Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus hasn’t received the best production from the team’s bench this season. Luckily, a player was just placed on waivers who could help—Jimmy Paredes.
Detroit Tigers bench players haven’t exactly lit the world on fire this season.
While Aviles and Wilson’s batting averages aren’t anything to write home about, the numbers actually get worse. Tyler Collins managed a .100 batting average in 20 plate appearances, while Andrew Romine has posted a meager .125 batting average and .458 OPS in 28 plate appearances.
Steven Moya has been a positive, but he’s currently in Triple-A. The slugging corner outfielder hit .281 with two doubles, two triples and a pair of RBI in just nine games. Moya could return to Detroit should Jordan Zimmermann make his next start and a pitcher is optioned to Toledo. However, bench could still use help.
Help could potentially be on the way—that is, if the Tigers make the right roster move.
According to Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star, the Blue Jays have designated former Baltimore bench cog Jimmy Paredes for assignment.
Paredes got into seven games with the Blue Jays, hitting .267 with a .353 on-base percentage, a double, a home run, two runs scored and two RBI. That’s obviously an extremely small sample size, but the 27-year-old provided versatility on defense, appearing in games as a third baseman, second baseman and right fielder.
This is nothing new for the former Oriole, who has also seen time in left field and as a designated hitter. He also has a track record of producing at the plate. In 104 games for Baltimore in 2015, the utility player collected 100 hits, including 17 doubles, 10 home runs and two triples. Paredes posted a .275 batting average, a .310 on-base percentage and 42—not to mention 46 runs scored and four stolen bases.
Jimmy Paredes is the rare utility player who can hit for power and be a threat off the bench in pinch-hitting situations. He’d be a perfect fit for the Detroit Tigers.
Even if Moya returns, that leaves the Tigers with just two viable pinch-hitting options—Steven Moya and backup catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. As it stands, Andrew Romine and Mike Aviles are the only other two bench players on the roster. Neither are exactly threats to win a league batting title any time soon, and both play similar positions.
Romine has seen action at each infield position, not to mention center field, in 2016. On the other hand, Aviles has started games at second base, third base, shortstop, left field and right field.
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If it came down to a decision between the two, Romine may have the upper hand. The former Angel is more of a threat as a pinch runner and can play across the infield. What’s more, his ability to man center field provides even more value considering the team’s other options are minor leaguers Anthony Gose and Tyler Collins.
Paredes be an offensive upgrade over Aviles, while also giving Brad Ausmus another pinch-hitting option alongside the likes of Moya and Saltalamacchia.
Adding the veteran to the Major League roster would obviously require a roster move. A player like Aviles or Warwick Saupold could be designated for assignment to clear space for the veteran.
If Detroit goes the route of optioning a player to make space for Paredes, one of the following players on the 40-man roster could conceivably be designated for assignment.
Since being demoted to Triple-A, the fleet-of-foot outfielder has managed only a .208 batting average in 54 plate appearances. What’s more, Gose has struck out 23 times compared to just 10 hits. Given his earlier struggles with the Tigers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him pass through waivers. In the event that Gose is lost on waivers, the organization has plenty of other options. Wynton Bernard provides a similar speed element, while players like Justin Upton, Romine and (eventually) JaCoby Jones can handle center field.
The Tigers may want to keep Hicks around considering he’s the only other catcher besides Saltalamacchia and James McCann on the 40-man roster. However, the 26-year-old has only hit .200 in seven Triple-A games after just being promoted from Double-A. It’s possible he could pass through waivers and stay in the organization should he be designated for assignment.
A former 25th-round pick, Ferrell made his Major League debut last season, allowing 12 hits, eight runs, four walks and three home runs in 11.1 innings pitched. That was good for a 6.35 ERA. With the Mud Hens this season, his ERA has risen even more so, currently sitting at 7.36 in just 7.1 innings pitched. As with Gose and Hicks, he could make it through the waiver process and stay in the organization.
Tyler Collins hasn’t had the best season so far in 2016. The outfielder hit .293 down the stretch last season, but hasn’t been able to find similar success so far this year. In just 10 games, the 25-year-old collected two hits and struck out six times in 20 at-bats en route to a .100 batting average and a .250 OPS.
Collins has improved slightly with Toledo, but he is still struggling. In 111 plate appearances, the former sixth-round pick owns a .190 batting average, a .261 batting average and just 19 hits. He’s driven in 11 runs, but has struck out 32 times.