It’s a mere weeks away before the rosters expand, and the future of franchises get the call up to the big leagues to get a glimpse of the majors.
The Detroit Tigers are no different than any other team. It’s getting towards the end of the season and players are starting to wear down, and could use the help of some of their youngsters down on the farm.
So who will be getting the call up the big leagues come September 1st when the rosters expand? Here are four possible players who maybe on the Tigers come September 1st:
Bruce Rondon: Rondon has flat out dominated the minor leagues this season. This 21-year-old started out the year at A-ball and has moved all the way up to triple-A. Between A, double-A, and triple-A, Rondon has posted a 1-1 record with a 1.34 ERA. He has also struck out batters at an alarming pace. Averaging 11.5 strike outs per-nine. Control use to be his biggest problem, but he has really harnessed his command. Walking 3.8 batters per-nine. When you throw over a 100 miles per-hour consistently, Rondon could be a valuable arm for the Tigers down the stretch.
Drew Smyly: Smyly was on the Tigers at the start of the year. He lost his spot in the rotation after making his second trip to the DL and the Tigers made the trade for Anibal Sanchez. In 15 starts with the Tigers, Smyly was 4-3, with a 4.42 ERA. After a tremendous start, Smyly started to fall off a bit, and had some injury problems. Since returning to the minors Smyly is 0-2 with a 7.50 ERA. But in those five games he is averaging 12.5 strike outs.
This south paw could be used much like former Tiger Jacob Turner was used last year. If the Tigers get to the playoffs and clinch a spot early enough, he could be used to give one of the starters an extra days rest and allow Jim Leyland to set his rotation.
Collin Balester: Balester was in the Tigers’ bullpen at the start of the year, but his ineffectiveness to throw strikes and get hitters out got him sent down. Since then, Balester has put up some respectable numbers with the Toledo Mud Huns. In 24 games he has a 3.64 ERA and has lowered his walk rate down to 2.7 per-nine. With some of the recent struggles by Phil Coke and Joaquin Benoit, Balester could prove to be a nice sixth or seventh inning guy.
Al Albuquerque: Albuquerque posses one of the best sliders in the game of baseball. Albuquerque has been rehabbing the last month or so and is close to returning to the big leagues. Last year he was 6-1 with a 1.87 ERA, and struck out nearly 14 batters per-nine. When Albuquerque comes back, him and Brayan Villarreal could be one of the better one two punches in the game of baseball.
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