The Detroit Tigers have announced that they have selected right-handed pitcher Elvin Rodriguez to their 40-man roster. Additionally, Tucker Barnhart, recently acquired in a trade with the Reds, had his club option for 2022 selected. Three players were also reinstated from the 60-day IL: catcher Jake Rogers and righties Rony Garcia and Spencer Turnbull.
Rodriguez was originally brought over to the organization as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Justin Upton to the Angels. At the time of the trade, he was only 19 and pitching in A-ball. Since that time, he has climbed through the Tigers’ system, reaching Triple-A this year. Baseball America ranked him as the #18 prospect in the organization in 2020, but he didn’t crack the 2021 list. FanGraphs ranked him at #30 in the Tigers’ system last year and #35 this year.
The righty, who turns 24 in March, made 18 starts at the Double-A level this year, logging 75 2/3 innings. His 5.83 ERA certainly doesn’t seem impressive, but it came with a solid 24.2% strikeout rate and average-ish 8.8% walk rate. After his season in Double-A, he was promoted to Triple-A for a single two-inning appearance in October. The club has a solid core of young hurlers in their rotation, with Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal and Matt Manning being the headline names. Rodriguez will likely start the year in Triple-A and try to force his way into the big league picture as the season goes on.
The other transactions were mere formalities. There is no IL in the offseason, meaning all players on the 60-day IL have to be reinstated and retake their roster spots, with today being the deadline to do so. Barnhart was just acquired in a trade a few days ago, making it a lock that his option would be exercised by the club.