The Tigers announced today that they’ve claimed right-hander Donn Roach off waivers from the Mariners and designated fellow right-hander Jeff Ferrell for assignment in order to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Roach, who was designated for assignment by the Mariners on Aug. 4, has been optioned to Triple-A, per the Tigers’ announcement.
In 39 career innings at the Major League level, Roach has a 5.77 ERA with 20 strikeouts against 18 walks. While those numbers aren’t especially enticing, Roach intrigues a great many teams, as he’s been on the 40-man roster of the Padres, Cubs, Blue Jays, Reds, Mariners and now Tigers in the past two years. He’s never missed many bats, but Roach is a ground-ball specialist (67.1 percent in the Majors) and did see an intriguing spike in his average fastball velocity in his brief eight-inning sample with Seattle this year; after averaging 88-89 mph in prior seasons, Roach’s heater averaged 92.6 mph in 2016.
Baseball America rated Ferrell, 25, as the Tigers’ No. 21 prospect this past offseason on the heels of a 2.58 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 38 1/3 innings. However, injuries have limited him to just 7 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level this year and 11 1/3 innings overall. He hasn’t pitched in a game since mid-May.