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Demeritte expected to make debut tonight

Outfielder acquired in Greene trade spent seven seasons in Minors
@beckjason
August 2, 2019

Travis Demeritte is headed to the Majors after the Tigers acquired him from the Braves in Wednesday’s Shane Greene trade. The slugging outfielder was added to Detroit’s big league roster on Thursday. Demeritte is expected to make his Major League debut on Friday against the Rangers, the team that selected

Travis Demeritte is headed to the Majors after the Tigers acquired him from the Braves in Wednesday’s Shane Greene trade. The slugging outfielder was added to Detroit’s big league roster on Thursday.

Demeritte is expected to make his Major League debut on Friday against the Rangers, the team that selected him in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft. The 24-year-old essentially fills the roster spot opened by the Nicholas Castellanos trade to the Cubs.

The decision wasn’t a surprise; Tigers general manager Al Avila said shortly after the trade that the team viewed Demeritte as being ready for the Majors, but wanted to wait for a move before discussing the roster with manager Ron Gardenhire.

How Gardenhire will split up the starts for Demeritte and others in the Detroit outfield remains to be seen. Besides the Castellanos trade, Detroit has a void in left field with Christin Stewart on the seven-day concussion injured list.

Demeritte’s big league arrival follows 681 Minor League games over seven seasons, as well as two trades and a position change from second base to the outfield. He hit .286 (97-for-339) with 28 doubles, 20 home runs, 74 RBIs, a .387 on-base percentage and a .944 OPS this season for Triple-A Gwinnett, including two home runs against the Toledo Mud Hens. He was batting .301 with 18 homers, 64 RBIs and a 1.005 OPS at the All-Star break three weeks ago.

With 20 homers, 51 walks and 106 strikeouts in 399 plate appearances, Demeritte has been a three-true-outcomes style of hitter. He’ll put that to the test against big league pitching with the Tigers, who were looking to add offensive punch even before trading Castellanos.

To fill Greene’s spot in the bullpen, the Tigers called up right-hander Eduardo Jimenez from Triple-A Toledo for his third stint of the season. The 24-year-old has allowed four runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings in four appearances for the Tigers, walking three and striking out two.

Left-hander Joey Wentz, the other part of the Greene trade, was assigned to Double-A Erie, where he’ll join the Tigers’ top prospects Casey Mize (No. 1), Matt Manning (No. 2), Tarik Skubal (No. 4), Alex Faedo (No. 9) and Anthony Castro (No. 20) in a formidable SeaWolves rotation. The 21-year-old Wentz is expected to make his debut for Erie next week.

Wentz will be joined at Erie by right-hander Alex Lange, one of two pitchers the Tigers acquired from the Cubs in the Castellanos trade. Lange will join the team’s bullpen. Right-hander Paul Richan, the other prospect in the Castellanos trade, was assigned to Class A Advanced Lakeland.

Meanwhile, second baseman Josh Harrison began a rehab assignment for Triple-A Toledo on Thursday. The veteran infielder has been out since Memorial Day while recovering from a left hamstring injury.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.