The Tigers announced that they’ve returned right-hander Reed Garrett, their pick in last December’s Rule 5 Draft, to the Rangers. Detroit designated Garrett for assignment last week, and he went unclaimed on outright waivers (as was first reported, on Twitter, by Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press).
Garrett, 26, piqued the Tigers’ interest with a combined 2.04 ERA, 8.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 61 2/3 innings of work for the Rangers’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates last season, but it’s been difficult for the club to trust him so far in his big league debut. He’s tallied just 15 1/3 innings, and during that time he’s issued 13 walks, hit a batter and recorded 10 strikeouts. Garrett has also served up 25 hits, three of which have been home runs.
Even for a rebuilding club like the Tigers, carrying a reliever who’s had such pronounced difficulty throwing strikes would be difficult over the course of a full season — particularly when there are other young arms in the organization to evaluate in that spot. The inability to option Garrett to the minors also limits the day-to-day roster flexibility for general manager Al Avila and his staff, which is particularly troublesome given the large number of injuries the Tigers have experienced in the rotation — all of which combine to put further pressure on the bullpen to soak up innings.
The Rangers, who themselves are in need of all the young pitching they can get, will surely be pleased to welcome Garrett and his 95.7 mph fastball back to the organization. He won’t take up a spot on the 40-man roster unless the club decides to select his contract and promote him to the Majors later this season.