The Tigers placed catcher Bobby Wilson on outright waivers Saturday, according to manager Ron Gardenhire (via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News). There is a 72-hour window for a team to claim Wilson. If no one grabs him by Tuesday afternoon, Wilson can either accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Toledo or elect free agency.
The Tigers are clearing out Wilson to make room for catcher prospect Jake Rogers, whom they’re poised to select from Toledo, McCosky reports. A third-round pick of the Astros in 2016, Rogers joined the Tigers a year later as part of their return for ace Justin Verlander.
The 24-year-old Rogers is known for his defensive prowess, but he raked at the Double-A level this season en route to a promotion to Triple-A ball. Since joining Toledo’s roster, Rogers has batted .223/.321/.458 (95 wRC+) with nine home runs in 191 plate appearances. In its most recent assessment of the Tigers’ farm system, Baseball America (subscription link) rated Rogers as the organization’s 13th-best prospect and wrote that he could “help Detroit in the near future.”
There is a realistic path to plenty of immediate playing time for Rogers, as Wilson, John Hicks and the now-injured Grayson Greiner have all endured horrific offensive seasons. Tigers catchers have combined for a league-worst 30 wRC+, meaning they’ve been about as useful at the plate as many pitchers. No Detroit backstop has been worse with the bat than Wilson, owner of a .091/.130/.114 line (minus-41 wRC+) in 47 plate appearances since the team promoted him to take Greiner’s place in mid-June. While the well-traveled 36-year-old has never been much of a hitter, the Tigers certainly expected better than what they’ve gotten from Wilson.