Victor Reyes hits the injured list, Derek Hill recalled

Bless You Boys

The Detroit Tigers announced on Thursday that outfielder Victor Reyes has been placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 2nd, with a left intercostal strain. In his spot, the Tigers have called up center fielder extraordinaire, Derek Hill.

Reyes only returned from his demotion at the beginning of May. He appeared to pull something taking a swing in the Milwaukee Brewers series earlier in the week. So far, he’s struggled terribly at the plate this season, slashing just .157/.186/.265.

As for Hill, he’s never developed into the hitter the Tigers hoped, but the speed and defense remain excellent. Now 25, the Tigers first round pick in the 2014 amateur draft saw his development derailed by injury during his first few minor league seasons. However, the past few years have seen some progress with Hill hitting for more power, despite substantial swing and miss remaining in his game.

In 25 games to date for the Toledo Mud Hens, Hill has two home runs and four stolen bases with a .355 batting average. Obviously that isn’t going to last, and a strikeout rate of 28.7 percent says he’s going to struggle with major league pitching, but at least he’s swinging the bat well and feeling some confidence right now.

The move should give manager A.J. Hinch better options, to be frank. Hill might be best served starting against left-handers almost exclusively, and that only opens up more work for Akil Baddoo, who continues to look capable of handling it effectively. But even on his off days, Hill, who has 160 stolen bases in the minors, makes the ideal pinch runner and defensive replacement for someone like Nomar Mazara. Hill is electric on the basepaths. turns would-be singles into doubles, and manages to get a lot out of a mediocre amount of hard contact. He’ll make a mistake now and again, but he gives an opposing team a lot to think about when he’s on the basepaths. With Reyes struggling so mightily in all facets of his game, this can only be an upgrade in the short term.

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