The Tigers announced that they have selected the contracts of outfielder Christin Stewart and veteran catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia from Triple-A Toledo. Right-hander Zac Reininger was also called up from Triple-A. To make room for Saltalamacchia on the 40-man roster, righty Artie Lewicki was shifted to the 60-day disabled list.
Stewart was taken 34th overall in the 2015 draft, selected by the Tigers with the compensation pick they received when Max Scherzer left the club to sign with the Nationals in free agency. Now 24 years old, Stewart will get his first chance to display his power bat at the big league level, after swatting 93 homers and posting a .503 slugging percentage over 1930 plate appearances in the minors. (His minor league slash line also includes a .262 average and .363 OBP.) After topping the 131-strikeout plateau in his previous two seasons, Stewart displayed increased plate discipline in his first taste of Triple-A ball this season, with just 108 whiffs against 67 walks over 532 PA for Toledo.
Stewart’s bat is his calling card, as he is considered to be a below-average corner outfielder whose future may be as a designated hitter. This is obviously a limit on his potential, though his scouting report on MLB.com (which ranks Stewart as the sixth-best prospect in Detroit’s system) notes that Stewart has displayed a strong work ethic in trying to improve himself as a defender. Baseball America also ranked Stewart fifth in their midseason list of the ten best Tigers prospects.
Saltalamacchia signed a minor league deal with the Tigers last March and now looks on track to appear in his 12th Major League season, though he may not get a ton of playing time with James McCann and rookie Grayson Greiner ahead of him on the depth chart. Saltalamacchia previously played for Detroit in the 2016 season, appearing in 92 games for the club.