REPORT: Tigers to call up Kevin Whelan, one of three players once traded for Sheffield
Kevin Whelan has finally earned a spot on the Detroit Tigers, the team that originally drafted him nine years ago.
Traded to the Yankees in 2006, along with Anthony Claggett and Humberto Sanchez, in return for Gary Sheffield, Whelan got the call to report to the big-league Tigers’ big-league club after Sunday’s game.
The Toledo Blade’s John Wagner broke the news of the move.
The Tigers’ fourth-round pick in the 2005 MLB draft, Whelan made his big-league debut with the Yankees in 2011, appearing in two games in mid-June for the Yankees.
He’s been stuck in Triple-A ever since, spending the 2012 season in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, then moving to the Reds’ Louisville affiliate last year before signing with the Tigers organization in February.
He’s posted a 1.85 ERA in 35 games as the Mud Hens’ closer, racking up 20 saves, and striking out 48 in 39 innings of work.
Whelan takes the spot on the active roster vacated when Joakim Soria was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday.
The Tigers will have to make move to put Whelan on the 40-man roster, which is at capacity at the moment.
If the Tigers were to call up recent addition Jim Johnson (who threw again on Sunday), they'd have to make a second deletion from the 40-man roster.
That probably makes it more likely that if the Tigers need to replenish a bullpen exhausted after Sunday's 19-inning game, they may go to a list of relievers already on the 40-man roster, which includes: Ian Krol, Melvin Mercedes, Justin Miller, Jose Ortega and Chad Smith at Triple-A Toledo, and Jose Valdez at Double-A Erie.
[UPDATED: Wagner later reported that the Tigers would call up Miller and Krol, as well. Robbie Ray is set to start either Tuesday or Wednesday in Anibal Sanchez's spot in the rotation. Miller, Krol and Ray are all on the 40-man roster, so only one move (for Whelan) need be made there. Likely either Patrick McCoy or Blaine Hardy (both threw three innings Sunday) will go down, leaving three open spots on the active roster (Soria, Sanchez, McCoy/Hardy). One of the three relievers called up will be sent down before Ray joins the team to start.]