Detroit’s bullpen posted a combined 4.29 ERA during the 2014 regular season, ranking 27th in the major leagues. Offseason additions Tom Gorzelanny and Alex Wilson should help turn that around a little in 2015, and so should the return of fire-baller Bruce Rondon. But some depth would be nice.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that the Tigers have RSVP’d to watch free agent right-hander Matt Albers pitch in front of interested teams February 10 (next Tuesday) in the Houston area.
Albers was limited to eight appearances last season with the Astros due to a shoulder injury, but the 32-year-old is feeling healthier now and will try to show teams that he can again be a useful bullpen piece. Albers posted a 2.77 ERA in 123 1/3 innings for the Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and Indians between 2012-2013.
The Padres are set to recall top infield prospect Luis Urías from Triple-A El Paso, according to a report from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It’ll be the second such stint for the club’s no. 2 prospect, and one they hope to extend through the end of the season. A corresponding roster move will be announced later this weekend.
Urías, 22, struggled in his first promotion to the majors this April. Touted as “one of the Minors’ better pure hitters” with “innate bat-to-ball skills” and “plus on-base skills,” he found it difficult to adjust to big league pitching and slashed a lackluster .083/.241/.125 with just two hits and four walks over 11 games with the Padres.
Upon his return to Triple-A, however, the young middle infielder has delivered nothing short of spectacular results, batting .315/.398/.600 with 19 home runs, seven stolen bases (in nine chances), and a .998 OPS across 339 plate appearances. Given the additional measures he’s taken to improve his mechanics — something, Acee says, the Padres are far more interested in than his results at the plate — it seems he may be ready to handle the competition at the highest level on a long-term basis.
Urías is expected to be recalled in time for the Padres’ game against the Cubs on Saturday, where he’ll likely share the middle infield with fellow top prospect Fernando Tatís. The game is set for 2:20 PM EDT.