Moya recalled from Triple-A as Tigers option Hardy

No. 10 prospect plays left field, with Upton in center for first time in career

May 12th, 2016

BALTIMORE -- The Tigers recalled outfielder Steven Moya from Triple-A Toledo before Thursday's series opener with the Orioles and sent pitcher Blaine Hardy back to the Mud Hens.

Manager Brad Ausmus quickly put the left-handed-hitting Moya to work, penciling him into the lineup against right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez. But Ausmus also put Moya into left field, not right field -- the position he's played the most in his career.

Still, Moya said he's fine with that, having played two of his 12 Major League games in left, with the other 10 being in right. He had a .310 batting average at Toledo with nine homers and 24 RBIs.

"I just want to play and enjoy the game and do [well] and help the team win," said Moya, the Tigers' No. 10 prospect. "I feel good. Who's not going to be happy to be in the big leagues?"

Hardy was sent down with a 0-0 record and a 2.45 ERA in six games. Moya, who singled in his first at-bat of the season, could help the Tigers in this four-game series, as the Orioles are loaded with right-handed pitchers.

In addition to Moya, Justin Upton was in a position he's not used to playing. In his 1,218th Major League game, he played center field for the first time, although he did play there some in the Minors.

Ausmus said that the dimensions of Oriole Park -- it's smaller than some other stadiums -- helped his decisions. The skipper said he'd consider using Upton in center field at home if needed, but Cameron Maybin is working his way back on a rehab assignment and getting closer.

"I'm not cowering in the corner [about this]," Ausmus said. "If [Upton] does really well [in center], he'll probably be there tomorrow."