit Tigers assigned prospects Joe Jimenez, Kevin Ziomek, Austin Green and Kade Scivicque to minor league camp.

The Detroit Tigers are well into the team’s Spring Training slate of games. As such, the Tigers roster is beginning to take some kind of shape.

While the majority of roster moves are yet to come, Detroit re-assigned a quartet of prospects. Pitchers Joe Jimenez and Kevin Ziomek and catchers Austin Green and Kade Scivicque were sent to minor league camp.

Detroit’s official Twitter account released the news on Saturday morning, tweeting, “Prior to today’s game, the #Tigers have assigned RHP Joe Jimenez, LHP Kevin Ziomek & C’s Austin Green & Kade Scivicque to minor league camp.”

Jimenez is the most prominent name of the group. He was viewed as a being longshot to make the bullpen given his excellent potential and pitching ability. Motor City Bengals ranked Jimenez as the fourth-best prospect in the Tigers minor league system—and for good reason. The reliever mixes a blazing fastball with controlled and a filthy slider. In the minor leagues, he owns a 1.67 ERA in 87.2 career innings. Over that span he’s totaled an incredible 126 strikeouts, good for 12.9 punch outs per nine innings.

Despite the stellar numbers, he had not pitched above Single-A. However, relievers do tend to progress quicker than most other players.

The flame-throwing reliever probably would have had a better shot if it weren’t for his relatively young age (21) and the presence of Mark Lowe, Justin Wilson, Francisco Rodriguez, Blaine Hardy and Alex Wilson

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While Jimenez reassignment is a mild surprise, the move to send Ziomek to minor league camp isn’t. It has nothing to do with the pitcher’s ability, but more to do with depth. Motor City Bengals ranked Ziomek as the team’s ninth-best prospect, but he was blocked in the rotation by Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, Shane Greene, Michael Fulmer and (potentially) Buck Farmer.

Like Jimenez, Ziomek has yet to reach Double-A, however he showed well in 27 starts for Advanced Single-A club Lakeland in 2015. The former second-round pick posted a solid 3.43 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 154.2 innings pitched. What’s more, he also limited walks, handing out a mere 34 free passes. At only 23 years of age, he’s definitely a name to watch for the future.

Joining the two in minor league camp are the pair of catchers, Green and Scivicque. Neither had a legitimate shot at making the roster thanks to James McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Bryan Holaday, but it was a good sign to see each get an invite to camp. Green has never played above Double-A, while Scivicque has yet to play at any level above Single-A, so the experience will likely help the two in the future.

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Green got into five Spring Training games, failing to reach base in six at-bats. He did, however, pick up an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Scivicque played in one game for Detroit this spring. Like his fellow catcher, Scivicque went hitless. However, he did draw a walk in two plate appearances.

Despite the assignment of all four players, it wouldn’t be surprising to see all of them contribute to the Detroit Tigers at one point or another down the line.

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