After this afternoon’s game, the Tigers announced to reporters that right-hander Drew Hutchison has been designated for assignment. Third baseman Jeimer Candelario will likely be activated from the injured list in a corresponding move. (Twitter links from Evan Woodbery of MLive.)
After today, all teams in baseball will be allowed to use no more than 13 of their 26 active roster spots on pitchers. Many teams, including the Tigers, have been opting for a 14-12 ratio of pitchers to position players recently, meaning that transactions of this nature will be inevitable to even things out.
Hutchison, 31, is no stranger to being designated for assignment by the Tigers, as this is the third such instance in the past year. A starting pitcher earlier in his career, he had a rough season in 2018 and didn’t make it to the big leagues at all in either 2019 or 2020. The Tigers signed him to a minor league deal for the 2021 season, eventually selecting his contract in August. He was DFA’d after just over a week and sent to the minors before being selected again in September.
After reaching free agency at season’s end, he signed another minor league deal with Detroit for this campaign. He made the Opening Day roster but was sent into DFA limbo in May, eventually reaching free agency but signing yet another minors deal with the Tigers. He made it back to the bigs less than a week ago and is now, once again, designated for assignment. He has a 4.81 ERA through 24 1/3 innings on the year.
The club’s rotation has been decimated by injuries this year, forcing them to continually scramble for options to cover innings. Hutchison got the start today and managed to get through 4 2/3. With three off-days coming up between now and the end of the month, they should be able to get by for a while a four-man rotation of Tarik Skubal, Beau Brieske, Alex Faedo and Rony Garcia. However, July with be a different story, with 19 games in just 17 days going into the All-Star break, thanks to a pair of doubleheaders. If Hutchison continues his pattern of re-signing with Detroit after clearing waivers, it’s possible they will need his services again in a few weeks.
As for Candelario, he was slumping miserably before hitting the injured list a few weeks ago. He seemed to establish himself as the club’s future everyday third baseman by hitting .278/.356/.458 over 2020 and 2021, producing a wRC+ of 123. However, this year, he hit just .181/.236/.319 for a 58 wRC+ before landing on the shelf with a shoulder injury. He’ll look to get things back on track as things go forward. In his absence, most of the playing time at the hot corner has gone to super utility player Harold Castro, who has played every position on the diamond except catcher in his career.