Tigers news: Top prospect back in the clubhouse, struggling reliever optioned

Pittsburgh Pirates v Detroit Tigers - Game Two
Pittsburgh Pirates v Detroit Tigers - Game Two / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

Keider Montero's MLB debut didn't exactly go the way anyone wanted it to. Six years after he was signed as an international free agent and with a slow climb up the Tigers' prospects rankings (he's currently No. 7 per MLB Pipeline), he got the call up on May 29 and pitched 4 1/3 innings against the Pirates. He struck out five through those innings, but he also gave up four earned runs and two homers during that time.

The Tigers sent him back to Toledo the next day, and he's continued to struggle over his four starts since, carrying a 6.11 ERA in June.

However, it seems that he'll be getting another shot at the majors. Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic reported that Montero was present in the Tigers clubhouse on Tuesday, and reliever Mason Englert's locker was missing. Stavenhagen gave some conflicting reports on when Montero would start; the man himself said Wednesday, AJ Hinch said the Tigers may make Wednesday a bullpen day before starting Montero.

Either way, he's back in the majors for the time being, and will be looking to prove himself after the way his debut went. The Tigers haven't announced an official recall for Montero, but they did announce Englert's option back to Triple-A and the recall of lefty reliever Easton Lucas.

Tigers news: Keider Montero to be recalled, Mason Englert optioned, reliever Easton Lucas to make Detroit debut

Englert has been struggling consistently through the season, accumulating a 5.95 ERA over 19 2/3 innings pitched. His appearance on Monday against the Phillies, when he gave up a hit and a run to the Phillies in what turned into an 8-1 loss, seems to have been the last straw for the Tigers.

Lefty Easton Lucas takes his place on the roster and will make his Tigers debut the next time he comes out to the mound. Detroit claimed him off waivers in mid-May after he was DFA'ed by the Athletics. He pitched 3 2/3 rather disastrous innings in Oakland this season before getting the chop, giving up eight hits and seven runs (six earned) in consecutive appearances for a 14.73 ERA.

He hasn't looked great in Toledo either, having pitched 14 2/3 innings for a 6.14 ERA. It could be that the Tigers just want to add another lefty to balance out the bullpen, especially against Phillies lefty heavy-hitters Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper.

Both Montero and Lucas will be looking to prove themselves after down seasons so far, and the Tigers could desperately use the pitching help.