Tigers claim LHP Belfiore off waivers from Orioles
The Detroit Tigers claimed left-handed reliever Mike Belfiore off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, and optioned him to Triple-A Toledo.
A former first-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2009 draft (45th overall, in the compensation round), Belfiore was the player to be named later in the deal that sent sent third baseman Josh Bell to the Orioles in 2012.
In nearly two seasons in the Orioles' minor-league system, he averaged nearly a strikeout per inning. He made his big-league debut last September, and allowed a pair of solo home runs in 1 1/3 innings of relief against the Red Sox.
He was designated for assignment to clear room for Delmon Young to be added to the Orioles roster, but was considered one of several left-handed relievers who could have seen action with the Orioles this season.
At Double-A in 2012, Belfiore limited left-handers to a .157 batting average, but last year they hit .250 off him at the Triple-A and MLB levels combined.
The Tigers already have a ton of lefty arms at Triple-A Toledo — Duane Below, Casey Crosby, Blaine Hardy, and Nate Robertson — who either will be or could be used in a relief role at the big-league level this season, should the Tigers need it.