The Tigers announced that they have given left-hander Hector Santiago his unconditional release. Meanwhile, southpaw Tarik Skubal has been cleared to rejoin the Tigers’ 60-man player pool and been reassigned to their alternate training site, and righty Zack Hess has been removed from their player pool.
Santiago, 32, joined the Tigers on a minor league deal last offseason after mostly working as a reliever in 2019 and combining for 33 2/3 innings of 6.68 ERA/5.89 FIP ball with the White Sox and Mets. That continued a multiyear run of subpar production in the majors for Santiago, who served primarily as a starter earlier in his career and generated solid results for for the White Sox and Angels. During his peak from 2011-15, Santiago notched a 3.55 ERA/4.54 FIP with 8.25 K/9 and 4.00 BB/9 over 532 2/3 innings.
The Tigers didn’t say why they placed Skubal on the injured list when they made the move July 10. Regardless, it’s encouraging to see one of baseball’s top pitching prospects on his way back. The 23-year-old Skubal, who ranks as MLB.com’s 46th-best farmhand, was dominant in his first taste of Double-A action in 2019 with a 2.13 ERA/1.26 FIP and 17.43 K/9 against 3.63 BB/9 across 42 1/3 frames.