The Tigers announced that they had appointed a mitigator Jacob Barnes For assignment and choice of defensive player Derek Hill To Triple-A Toledo. Moves open a pair of right-handed 26 player rosters Drew Hutchison and left Tyler Alexander, which will be added to the active list tomorrow. Hutchison was selected from Toledo, while Alexander will be taken back from the injured list for 15 days. Detroit’s 40-man squad is still at 38.
Barnes signed a minor league contract during the holiday season and split from the club. The seven-year MLB veteran made 22 appearances for captain AJ Hinch, working primarily in low-leverage positions. Barnes has struggled for a 6.10 ERA by 20 2/3 innings, and of even greater concern, his tendency to swing and fail drops sharply. He has swing hits on only 7.7% of his runs, and his 11.2% strike rate is the fourth lowest mark among 160 softeners with over 20 innings.
This is a surprising development, as Barnes has typically posted strong strike and strong numbers throughout his career. The speed and spin on both Fastball and Cutter haven’t changed for last season, but he simply isn’t getting the kind of swing and flop that he’s used to. Barnes is out of his junior-league options years, so the Tigers had to set him up for the job if they weren’t willing to continue giving him opportunities to sort things out at the major league level.
Detroit will now have a week to trade the 32-year-old or put him on exemptions. Given his tough start to the year, Barnes will likely land on the waiver wire. Even if it goes unclaimed, he’ll have the right to turn down a minor league assignment while still collecting the remainder of his $1.13 million salary by virtue of exceeding five years of MLB service this season.
Hutchison returns to the major leagues for a second time in 2022. He made ten appearances earlier in the year after breaking the opening roster, but Detroit named him for the appointment last month. Hutchison arrived at free agency after removing the concessions but re-signed a minor league deal and worked his way back after five solid matches with Mud Hens. The veteran only allowed three runs in 9 2/3 runs with Toledo, and hit 13 hitters with three runs.
Getting started early in his career, the 31-year-old Hutchison has mainly acted late. That includes all of his early season action in Detroit, where he threw 15 2/3 innings from a nine-running ball. Hutchison hit 15 hitters and released 12 walks on that stretch, but he is able to withstand multiple frames from the base of the bulls, and is supposed to interfere with Barnes’ middle relief role.
Meanwhile, Alexander is back after a six-week absence. He started working on the Southern Bao four times in April, but an elbow sprain has kept it shelved ever since. Originally targeted for a swing role, he will likely return straight to the rotation for the club that lost Casey Miz Operation Tommy John witnessed Matt Manning And the Michael Pineda on shelves due to long-term injury problems. Detroit will also be without Eduardo Rodriguez Indefinitely because he takes care of personal matters.