The Tigers announced Sunday a number of roster moves that will take place once rosters expand in September.
Prior to Monday’s game, Dontrelle Willis will be recalled from Triple-A Toledo. Willis has posted a 3-1 record and a 4.45 ERA in six starts with the Mud Hens. That followed an ugly stint with the big-league club in April and May in which he went 0-1 with a 10.32 ERA.
Right-hander Freddy Garcia will join the Tigers on Tuesday, but will not be added to the active roster just yet. Manager Jim Leyland said that it is in the plans to do so at some point in the future, though.
Prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Angels, the Tigers will recall right-handed pitchers Chris Lambert and Freddy Dolsi and left-handed pitcher Clay Rapada from the Mud Hens. Lambert posted a 12-8 record and 3.50 ERA in 26 starts with Toledo this season. Dolsi has allowed one run in nine innings of work at Triple-A. Rapada worked 14 2/3 innings with the big-league club earlier this season. He allowed seven earned run in 15 games.
The Tigers will also purchase the contracts of catcher Dusty Ryan and infielder Mike Hessman from Toledo. Ryan is batting .338 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 18 games with the Mud Hens. Hessman, who played with the USA team at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, is batting .269 with 34 home runs and 17 RBIs with Toledo.
Class-A West Michigan left-hander Jon Kibler continues to baffle Minor League hitters during a stellar 2008 campaign.
Kibler, Detroit’s 30th-round pick in the 2007 draft, is now 14-4 with a 1.63 ERA in 22 starts.
Dontrelle Willis had a difficult start this week for Triple-A Toledo. After struggling with the Tigers and Class-A Lakeland earlier this season, Willis is 3-1 in five starts for Toledo with a 4.28 ERA. The veteran left-hander is in the process of tweaking his mechanics.
— Thor Nystrom
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland confirmed Friday afternoon that Dontrelle Willis will make his next start for Class A Lakeland on Saturday against the Sarasota Reds.
Willis has not pitched since July 17.
When asked about Willis’ possible return to the Major Leagues this season, Leyland said, “That’s on the back burner for me. We’ve got a lot of work to do right now. It’s not out of my mind, but I have to let that play its course. Dontrelle will tell us when he’s ready to come back.”
In two Class A outings, the 2003 National League Rookie of the Year and 2005 NL Cy Young runner-up has allowed two runs on five hits in five innings.
Perry makes pro debut
Ryan Perry, the Tigers’ first-round selection in this year’s First-Year Players Draft, saw his first professional action for the rookie league Gulf Coast League Tigers on Thursday. The 21st-overall pick out of the University of Arizona struck out the side in his only inning of work.
Ramirez on DL
Double-A Erie outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, the Tigers’ lone prospect at the Futures Game at Yankee Stadium, went on the seven-day disabled list Monday with a strained quadriceps.
He’s hitting .303 with 14 home runs and 45 RBIs in 77 games at Erie this season.
Dontrelle Wills has not pitched at Class A Lakeland since July 17, but fans can watch the first inning of that last start here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF_9mQVnWoY
Willis pitched three innings in this start, giving up one earned run on four hits and, more importantly, no walks. In his two appearances since the Tigers optioned the left-hander to work on his control issues, Willis has allowed two runs on five hits and three walks in five innings.
The video doesn’t show any dramatic changes to his mechanics. The Tigers and Willis have kept virtually silent on what he and organizational pitching coordinator John Matlack have worked on.
“I’m just trying to get back to basics and doing that right,” Willis said in mid-July, “and not taking that for granted and just trying to rebuild it from there.”
However, Lakeland pitching coach Joe Coleman spilled some information to The Lakeland Ledger after Willis’ last outing.
“[We] have been working with Dontrelle to get him to throw the ball to zones rather than trying to hit spots,” he told the newspaper.
It’s uncertain when Willis will make another appearance.