The Tigers have restored the left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez from the restricted list, tweets Daniel Álvarez-Montes from El Extra Base. right-handed Wily Peralta was designated for assignment in a corresponding move.
Rodriguez, 29, landed a $77 million five-year contract in the off-season, with the Tigers hoping he could be an accomplished anchor of their young rotation. Detroit had put out many promising young starters in previous seasons, including: Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Tarik Skubal and others. It was hoped that those youngsters, coupled with the addition of Rodriguez, could give the club a strong rotation and help them come out of their years of rebuilding.
Unfortunately, Murphy’s Law has been applied to the Tigers in the strictest possible terms this season, with their rotation being heavily focused. Mize made just two starts before landing on the injured list and eventually had Tommy John surgery, which put him out of action this year and likely most of next year. Manning has since returned but missed nearly four months due to shoulder problems, having made just five starts this year. Skubal stayed healthy for a while, making 21 starts, but recently underwent flexor tendon surgery that will end his 2022 and likely keep him out of action for part of 2023 as well.
As for Rodriguez, he ended up on the injured list in May due to a rib cage sprain. He began a rehabilitation assignment in early June, but was then transferred to the restricted list due to a personal matter that was later reported to be a spousal issue. He returned to begin another rehabilitation assignment in early August, working back to a starter’s workload for today’s return. In the end, Rodriguez spent just over two months on the restricted roster, during which time he took no place on the 40-man roster and earned no salary. Prior to that extended absence, he made eight starts for Detroit and registered a 4.38 ERA in 39 innings.
Because the club’s rotation is so snakebite throughout the year, they’ve had to go through several backup plans over the course of the season. One of them was Peralta, 33, who signed a minor league deal in the off-season. He was selected to the roster in mid-April and played in 28 games. In 38 1/3 innings of the year, he has a 2.58 ERA, not missing any bats completely, but at least missing the most important part. His strikeout rate of 19% is below league average, but he’s in the 89th percentile in terms of barrel percentage. Perhaps because he keeps hitters off balance, his HR/FB percentage of 5.6% is less than halfway through his career, which helps keep his ERA low.
Despite those solid results, Peralta will move towards the waiver in the coming days as the trading deadline is now behind us. Manger AJ Hinch spoke to reporters about today’s moves, including: Chris McCosky of the Detroit News, and explained that they want to use the rest of the season to evaluate younger pitchers. “We give Wily Peralta a chance to pitch elsewhere as we look at some of the guys who will be here sooner,” Hinch said.
Hinch also explained that: Daniel Norris and Garrett Hill will be moved to the bullpen, as the club has multiple off days and can survive a few weeks on a four-man rotation. In Hill’s case, it’s all about limiting his innings along the trajectory to avoid getting overloaded. The club’s rotation will be made up of Rodriguez, Manning, Tyler Alexander and Drew Hutchison.
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