Great name alert: The Tigers call up Australian hurler Warwick Saupold
If someone said "Warwick Saupold" to you before Friday, your likely answer would have been one of:
- "The guy from the old Grey Poupon commercials?"
- "Is that a hotel?"
- "A newly discovered breed of Amazonian tree frog?"
Of course, because you're remarkably up to date on MLB roster transactions, now you know that Saupold is the Tigers' newest pitcher.
The #Tigers today have purchased the contract of RHP Warwick Saupold from Triple A Toledo. Saupold will wear No. 53.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) May 13, 2016
Saupold is so much more than just a great name -- he's also the latest in a long line of Australian Major Leaguers. After posting a 1.41 ERA in 70 innings with the Perth Heat in 2011, the Tigers scooped up the hurler. Since then, he's pitched for Team Australia in the 2013 World Baseball Classic and helped the team qualify for the 2017 Classic this winter, all while slowly rising through Detroit's Minor League ranks.
We're guessing he did finally have to give up Aussie rules football, though.
This season, Saupold has broken out. In 30 1/3 Triple-A innings with the Toledo Mud Hens, he's posted a 2.37 ERA thanks in part to a three-appearance stretch totaling 13 innings in which he didn't allow a run. That included a combined no-hitter on April 23 when Saupold started the game with five no-hit innings.
Saupold will likely slot in to help the Tigers' 20th-in-ERA bullpen. While Saupold's great name and performance this season should give fans hope, there is some concern as he's struck out only 4.2 batters per nine innings in Triple-A. That would rank seventh-lowest among qualifed MLB relievers this year.