Detroit needs a starter for Tuesday’s game and the Tigers have decided to call up 22-year-old prospect Robbie Ray for his big-league debut.
Ray was acquired from Washington as part of the Doug Fister swap this offseason and, in an amusing little twist, he’ll be making his Tigers debut exactly one day before Fister is scheduled to come off the disabled list and make his Nationals debut.
Ray earned the call-up by posting a 1.59 ERA through five starts at Triple-A, with a 21/5 K/BB ratio in 28 innings. Last season between Single-A and Double-A the left-hander had a 3.36 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 142 innings. And now he’ll face the Astros in his debut.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.
Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.
Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.
Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.