8/29/2014 9:06 P.M. ET
Ortega designated for assignment after tough stretch
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Jose Ortega looked like an upside reliever in the Tigers system not that long ago, a hard-throwing, high-strikeout reliever who had flashes of nasty stuff. His Major League stints, however, have been less impressive. With the Tigers out of injured players to put on the 60-day disabled list and out of positional prospects to designate, they had to make a tough choice on who they could afford to lose to make room for Evan Reed.
Exit Ortega, whose contract was designated for assignment on Friday when Reed's contract was purchased from Triple-A Toledo.
Ortega had some outstanding early numbers at Toledo, but ran into struggles down the stretch as one Mud Hens reliever after another made the trip up Interstate 75 to Detroit. He had a 4.78 ERA and a .406 OBP against from June 19 on, nullifying a strong start.
Ortega's only appearance as a Tiger this year was the game in which Anibal Sanchez left early with an injury. Ortega gave up four runs over 1 1/3 innings without giving up a base hit, thanks to five walks.
Reed back with Tigers for stretch run
CHICAGO -- Evan Reed said Friday he was able to concentrate solely on baseball once his legal situation reached a resolution last week. Now, he's hoping to make the best of another chance to find a role in Detroit's bullpen.
"I could just take a deep breath and concentrate on getting back to playing for the Tigers," Reed said, "trying to come back here and help them win as many games as possible. That's ultimately what it's about, coming up and contributing to the Detroit Tigers. I knew I needed to go back [to Triple-A Toledo] and get back to getting ahead of hitters, throwing breaking balls for strikes, working down in the zone, and that's what I did."
The Tigers purchased the contract of Reed from Triple-A Toledo on Friday, just over a week after a Wayne County judge dismissed sexual conduct charges against the 28-year-old. The case, stemming from an alleged incident at a Detroit hotel the weekend before Opening Day, had been under investigation since mid-April, either by the Detroit Police Department or Wayne County prosecutors.
Reed made the Opening Day roster for the first time this season. He was designated for assignment and was outrighted to Toledo in June after appearing in 27 games. The Tigers said at the time the move had nothing to do with the investigation.
Clearly, however, the situation was on his mind.
"It's a slippery slope: You want to stay positive all the time, but you also know the nature of what's going on off the field," he said. "I tried to stay as positive as I could and take it one pitch at a time and have faith."
Reed pitched in 27 games in his previous stint, going 0-1 with a 4.88 ERA and 35 hits allowed over 27 2/3 innings. At Toledo, he gave up 11 runs on 26 hits over 23 1/3 innings with five walks and 26 strikeouts.
From a pitching standpoint, Reed said he tried to get back to throwing strikes consistently and mixing his pitches, utilizing his slider more.
"I was letting stuff snowball," Reed said. "I gave up a lot of ground-ball hits and after that, I would start pitching away from contact when in reality, if I get another ground ball, that's possibly a double-play ball. I just lost some of my aggressiveness and had to go back to attacking hitters, stay down in the zone. I know I can pitch here."
Ryan to start Saturday in front of family
CHICAGO -- Kyle Ryan spent a good deal of his childhood in the shadows of Tigertown in Auburndale, Fla., but he didn't go to many Spring Training games there. He had his own baseball seasons to worry about.
He did, however, develop an affinity for hunting and fishing that made him quick friends with Triple-A Toledo manager and longtime former central Florida resident Larry Parrish.
So when Ryan told Parrish this week that he had a hunting trip planned once the Minor League season ended, Parrish gave him a hint that he might have something bigger to worry about, asking him what he might do about that if he got a call to the big leagues.
A few days later, he got the news.
"'I've got some terrible news for you: You're going to have to delay your hunting trip for a little while,'" Ryan said Parrish told him.
With that, Ryan was headed to the big leagues and a spot start in Saturday's doubleheader against the White Sox. It comes less than a month after he was promoted to Toledo, and less than five months after he made the jump to Double-A Erie.
"This year has been a big blur," the 22-year-old left-hander said. "I have to keep myself in the mentality of spending a year at each place. When I take that mentality out on the field, if I do get called up, I'm that much more surprised."
Ryan actually has stronger ties to Tigers territory through family in Michigan. His mother is part of the Mott family that has deep roots in the state, and has several relatives in the Escanaba area in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
"My mom is the baby of 13, and just about all of that family lives in Michigan," Ryan said. "So I have a lot of family going to make it tomorrow."
• Devon Travis, the fourth-ranked prospect in the Tigers system, according to MLB.com, started in center field for the second consecutive game Friday for Double-A Erie. Travis' move from second base comes amidst Detroit's search for a long-term answer in center following Austin Jackson's trade a month ago and a failed bid for Cuban speedster Rusney Castillo. Travis is scheduled to take part in the Arizona Fall League, where he could continue the experiment.
• Reliever Joakim Soria threw off flat ground Friday afternoon, his third such session in four days, as he rehabs a left oblique strain that landed him on the 15-day disabled list 2 1/2 weeks ago. If Soria feels fine on Saturday, he could begin throwing off a mound.
• Anibal Sanchez did not throw on Friday, but felt more improvement in his strained right pectoral muscle, according to manager Brad Ausmus. There remains no timetable on when Sanchez might resume throwing.