As the final month of the baseball season gets rolling, the Tigers find themselves just 44 games behind first place Minnesota.  The team never had a chance after the loss of starting pitchers Brad Fulmer, Matt Moore, and Tyson Ross.  The Tigers gave lefty Ryan Carpenter a shot at starting, but he went 1-6 with an earned run average of 9.30.  Carpenter was released by the team on Tuesday.   His spot on the roster will be taken by Troy Stokes, Jr.   Stokes was picked up on waivers from the Brewers organization, where he was ranked as their 18th best prospect.  The 23 year old is regarded as a very good outfielder, but has struggled to hit in five minor league seasons.

The Tigers have reason to hope.  Jacoby Jones was much the same as Stokes, but showed signs for solving hit hitting woes this season.  He and Niko Goodrum are out for the season with injuries.

That means more time to get a look at some players who might fit into the Tigers’ future.  It won’t be their top pitching prospects, but we’re seeing some exciting young guys who could make the team competitive in a year or two.

So, who are these guys, and where did they come from?

  • Willi Castro- The shortstop came to Detroit late last year from Cleveland in exchange for CF Leonys Martin. He’s ranked as the Tigers’ #12 prospect.
  • Harold Castro-This Venezuelan infielder/outfielder was signed by the Tigers 9 years ago, when he was just 16. The slap hitter has shown he can play the field, and his .278 batting average is one of the best on the team.
  • Jake Rogers- A catcher, who came over in the Verlander trade with Houston, Rogers is regarded as a great catcher. He’s still trying to figure out major league pitching.
  • Victor Reyes- The centerfielder is hitting .301, and with the injury to Jones, he’s showing why the Tigers kept him around all last year as a Rule 5 draftee.
  • Travis Demeritte-Recently obtained from Atlanta in the Shane Greene deal, he’s showing great potential, getting some clutch hits. He’s only hitting .243 right now, but looks like he could be major piece of the puzzle in left, after Nick Castellanos was traded to the Cubs.
  • Dawel Lugo is getting a chance to play third base, after the injury to Jeimer Candelario. Lugo came to the Tigers in the J.D. Martinez trade with Arizona. Lugo has played well at third and is starting to hit the ball.

The Tigers have recalled Candelario and outfielder Christin Stewart. Both players have been hitting better in Triple A, than they did in Detroit.   Both are very important, because they have the potential to hit with power.  Brandon Dixon leads the team in home runs with 14.   Contrast that with the Twins, who will have 8 or 9 guys with 20 or more homers.     Maybe that’s why the Twins have a 44 game lead on the Tigers.