The Tigers will call up as the 26th man for Saturday’s double header, right hander Drew VerHagen from AAA Toledo to make a spot start for the first game of a day/night double header against the Cleveland Indians. This information comes from Tony Paul of the Detroit News. He is already a member of the 40 man roster so no additional moves will be required to bring him up.
The rumor was that LHP Robbie Ray, who had started two games earlier in the year for the big league club would get the call up, but he’s had a rough go lately in AAA. Another theory on why VerHagen is the selection is that it’s a big league showcase game for him, as the Tigers will be buyers at the deadline and will be reluctant to include Ray in any dealings. They want to give other clubs that will be scouting the Tigers farm system a look at a another prospect at the big league level.
VerHagen is a 23 years old and was the Tigers’ fourth round pick in the 2012 draft out of Vanderbilt. He is 6-7 in 19 starts for the Mud Hens with a 3.67 ERA. According to MLB.com’s top 20 prospects list, VerHagen checks in at #12 in a not very good Tigers system. He is the fourth highest rated starting prospect in the system behind Robbie Ray, Jake Thompson, and Jonathon Crawford. Thompson just pitched in the Futures Game and has been promoted to AA ball as a 20 year old, Crawford was 2013’s first round pick and is pitching well in Low A ball and is due for a promotion.
MLB.com’s assessment of VerHagen on the traditional 80-20 scouting scale:
- Fastball – 60
- Curveball – 50
- Changeup – 45
- Control – 50
- Overall – 45
The peripherals aren’t terribly exciting however. He’s getting hit by AAA batters at a rather high .275 clip and he doesn’t miss many bats, allowing 117 hits in 110 1/3 innings pitched, striking out only 63, which is only 5.1 K/9, which would be dead last on the Tigers’ big league staff.
He doesn’t give up the long ball however, surrendering only five in his over 110 innings of work. The walks are also very low, only 25 in 110 1/3 innings which is good for just a 2.o BB/9 ratio. His WHIP is an acceptable 1.29, but it isn’t anything to get overly excited about.
The Tigers Post All-Star Break Rotation
- Friday 7/18 – A. Sánchez vs. Cleveland
- Saturday 7/19 Game 1 – D. VerHagen vs. Cleveland
- Saturday 7/19 Game 2 – M. Scherzer vs. Cleveland
- Sunday 7/20 – D. Smyly vs. Cleveland
- Monday 7/21 – J. Verlander vs. Arizona
- Tuesday 7/22 – R. Porcello vs. Arizona
The rotation was set with eyes on the Cleveland Indians and trying to get Drew Smyly a start against them because of their heavy left handed lineup. Justin Verlander will get an extended break until Monday to keep him away from the Indians who have had his number as of late.