By: Will Burchfield
A week after sending down Joe Jimenez to Triple-A Toledo, the Tigers are prepared to recall the flame-throwing reliever, according to Anthony Fenech of the Free Press. Jimenez will join the team in Minnesota for its weekend series versus the Twins.
Detroit also recalled pitcher Blaine Hardy and put shortstop Jose Iglesias on the seven-day concussion D.L. To make room for Hardy on the roster, pitcher Warwick Saupold was optioned to Triple-A.
In his first stint in the big leagues, Jimenez lasted four days and made just one appearance. He impressed in his lone outing, pitching a clean ninth inning in the Tigers’ blowout loss to the Twins last Thursday, but was sent down to Triple-A afterward because the team needed a long reliever for its next series in Cleveland.
At the time, Jimenez said he understood the decision.
“It’s a part of the game, it’s a business,” he said. “But I still have a positive mindset about it. I’m just going to continue to work hard to try to get back up here.”
True to his word, he went down and dominated in Triple-A. Now he’s back.
The Tigers are coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the Rays and leaned heavily on their bullpen in the final two games of the series. Hardy will provide the team another long reliever against the Twins.
The role for Jimenez, meanwhile, is less defined. Ausmus vowed last week to ease the 22-year-old into big-league action, but the backend of the Tigers bullpen is full of question marks. The team may decide that the time is now to remove the reins from one of its most electric pitchers.
Iglesias was injured on the final play of Wednesday night’s loss to the Rays when he collided with a runner at second base, attempting to turn a double play. Dixon Machado will likely take his place at shortstop for the time being.