But which players? Good question. Let's explore the possibilities.
IF YOU READ THURSDAY'S STORY, YOU CAN SKIP TO THE DOTS. If not, please continue ...
Before we start looking at particular players, let's repeat one important element in this process: Any player who is called up to Detroit when rosters expand must be on the 40-man roster. During the regular-season that is a two-edged sword, at times knocking minor-league players out of action to create space to add a major-league player (perfect example: Thad Weber a short time ago).
In short, if the player is on the 40-man roster, his chances of being promoted to the Tigers is MUCH better. If he's not on the 40-man, another move must be made to create room.
Clear? OK, then let's look at some position players, presented in alphabetical order. After each player's name I'll have a "yes" or "no" to tell you if they are on the 40-man, following be some thoughts on each player. Here we go ...
- JUSTIN HENRY (NO): The positives include a .298 batting average, 22 stolen bases, a .370 on-base percentage and the versatility to have played second base, third base and all three outfield positions. The negatives include just one home run and 12 caught stealing. Unfortunately, the biggest negatives are that he is not on the 40-man roster and there are other versatile options in front of him (two others on this list, not to mention Ramon Santiago). I think he will NOT be promoted to the Tigers this September.
- BRYAN HOLADAY (YES): I could tell you that his numbers are .239 with two home runs and 23 RBIs. I could give you any number of other metrics. I'd be wasting our time: he WILL be promoted to Detroit to give the Tigers the flexibility a third catcher provides.
- DONNY KELLY (NO): In the same way it was hard for me to decide on Adam Wilk, I'm really struggling with this one. There are a lot of things working against Kelly, not the least of which is that he's not on the 40-man. But he's only hitting .233 for the Mud Hens and right now is in a 1-for-14 funk. He also has struck out 17 times in just 73 at-bats, meaning he strikes out once every 4.3 at-bats. He does have a .341 on-base percentage thanks to 12 walks. I know the Tigers really like him as a player ... but that is a lot of obstacles to overcome. I think he will NOT be promoted, but I would not be surprised if he was.
- JOHN LINDSEY (NO): I know the chances are slim here, but I want to use this opportunity to highlight how well he has played for the Mud Hens. In 61 games Lindsey has hit .274 with 17 doubles, 14 home runs and 43 RBIs. Even if he played on ONLY 122 games (double his totals) out of 144, his season totals would be 28 home runs and 86 RBIs. Not bad, eh? He also has a .373 on-base percentage and a .916 OPS. In short, the dude can hit. He will NOT be promoted to Detroit, but the 35-year-old also is a great presence in the clubhouse, so hopefully he will get an opportunity to return next year -- or perhaps be offered another job in the organization.
- RYAN RABURN (YES): Technically, Raburn isn't on the Mud Hens roster -- he is on a rehab assignment with the team. In 15 games with Toledo he has batted .250 with four home runs and 12 RBIs. I am confident Raburn WILL be promoted to Detroit and taken off the disabled list when Sept. 1 arrives.
- DANNY WORTH (YES): A few weeks back I think it was a slam-dunk that he would return to Detroit. He has hit .266 in 59 games for the Mud Hens, collecting five home runs and 24 RBIs while stealing 10 bases. He also is solid defensively at third base, shortstop and second base. But there is a lot of competition for his job, which is to back up spots around the infield. I don't feel a lot of confidence in this prediction, but I will say that he WILL be promoted to Detroit.
Also, I know it's not my place ... but there has been some conversation about other potential call-ups. I'm not going to name players like Nick Castellanos, Avisail Garcia or Hernan Perez by name, but I will make a prediction: NONE of those players gets promoted to Detroit. Just a gut feeling, mind you, but I've got a pretty substantial gut.
And one other thought: That's not a slam on those guys. In fact, I look forward to having the opportunity to watch Castellanos and Garcia play for the Mud Hens in 2013, if that's where they begin the season.If you missed it Thursday: Click here for a look at potential pitcher call-ups by the Tigers.