Aug. 12: The Tigers formally selected Robson’s contract, clearing space on the active roster by placing Goodrum on the 10-day injured list, as Hinch indicated.
Lefty Matthew Boyd was transferred from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL to create a 40-man roster spot. Boyd’s move to the 60-day IL is retroactive to his initial placement, which came 59 days ago, so it’s largely a procedural move. He was sent out on a Triple-A rehab assignment today and would need a couple starts at least before being activated, so today’s transfer does nothing to impact his timeline.
Aug. 11: The Tigers are planning to select the contract of Jacob Robson tomorrow, manager A.J. Hinch informed reporters (including Chris McCosky of the Detroit News). He’ll take the active roster spot of utilityman Niko Goodrum, who will land on the injured list after leaving this evening’s game against the Orioles with a left groin strain. The Tigers will need to make a 40-man roster transaction tomorrow to finalize Robson’s promotion.
Detroit selected Robson in the eighth round of the 2016 draft out of Mississippi State. The left-handed hitting outfielder has spent parts of five seasons in the minor leagues and is now in line for his major league debut. Robson has never hit for much power, but he’s posted very strong batting averages and walk rates throughout his pro career, resulting in an overall .294/.382/.424 line in just over 2000 plate appearances.
Robson has never been seen as a top prospect because of his lack of impact physicality. He’s appeared near the back of Detroit organizational rankings at FanGraphs and Baseball America in recent seasons, though, with evaluators praising his hit tool, speed and makeup. The 26-year-old has logged extensive action at all three outfield positions.
While Robson has struck out at an alarming rate (35.9%) in Triple-A this season, he’s nevertheless managed a strong .280/.397/.440 line over 209 plate appearances. Robson has had some obvious good fortune (.463 batting average on balls in play) to hit .280 despite striking out so often. But he’s run incredibly high BABIPs throughout his minor league tenure, with his line drive, all-fields approach creating havoc for opposing defenses. Robson’s minor league performance earned the Ontario native a spot on the Canadian Olympic team this summer.
It has been a difficult season for Goodrum, who’s hitting just .224/.304/.348 over 237 plate appearances. The lefty-hitting utilityman looked like a potential regular for the Tigers after solid performances between 2018-19, but he’s followed that up with back-to-back down years as his strikeout rate has spiked. He’ll now have to work his way back from injury; the Tigers have yet to provide a timetable on his potential return.