Catching up with the Detroit Tigers playing in winter leagues

Jul 28, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joe Jimenez (77) pitches against the Minnesota Twins in the eighth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 28, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joe Jimenez (77) pitches against the Minnesota Twins in the eighth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

There is baseball going on in Puerto Rico and in the Dominican Republic. Let’s catch up on where various Detroit Tigers players and minor leaguers are currently up to.

The rest of the world has not stopped playing baseball as the Dominican Winter League (LIDOM) is in full swing and several Detroit Tigers including Willi Castro,  Ángel De Jesύs, who was just added to the 40-man roster, and Drew Carlton, have all have seen action.

RHP Angel De Jesus

De Jesύs pitched for Gigantes del Cibao but since he was added to the 40-man, he has not pitched since November 20th. His numbers in a very small sample size (4IP, 7H, 6R, 5ER, 4BB, 1SO) were not great however he pitched in 64 innings between Erie and Toledo so it could be the case of fatigue.

Worth mentioning that Elvin Rodriguez as reported by Evan Petzold of the Freep that Rodriguez just made one start before he had an injury but has not pitched.

RHP Drew Carlton

Carlton is pitching for Leones del Escogido along with infielder Willi Castro. He has not pitched since the end of November but here are his stats, which are much different than his 2020 campaign in which he allowed just one earned run in 14 innings of work with an ERA of 0.63. 8IP,15H, 7R, 4ER, 8K, 2K

INF Willi Castro

Like Carlton, he only made a handful of appearances before shutting it down due to injuries, hitting 5-for-29 (.172) but had one massive home run back on November 6th to right.

RHP Joe Jimenez and RHP Angel Reyes

Jimenez just joined the Liga de Béisbol Profesional de Puerto Rico aka the Puerto Rican winter league playing for the Gigantes de Carolina with Tigers minor league right-hander Angel Reyes. While Reyes’s numbers are not pretty (6.2IP, 8H, 8R,7BB, 6K), Jimenez in just three innings of work so far has allowed just one hit, struck out five, and has issued just one walk. As Brandon Day of Bless You Boys points out, his glove tap and short arm action seem to have disappeared.

OF Victor Reyes

Reyes is playing down in LVBP (Venezuelan Winter League) for Caribes de Anzoategui and after nine at-bats so far in two games, he is off to a good start with a slash line of .444/.500/1.222/ with an OPS of 1.722

INF Isaac Paredes

He won player of the week honors while playing for Venados de Mazatlan in the Mexican Pacific Winter League. He hit .476 with 10 hits, 3 home runs, and 8 RBI. This has been all over social media so here is his power on display, which seems to be a yearly tradition.

A few names to throw out there for minor league free agents.

With various players that were opted for minor league free agency last month, here are a few names that would be good fits for the Detroit Tigers to add to a list from about a month back.

-LHP James Pazos (LAD)-Struck out 62 in 46 innings pitched last season for OKC with K per 9 of 12.13 but a walk rate of 4.7 per 9.  Originally drafted by the Yankees, he saw time in New York, Seattle, and Colorado. He is totally capable of having a sweet mustache.

-LHP Scott Alexander (LAD)-If you noticed that the first two names given were in the Dodgers organization, the Tigers have recently hired for their front office several LA personal so there is a chance they could dip into players they know. His career numbers in seven seasons between the Royals and Dodgers are not bad with a career ERA of 3.16 with a career K per 9 of 8 and a walk per 9 of 3.7. He features a slider, sinker, and changeup.

He offers a different look than Gregory Soto as he hits 92 MPH on the gun as he is mainly a groundball pitcher as his ground ball rate was at 63% last season on his main pitch, a sinker he threw 74% of the time last season. Batters hit just .143 against his slider that he threw about 17% of the time. He has seen some time on the IL but definitely worth taking a look at.

-RHP Jorge Guzman (MIA)-Guzman throws in the upper 90’s and can hit around 100 MPH. Before going to Miami from the Yankees in the Giancarlo Stanton deal, he was signed by Houston as an international free agent in 2014 before being traded with Albert Abreu for catcher Brian McCann. He lacks command but with a live arm like that and another opportunity, he could be a good bullpen arm in the minors with a chance to be called up again.