The Tigers released right-handers Heath Hembree and Trevor Rosenthal, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News (Twitter link). Rosenthal signed a minor league contract with Detroit in March, while Hembree inked a minors deal of his own in May.
Neither player saw any action for the Tigers this season at the big league level, in large part due to injury. Hembree made only six appearances (pitching six innings) with Triple-A Toledo, after spending more than a month on the injured list — Toledo just activated him from the IL on Friday. As for Rosenthal, he tossed three minor innings before undergoing elbow surgery in mid-June.
This elbow procedure is the latest in a series of injuries that has plagued Rosenthal’s career for well over five seasons. Since the start of the 2018 campaign, Rosenthal has thrown only 39 innings in the majors, due to such varied injuries as a Tommy John surgery, thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, and a hip surgery. The nature of this latest elbow surgery isn’t known, but it is fair to wonder if it could be one setback too many for Rosenthal, and whether or not he might be considering retirement at age 33.
Hembree signed a minors deal with the Rays during the offseason and pitched in one game for Tampa before being designated for assignment. The 11-year veteran had enough service time to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency, which led to his signing with the Tigers. Best known for his seven seasons with the Red Sox from 2014-2020, Hembree has since pitched for a whopping seven different teams, appearing at the MLB level with all of those clubs except Detroit.