The Detroit Tigers have released right-handed reliever Mark Lowe, in the middle of a two year contract.  They’ll still have to pay him five million dollars. The 33 year old Lowe had a terrible season for Detroit in 2016, and hasn’t been able to regain the form he showed in 2015 with Seattle and Toronto.

Detroit also optioned last year’s starting center fielder, Anthony Gose, to the minors.   There’s talk that Gose may try to convert to a pitcher.

The Tigers' web site also says that eight other players were cut.   Relief prospect Joe Jimenez was sent to Minor League camp along with pitchers Edward Mujica, Arcenio Leon, Ruben Alaniz and Logan Kensing, infielder Dominic Ficociello and utilityman Juan Perez. Catcher John Hicks was optioned to Triple-A Toledo.

With the cuts, the Tigers still have eleven more decisions to make to get down to the 25-man roster by opening day, April 3rd.  Some of those players have no chance to make the club, but are still around to fill in as needed.

The Tigers will have to make a decision on pitcher Mike Pelfrey.  He's in the second year of a contract that will pay him $8 million this season. But with Anabel Sanchez and Matt Boyd pitching so well, there may not be a spot for Pelfrey.   He could stay on the team as a reliever and spot starter.  Assuming the Tigers go with a 12-man staff, four pitchers need to be cut.

The Tigers have to keep Rule 5 pitcher Daniel Stumpf or return him to the Royals.  They also have to keep outfielder Steven Moya and infielder Dixon Machado, or risk losing them to the waiver wire.  Both are out of options.

Moya may get a reprieve, with J.D. Martinez on the disabled list for the first two weeks of the season.

Here are the players I think are on the Bubble:

  • Matt Boyd-Should be on the team, but has options and won't leave the Tigers holding the bag for millions of dollars to Sanchez or Pelfrey.
  • Bruce Rondon-a head case with a good arm.
  • Angel Nesbit-maybe next time
  • Blaine Hardy-could be edged out by Kyle Ryan, or maybe Daniel Stumpf for the second lefty spot in the pen.
  • Daniel Stumpf
  • Mikie Mahtook or Steven Moya (until J.D. Martinez comes back from the DL)
  • Omar Infante-nice try.  Could still stick if the Tigers think he can hit again.
  • Dixon Machado-could make it if they say goodbye to Infante.


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