Tigers Place Kerry Carpenter On Injured List, Call Up Keider Montero For MLB Debut

MLB Trade Rumors

The Tigers have placed outfielder Kerry Carpenter on the 10-day injured list due to a lower back injury and recalled right-hander Keider Montero as the 27th man for today’s doubleheader against the Pirates, per a team announcement. (Montero’s promotion was first reported on X by Tigers Torkmoil.) Outfielder Akil Baddoo was recalled from Triple-A Toledo to take Carpenter’s spot on the roster. Montero will start Game 2 of today’s twin bill.

Carpenter tells the Tigers beat that he began experiencing back discomfort over the weekend and hasn’t seen improvement yet (X link via Jason Beck of MLB.com). The team is terming his injury “lumbar spine inflammation.” He last played in a game on May 26, so the IL placement is backdated to May 27. If it proves to be a minor issue, he’ll be eligible for a return eight days from now, though the Tigers haven’t given any indication as to how long he might miss.

Subtracting the 26-year-old Carpenter from the Detroit lineup is a significant blow. He’s not as well known as more hyped prospects like outfield-mate Riley Greene, but Carpenter has burst onto the big league scene and cemented himself as a middle-of-the-order presence. Dating back to his 2022 debut, Carpenter has turned in a stout .275/.336/.495 batting line — including a huge .283/.345/.572 slash and eight homers in 163 plate appearances this season. He’s generally struggled against left-handed opponents but has tormented righties with a career .288/.345/.535 output.

With Carpenter sidelined, the Tigers will give more playing time to lefty-swinging Zach McKinstry and to Baddoo against right-handed opponents. Neither should be expected to replicate Carpenter’s production, but Baddoo was hitting a strong .260/.368/.486 in Toledo (119 wRC+) and is a career .237/.322/.406 hitter against righties in the big leagues.

As for the 23-year-old Montero, this will be his first major league call. He signed with Detroit out of Venezuela in 2016 and was added to the 40-man roster last offseason to prevent him from reaching minor league free agency. Montero spent a half decade in the low minors before breaking into the upper levels last season, climbing from High-A to Triple-A by year’s end.

Monerto took the ball 27 times and logged 127 1/3 innings. A pedestrian 4.66 ERA belied a more impressive 29.1% strikeout rate. The Tigers were concerned enough about losing him in the Rule 5 draft to put him on the 40-man roster. Baseball America ranked him as the organization’s #13 prospect over the winter, crediting him with good control and an arsenal headlined by a mid-90s fastball.

Montero has spent the season on optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Over nine starts, he has a 4.40 ERA. The 6’1″ righty has fanned almost 27% of batters faced while issuing walks at an uncharacteristically high 12.7% clip. Montero last pitched on May 21 and was slated to take the ball for Toledo on Tuesday. The Tigers scratched him from the scheduled appearance after their game was postponed, when they needed to add another arm for the doubleheader.

In all likelihood, they’ll return Montero to Triple-A after his debut. They’re set in the rotation at the moment with Tarik SkubalJack FlahertyReese OlsonKenta Maeda and Casey Mize. Righty Matt Manning has been the team’s sixth starter and still figures to be above Montero on the depth chart. It’s nevertheless a momentous occasion for Montero, whose spot on the 40-man could get him a few looks over the course of the season if injuries or the schedule force Detroit to lean on their depth.

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