Wednesday, January 26 2022

The Detroit Tigers acquired right-handed pitcher Elvin Rodriguez in 2017 from the Los Angeles Angels as part of the Justin Upton trade.

More than four years later, the Tigers finally added him to the 40-man roster.

Rodriguez, 23, was set to become a minor-league free agent, due to his six seasons in the minors for the Angels and Tigers, but Detroit nixed that scenario by putting him on the roster. He is expected to begin the 2022 campaign in Triple-A Toledo, meaning his MLB debut isn’t far away.

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SeaWolves pitcher Elvin RodriguezSeaWolves pitcher Elvin Rodriguez

SeaWolves pitcher Elvin Rodriguez

The Tigers also officially picked up the $7.5 million club option for new catcher Tucker Barnhart, who announced he will wear the No. 15 jersey, and reinstated catcher Jake Rogers and right-handed pitchers Spencer Turnbull and Rony Garcia from the 60-day injured list.

Garcia is back to full health from a left knee injury and preparing to pitch in the Dominican Winter League, so he shouldn’t need another stint on the 60-day injured list. Rogers and Turnbull, though, are slated to miss most of the 2022 season, if not the entire year. Both players underwent Tommy John surgery and can’t return to the 60-day IL until the first day of spring training.

For now, the 40-man roster is full.

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Upon joining Detroit’s organization, Rodriguez posted a 3.34 ERA over 113⅓ innings (21 starts) for Low-A West Michigan in 2018, followed up by a 3.77 ERA across 133⅔ innings (24 games, 23 starts) for High-A Lakeland in 2019. (Beginning in 2021, Lakeland became the team’s Low-A affiliate and West Michigan switched to High-A.)

Rodriguez spent most of this past season in Double-A Erie, logging a 5.83 ERA, 29 walks and 80 strikeouts over 75⅔ innings. He tossed two scoreless innings in one relief appearance for Toledo, registering three strikeouts.

For further development, Rodriguez turned to Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League. He allowed two runs on three hits and one walk with four strikeouts across 2⅔ innings in his first start, which came Oct. 29.

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Rodriguez is now ineligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft, which takes place Dec. 8 on the final day of the Winter Meetings in Orlando. (Last winter, the Tigers picked outfielder Akil Baddoo, who hit .259 in 124 games, in the Rule 5 draft. The Minnesota Twins left him unprotected.)

The Tigers, and the other 29 teams, have until Nov. 19 to protect their prospects — such as right-handed pitchers Reese Olson and Paul Richan and infielder Kody Clemens — by adding them to the roster.

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold. Read more on the Detroit Tigers and sign up for our Tigers newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers keep pitching prospect Elvin Rodriguez with roster move

Source: Yahoo Sports

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