The Detroit Tigers have recalled outfielder Steven Moya from Triple-A Toledo, the team announced. To make room for Moya on the 25-man roster, the Tigers have sent Blaine Hardy down to the Mud Hens.
Moya, 24, will join the Tigers on Thursday for the four-game series on the road aginst the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles, who are 20-12 this season. Due to his call up, the team could give left fielder Justin Upton a night off due to his poor batting. Upton doubled off Max Scherzer on Wednesday to snap a 0-for-19 skid. The 28-year-old, who signed a six-year, $132.75 million contract this offseason with Detroit, leads the majors with 53 strikeouts.
In 31 games for the Mud Hens, Moya was hitting .310 with nine home runs and 24 RBI. If the Tigers start Upton, Moya will be a reliable left-handed power hitter off the bench. Regardless of if Detroit starts him or allows him to make a later appearance, he will help because left-handed hitters are batting .355 against Ubaldo Jimenez, who is starting for the Orioles on Thursday. The Tigers could also place Upton in center field and have Moya play left field.
Hardy has not pitched since May 5 and with the addition of Daniel Norris in the bullpen, he is not of much use going forward. Ever since going on the 15-day disabled list to open the season with a left shoulder impingement, Hardy has not been the same. Expect the left-handed reliever to come back to the big leagues at some point this season, but now is not the time he is needed.
The good thing about Norris is that he can provide distance in games out of the bullpen. If Mike Pelfrey, who is 0-4 with a 6.23 ERA, struggles, expect Norris to get his shot on the slab.
The Tigers are 15-18, which places them 7.0 games behind of the Chicago White Sox, who are the American League Central leaders with a 23-12 record. Detroit has struggled to get consistency out of the rotation, bullpen and bats at the same time all season long. Hopefully juggling the lineup will help out manager Brad Ausmus and his team.
It will be interesting to see how much playing time Moya gets during this current big league stint with the Tigers. Only time will tell for Moya and the Tigers.