Detroit Tigers: What Happens when Cameron Maybin Returns?
The Detroit Tigers recalled Cameron Maybin today after the win against the Baltimore Orioles. Now that he will be making the quick drive from Toledo to Detroit, what will happen to the rest of the team – especially in the outfield.
One answer was quickly given when the Detroit Tigers also announced that Anthony Gose will be sent down to Toledo in exchange for Maybin. This was a bit of a shock to fans, especially with Steven Moya on the 25-man roster.
So who will play where?
It is an odds-on favorite that Maybin will quickly begin creating routes and leaving footprints in centerfield. This means that Justin Upton will return to his place of comfort in left and J.D. Martinez will remain in right field.
This call-up means that the lineup will need to be changed, too. Maybin will most likely fill the number two hole, which will put J.D. Martinez back down in the five spot, moving the rest of the players back down the line. Upton will most likely take the seven spot after Nick Castellanos in the sixth.
But the biggest question regarding the “return” of Maybin is: What will become of Steven Moya?
It is commonly known that Moya cannot cover centerfield, especially one as spacious as Comerica Park. Moya did make some good catches in left field during the series with Baltimore, but he did not look comfortable choosing his routes.
This call-up and send-down creates a conundrum for Brad Ausmus. There is no way that Moya will be able to platoon with Maybin in center field – unless he undergoes some serious practice time. It is also questionable that Upton will spend any time in the huge outfield in Detroit.
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All that is left for Moya is the designed hitter spot and Victor Martinez‘s bat is more valuable than Moya’s. So, there is little-to-no chance that the young hitter will replace the might veteran. There is no way that Moya will take over any positions in the infield, either. In 2015, Ausmus considered giving Moya some reps at first, but quickly dismissed the idea because Moya has only played in the outfield during his entire time in the minor leagues.
This begs the question: Could Moya simply be trade bait right now? It is clear that the Tigers need to make a move that will improve their starting rotation and Moya could be just the guy to use in a trade. Giving him some time in the Big League lets other teams see what Moya can do with his bat and in the outfield.
After the contract extension that J.D. Martinez was given in the off-season, it is clear that he will be in Detroit for some time. It is also clear that Upton will not leave until 2017. His contract is just too big to move.
Next: Three Minor League Players Who Could Help the Tigers
Moya will be running out options after this season, so the Tigers will have to make a decision on him soon. They have plenty of outfielders in the other minor league teams. Players like Christin Stewart, Mike Gerber, JaCoby Jones, Wynton Bernard, and Derek Hill are putting up good numbers at the plate and making memorable plays, too. They could make Steven Moya a redundant player if they haven’t already.