The Tigers have activated Austin Jackson from the 15-day disabled list. He’ll start in center field and bat leadoff this afternoon against the Reds.
Jackson has been sidelined since May 16 due to abdominal strain. He went 1-for-8 with two strikeout and a walk during a brief two-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo and played all nine innings in center field in both games.
Jackson was making some major strides offensively prior to the injury, hitting .331/.414/.544 with five homers, 17 RBI, six stolen bases and a .958 OPS in 36 games. While that’s a small sample, his contact and walk rates are both up so far this year and he has cut down on his strikeouts significantly.
Quintin Berry batted .288 (19-for-66) with a .356 on-base percentage and seven stolen bases while filling in for Jackson, but the 27-year-old speedster will now likely be pushed into a part-time or bench role.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.