Minneapolis — The Tigers needed to clear a spot on the 40-man roster to reinstate reliever Andrew Chafin off the restricted list.
Center fielder Derek Hill, the Tigers’ first-round pick in 2014, drew the short straw. He was designated for assignment Monday.
“Decisions are going to get harder and harder as guys on the 60-day injured list get healthy,” manager AJ Hinch said. “It’s going to get a little uncomfortable for the guys who have been here.”
Another tough decision will have to be made on Tuesday when the Tigers activate pitcher Matt Manning off the injured list. And at the end of the month, pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez is expected to return off the restricted list.
“We will see where this takes Derek in his career,” Hinch said. “He’s an incredible athlete and someone who’s helped us. I hope he stays in the organization, but it’s kind of the cost of doing business when you get healthy.”
Hill, 26, slashed .229/.270/.289 in 92 plate appearances with three extra-base hits and a 30% strikeout rate. He posted a plus-4 defensive runs saved in center field.
But once Riley Greene got healthy, Hill was optioned back to Triple-A and didn’t appear to be in the club’s plans moving forward.
If Hill clears waivers, he can return to the organization on a minor-league contract. He will be a minor-league free agent at the end of the year.
The Tigers also optioned reliever Angel De Jesus back to Toledo. Besides the return of Chafin, reliever Wily Peralta is expected to be activated off the injured list on Wednesday.