It’s no secret that J.D. Martinez will be returning to the Detroit Tigers any day now. He’s hitting the ball well with the Toledo Mud Hens and his ability to play right field at Comerica Park is sorely missed.
However, there is now a small problem named Tyler Collins.
The Detroit Tigers front office will need to make a decision soon about what to do with the man who has won back the heart of the fans with a powerfully clutch bat and with athletic plays from the outfield.
If the Tigers brass makes the right decision, Collins will stay with the team.
He seems like a man on a mission. That mission is to stay in the Big Leagues.
When he left the Tigers at the end of April, his stats were abysmal. Nearly every category was full of zeros. As in zero hits, zero doubles, zero runs scored, etc. Between April 11 and April 25 he had 20 at-bats with two hits and one RBI. That’s it, folks. A .100 batting average. He struck out in six of those at-bats.
Now that July has rolled around, he is a new man. His batting average has improved in every game, except for one and with 49 at bats under hit belt, he finally crossed the .200 line. After his stellar performance against the Houston Astros last night, he has a slash of .204/.235/.449 with an OPS of .684. He has three home runs and nine RBIs.
Granted, these are not Hall of Fame numbers, but the upward trend is encouraging.
And, there was that play at Fenway Park. In case you missed it:
Mario Impemba wasn’t the only one who lost it on that play. It was unbelievable. Collins threw that ball so hard that he actually lost his gum.
Of course, the Tigers can only keep 25 on the active roster. So, who do they move or DFA?
One suggestion is Mike Aviles. He has had 153 at-bats, but only one home run and six RBIs. Collins has had more than that in one month. Aviles stats are also loaded with zeros and very few games of significance. With a .209 batting average and OPS of .515, he really is a guaranteed out. Even his fielding stats are less than impressive. He is below league average in the outfield and infield.
Another suggestion is to drop a pitcher. I’m going to boldly suggest Mark Lowe. My other suggestion would be Bruce Rondon. They do nothing to bolster confidence when on the mound. In last night’s game with the Astros, Lowe pitched in 1.1 innings and STILL allowed two runs to score – despite the fact that they were not his earned runs. And Rondon, well, we all know what he does and doesn’t do.
Instead of demoting Collins to Triple-A, let him remain the outfield bench option and pinch hitter. Andrew Romine can be the infield bench option. There are plenty of men who could be sent away and never talked about again.