The Tigers made the somewhat surprising move to option left fielder Mikie Mahtook to Triple-A Toledo following last night’s game, per a club announcement. Mahtook, a former first-rounder on whom the Tigers bought low late in the 2016-17 offseason, turned in a solid 2017 campaign in Detroit and opened the year as the Tigers’ primary left fielder. However, the 28-year-old got off to a brutal .129/.200/.161 start to the year through his first 35 plate appearances, prompting a move to be made. Manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters after the game that it was a “tough night” for the organization and called delivering this type of news the “worst part of being a manager” (link via MLive.com’s Evan Woodbery). “Tough decision. Not fun at all,” said Gardenhire. “I really like Mikie. He’s kind of scuffling a little bit. I told him he needs to go down and get his swing together and get his confidence back and he’ll be right back up here.” Mahtook, who hit .276/.330/.457 last season, took the demotion in stride, voicing confidence that he can turn things around in Toledo and return in the near future.
More out of the Motor City…
- Wednesday was a frightening day for right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, who exited his start after being struck in the face by a line-drive off the bat of Jason Kipnis. Remarkably, however, it seems as though Zimmermann not only avoided major injury but will be able to make his next start, as MLB.com’s Jason Beck writes. Statcast measured the exit velocity of the comebacker that hit Zimmermann at a blistering 105.6 mph, but Zimmermann passed MLB’s concussion protocols, and X-rays came back negative. Zimmermann noted that it wasn’t the first time he’s endured that type of injury, as a comebacker in college broke his jaw. Beck’s column has quotes from Zimmermann, Gardenhire and Kipnis on the incident.
- The Tigers will face a pivotal decision in their rebuilding effort this June when they have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft. Per Kiley McDaniel of Fangraphs (all Twitter links), Auburn right-hander Casey Mize is favored to come off the board first overall at the moment, but the Tigers are also looking at Jarred Kelenic — a high school outfielder out of Waukesha, Wis., as a possibility with the top pick. The interest in Kelenic, McDaniel adds, isn’t a smokescreen designed to lower the price on other players and seems to be quite legitimate. Kelenic saw the Tigers’ Spring Training facility back in early March, and McDaniel notes that he’s been hearing talk about the two sides since that time, though those rumors have increased recently.
What happened to Brady Singer? I thought he was the consensus first overall pick.
Maybe it requires YOU to do a little reading and find out. As a matter of fact, I want a full report by 3pm EST on this site for us all to see. Do a 1000 words or more.
I’m a huge Florida fan and he’s still up there, although his stuff has been down just a bit this year. There’s a good chance someone gets real value if he slides out of the top 4
Carter Stewart is the best pitcher in the draft. I’m going to be laughing at anyone who takes Casey Mize.
Mize is a “chucker”, rears back and with heavy effort like someone trying to chuck a rock as far as they can Mize chucks his fastball to the catcher and achieves 93 MPH. Mize will be 90 – 91 next spring with the sorry team who chose him.
Thank you Johnny Superscout
It will be interesting to see who gets the next try in LF. They need a power bat. Could Stewart be ready?
JaCoby Jones CF
Did you see MM misplay the fly ball last night? Guy needs to work on his defense, too.
I had such high hopes for Mahtook…
Jason Krizan is doing his best JD Martinez impression in Toledo now (1.744 OPS). I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get the call up over Mahtook next.
Not that I think Krizan is the next JD Martinez, only that the dude’s red hot for the Mud Hens right now.
They need to be starting JaCoby Jones more he could be a solid player if they used him at an everyday basis, he has more speed and power than Mahtook.
Tigers dont take someone just to save money and use it later. Take the best avail even if it requires max slot.
Phillies went.with Mickey Moniak at #1 for a reduced slot over more touted prospects and Moniak has looked extremely underwhelming.
They should have taken Senzel
If the “Best” player isn’t head & shoulders above the rest, then I can see taking below slot players and drafting other tough sign guys and paying over slot down lower in the draft.
Huh? Moniak got six million USD. That’s not a discount. The first slot is artificially high, it’s expected the first team choosing will use money later on to sign at least one over slot high school pick.
The Phillies signed a seven foot LHP out of high school for $1 million and that’s looking good so far.
Discount? Do a little research
Unless they can find the next Ken Griffey Jr, the Tigers should stick with what they do well, and select from the top college talent. The rebuild doesnt need the added years to wait on some 18 yr old to arrive. It would be great to get an offensive talent, but they seem to do better with their Pitching choices..
Totally agree. Another risk of drafting a guy out of high school is the possibility that he won’t sign and go to college instead. Too risky imo.
The Tigers are in the early stages of the rebuild. The goal is to take the player that you think will have the best career.
Blue Jays have to be salivating over Carter Stewart. Aaron Sanchez and Noah Syndergaard.
Anyone who goes out facing 100mph+ heat as a fielder or 90+ and sometimes 100+ heat in the box is tough in my book. All those dudes have bravery and toughness to face that day in and day out. The fielders don’t even wear helmets lol
Wow. Zimmermann got lucky