8/28/2014 5:38 P.M. ET
Putkonen begins Class A rehab assignment
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
DETROIT -- The Tigers could get some long relief help for the stretch run if Luke Putkonen continues to progress. The right-hander began a Minor League rehab assignment with Class A West Michigan on Thursday, his first game action since early May.
Putkonen went on the disabled list April 19 with right elbow inflammation. It looked like a short stint when he went on a rehab assignment in early May, but a setback at Triple-A Toledo had sidelined him ever since.
With Minor League seasons wrapping up, it's not going to be a long rehab stint for Putkonen. West Michigan is headed for the Midwest League playoffs, so its season will be extended.
Reed set for return from Triple-A to bolster bullpen
DETROIT -- The Tigers' need for an extra reliever this weekend for four games in three days against the White Sox meant a return to the Major Leagues for Evan Reed. The team announced after Thursday's win over the Yankees that it will purchase the right-hander's contract from Triple-A Toledo in time for Friday's series opener in Chicago.
Reed made the team out of Spring Training and pitched in 27 games, going 0-1 with a 4.88 ERA and 35 hits allowed over 27 2/3 innings. The Tigers outrighted him in mid-June to Triple-A Toledo, where he gave up 11 runs on 26 hits over 23 1/3 innings with five walks and 26 strikeouts.
Reed was under investigation by Wayne County prosecutors over an alleged incident at a downtown Detroit hotel the weekend before Opening Day. A Wayne County judge dismissed charges of third-degree sexual conduct against Reed last week.
Reed takes the roster spot of Kyle Lobstein following his first Major League start Thursday. Lobstein was optioned to Toledo, essentially a procedural move since he can be recalled next week once the Mud Hens' season ends. Lobstein will still be able to make the next turn in the Tigers' rotation in Cleveland next Tuesday.
Tigers to promote lefty Ryan for Saturday spot start
DETROIT -- Tigers officials spent nearly an hour Thursday morning in discussions in the coaches' conference room at Comerica Park about a spot starter for Saturday. They ended up deciding on a guy who wasn't even in big league camp in the spring.
Kyle Ryan went from a 12-game winner at Class A Lakeland last year to mercurial starter at Double-A Erie this spring. Then he found a hot stretch at Triple-A Toledo after being promoted a month ago. Now, he has a spot start in the big leagues for one half of the Tigers' day-night doubleheader on Saturday against the White Sox in Chicago.
Ryan got the call over Buck Farmer, who made two starts for the Tigers this month but was knocked out in the second inning of his start in last Saturday's doubleheader at Minnesota.
The 22-year-old Ryan was already scheduled to start Saturday for the Mud Hens, putting his unbeaten record at Triple-A on the line. He's 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in five starts at Toledo so far, allowing six earned runs on 21 hits over 33 innings with five walks and 20 strikeouts.
"He's left-handed," manager Brad Ausmus said in summary of his knowledge on him. "I haven't heard too much about him at this point. I do know he's been throwing the ball well as of late."
Ryan was the recommendation of player-development officials based off how he's been throwing the ball. The former 12th-round pick out of Auburndale (Fla.) High School, just outside Lakeland, Ryan has never been a high-strikeout pitcher, and his 5.5 strikeouts per nine innings marks his lowest rate as a pro in his fifth season. However, he limits his damage, and he's held left-handed hitters to a .204 average between Toledo and Erie.
The current plan calls for Ryan to start Saturday's nightcap. Max Scherzer had been scheduled to start that game in a matchup with White Sox ace Chris Sale, but switched up when the White Sox moved Sale to the afternoon tilt.
The Tigers will have to make room on the 40-man roster for Ryan. And unless they put Anibal Sanchez on the 60-day disabled list, effectively ending his season, they'll have to designate somebody for assignment to make room.
Soria throwing, but no timetable for return
DETROIT -- Joakim Soria continues to stretch out his throwing program in his rehab from a left oblique strain, but the Tigers have no timetable on his return.
Soria threw off flat ground Tuesday and Wednesday, and is scheduled to stretch out his throws Friday in Chicago.
From there, he could progress to throwing off a mound, though there's no schedule for that just yet.
There had been some hope last week that Soria wouldn't need much more than the minimum 15-day stay on the disabled list, something team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski told MLB Network radio last Friday.
When Soria originally went on the DL Aug. 10, the hope was that he'd miss 2-3 weeks.