The Tigers announced several roster moves in advance of tonight’s Rule 5 protection deadline. Five players have been added to the 40-man roster: right-handers Reese Olson and Brendan White, infielders Andre Lipcius and Wenceel Perez, as well as outfielder Parker Meadows. In corresponding moves, they designated righties Miguel Diaz and Kyle Funkhouser, catcher Michael Papierski and outfielder Brendon Davis for assignment. Lefty Sean Guenther cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Toledo.
Funkhouser, 29 in March, showed some promise in 2021 with a 3.42 ERA over 68 1/3 innings for the Tigers. Unfortunately, a shoulder strain kept him from pitching at any point in 2022. The right-hander was the No. 35 pick by the Dodgers back in 2015 but, as a player who slid after initially being a projected as top-ten or even top-five talent, returned to Louisville for his senior season. A poor year caused him to slide to the Tigers in the fourth round, and he’s now seen his pro career slowed by multiple shoulder injuries. In 85 2/3 career innings, he has a 4.20 ERA and a 12.9% walk rate.
Diaz, 28 later this month, had some success with the Padres in 2021 and pitched 3 2/3 innings of one-run ball with the Tigers in 2022. The bulk of his ’22 campaign, however, was spent in Triple-A Toledo, where he logged a 4.29 ERA with a 24.2% strikeout rate and 10.5% walk rate. Diaz throws fairly hard, averaging just shy of 96 mph on his heater, but his ability to miss bats has been inconsistent in the Majors, whereas his sub-par command has been a steady component of his game.
The 26-year-old Papierski has bounced around the league in 2022, spending time with the Astros, Giants, Reds and Tigers so far this calendar year. He hit .143/.228/.187 in 103 plate appearances this season, his Major League debut, and carries a .241/.361/.371 batting line in 160 games at the Triple-A level.
Davis, whom the Tigers claimed off waivers from the Angels back in May, made his big league debut in 2022 and went 2-for-10 with a walk in 11 plate appearances. The 25-year-old is a career .253/.352/.465 hitter in 721 plate appearances at the Triple-A level and has experience at shortstop, second base, third base and in both outfield corners.