The Tigers announced that they have selected the contract of right-handed pitcher Garrett Hill. He will take the active roster spot of fellow righty Rony Garcia, who has been placed on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder soreness, retroactive to June 30. To create space on the 40-man roster, Matt Manning has been transferred to the 60-day IL.
Hill, 26, was selected by the Tigers in the 26th round of the 2018 draft. Since then, he’s climbed the rungs of the minor league ladder, racking up strikeouts at each level along the way. He started this year at Double-A and made seven starts for the SeaWolves. In that time, he struck out 40.9% of the batters he faced, walking 7.9% of them and getting grounders at a 33.3% clip.
Based on those strong results, he was moved up to Triple-A and made eight starts for the Mud Hens. The higher level of competition naturally resulted in lesser results, though Hill still fared well. His Triple-A ERA is 4.06, along with a 28.7% strikeout rate, 9.4% walk rate and 32.6% ground ball rate. Baseball America ranked him the #21 prospect in the system as part of a recent update. The Tigers’ plan is for Hill to start one of the games in tomorrow’s doubleheader against the Guardians, which will be his MLB debut.
Detroit was supposed to have their rotation as a strength this year but have seen a litany of injuries derail that plan. Casey Mize underwent Tommy John surgery and is out for the rest of the year, joining Spencer Turnbull, who underwent the procedure last year. Matt Manning has only made two starts due to shoulder issues. Eduardo Rodriguez made eight starts before landing on the IL and then the restricted list due to a personal matter. Michael Pineda spent about six weeks on the IL as well, but has since returned. Now Rony Garcia is the latest starter to land on the shelf.
Due to all of that, the Tigers have leaned hard on their starting depth this year, giving MLB debuts to pitchers such as Beau Brieske, Alex Faedo, Elvin Rodriguez and Joey Wentz, with Hill now stepping up as the next rookie to get a shot.
The move for Manning is strictly procedural as he’s been on the IL for over 60 days already. He will be eligible to return as soon as his health allows, though he will need to be added back onto the 40-man roster at that time. He is close to starting a rehab assignment but will need some time to build back up into game shape.
Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press reported Hill’s promotion before the official announcement.
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