The Tigers have announced that right-hander Drew Carlton has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Toledo. Carlton had been designated for assignment last week.
Carlton, 26, has seen sporadic MLB action over the past couple of seasons, throwing 3 2/3 innings out of Detroit’s bullpen last year and another 8 2/3 frames this year. He has a tidy 2.92 ERA in that small sample, but with a mediocre 15.7% strikeout rate along with average-ish walk and ground ball rates of 7.8% and 39.5%, respectively.
Carlton’s numbers at Triple-A this year are more concerning, however. Despite a 2.92 ERA with the Mud Hens last year, he has a 6.91 mark here in 2022. Despite solid strikeout and walk rates of 24.2% and 4.8%, respectively, he seems to have been undone by a .341 BABIP and 54.5% strand rate, both of which are much worse than the typical averages.
This is Carlton’s second outright of his career, meaning he has the right to reject the assignment and elect free agency. However, it’s not yet clear if he has made a decision in that regard. If he does decide to test the open market, he could still garner interest from teams, most likely on a minor league deal, given that he just cleared waivers. He still has options and is fairly young. If any team were willing to chalk up his poor Triple-A performance to bad luck, they could see the value in adding him as a depth option that doesn’t require a roster spot.