Chicago – And just like that, JaCoby Jones is off the Tigers 40-man roster and quite possibly on his way out of the organization.
Jones, the Tigers injury-plagued starting center fielder the last three seasons, was designated for assignment Sunday morning to clear a roster spot for 25-year-old relief pitcher Jason Foley, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Toledo.
Jones, after putting up career-best numbers last season (.268 batting average with a 129 OPS-plus), never found his footing this season. He was hitting .170 with 42 strikeouts in 105 plate appearances before being demoted to Triple-A on May 23.
He was only hitting .205 with the same strikeout rate in Triple-A.
If he clears waivers, Jones will be a free agent and can either sign back with the Tigers on a minor-league deal or seek another opportunity elsewhere.
The Tigers also put right-hander Michael Fulmer on the injured list Sunday, a move manager AJ Hinch indicated was coming Saturday night. Fulmer has been unavailable since May 30. Both he and the club said he was dealing with fatigue after he’d pitched six high-leverage outings in a 13-day period.
The Tigers listed right shoulder strain as the injury.
Right-handed starter Jose Urena was activated to take Fulmer’s spot on the roster and got the start in the series finale against the White Sox on Sunday. He’d missed one start with a cramp in his lower right forearm.
Foley has been a kind of diamond in the rough prospect for the Tigers. Undrafted and raw, throwing upper-90s heat at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut (where he was teammates with shortstop Zack Short), he climbed to High-A quickly before Tommy John surgery in 2018.
He’s had 10 strikeouts in 10 innings at Triple-A Toledo.