Detroit Tigers Trade Bobby Wilson Back to Texas
Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila acted quickly to move Bryan Holaday before the season, dealing him to Texas for Bobby Wilson and Myles Jaye. Now, Avila has dealt Wilson back to the Rangers.
Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann returned from the disabled list on Tuesday after being sidelined since early April with an ankle injury. The backstop went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He was also hit by a pitch.
McCann’s return obviously will have a significant impact one the catching situation. Fill in Jarrod Saltalamacchia won’t be playing every day, although you can certainly make the case for Salty and McCann evenly splitting the catching duties. Based on this, there probably wasn’t room to carry three catchers on the 25-man roster
A 33-year-old with eight seasons of Major League experience, Wilson came to Detroit in the Bryan Holaday deal. Following the injury to McCann, the veteran backstop was promoted.
Acting as Saltalamacchia’s backup, Wilson hit .154 with a pair of RBI, a walk and three strikeouts in five games. The former Angel also failed to throw out the only base stealer he encountered.
With McCann and Saltalamacchia serving as two starting-caliber catchers, there wasn’t room for Wilson on the big league roster. Because of this, Avila traded him back to Texas. The Rangers had previously been getting by behind the plate with a combination of Holaday, who is hitting .154 with three RBI and 10 strikeouts in 13 games, and Brett Nichols. The rookie has posted a solid .257 batting average and .876 OPS in 10 contests, but remains just that—a rookie. In other words, Texas needed the depth.
In return for Wilson, the Detroit Tigers received minor league pitcher Chad Bell. A 27-year-old left-hander, Bell is currently pitching at the Triple-A level. If his numbers with Texas’ Triple-A affiliate Round Rock are anything to go by, the pitcher could be an intriguing call up sometime this season.
In 18 innings pitched (spanning five appearances) in 2016, Bell has 19 strikeouts compared to just five walks. In addition, he’s also allowed just three earned runs, which translates to a 1.50 ERA. Of the former Texas farmhand’s five outings this season, two were starts.
All told in his minor league career, the lefty owns a 3.66 ERA and 463 strikeouts in 576 innings pitched. Of the 149 games he’s appeared in, 86 of them have been starts. Bell has also finished 18 contests and has three complete games, as well as three saves to his name.
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The Detroit Tigers have now received two quality depth pieces in return for Bryan Holaday—not to mention a few weeks of Wilson serving as a backup catcher. Bell joins Jaye (who MLB.com ranks among the team’s top 30 prospects) in the minors as a potential call up and useful piece down the road. Not a bad haul for a third-string catcher.