Detroit — This one has new Tigers team president Scott Harris’ fingerprints all over it.
In his time in San Francisco, Harris helped rebuild the Giants’ pitching staff by taking well-researched and calculated fliers on pitchers either coming off bad years or coming off injuries. Remember, this is the man who signed Matthew Boyd last offseason when he was still recovering from flexor tendon surgery.
On Wednesday, the Tigers claimed left-handed pitcher Sean Guenther off waivers from the Miami Marlins. Guenther, who is going into his age-27 season, had Tommy John surgery in April and will likely miss most, if not all, of the 2023 season.
It’s like putting a potential asset in layaway.
Guenther, a seventh-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2017, made his big-league debut with the Marlins in 2021 and it didn’t go well. Working out of the bullpen, he yielded 21 earned runs in 20.1 innings. But his numbers in Triple-A that season were far more encouraging — especially his 12 strikeout-per-nine and 1.6 walk-per-nine rates.
Before the surgery, he featured a three-pitch mix — 93-mph four-seam fastball with a sweepy slider and a firm (87 mph) changeup.
Guenther will remain on the 60-day injured list until after the World Series, when teams will have to again count for injured players on their 40-man rosters. He will join nine other players who finished the season on the injured list: pitchers Tarik Skubal, Casey Mize, Matt Manning, Spencer Turnbull, Kyle Funkhouser, Rony Garcia and Beau Brieske, catcher Jake Rogers and outfielder Austin Meadows.
Those players will have to be reinstated on the 40-man roster or put on waivers five days after the end of the World Series.
Guenther is the third player the Tigers have claimed off waivers since Harris took charge. The other two were utility infielder Jermaine Palacios and catcher Michael Papierski.