Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thomas Optioned to Toledo, Kelly Up

According to the Free Press, the Tigers announced after today's game that Clete Thomas has been optioned to Toledo and that utility man Donald Kelly has been called up from the same club. Jim Leyland said that Thomas needs to work on his swing if he his going to be a Major League regular:
"I think he has a shot to be an everyday player, but he has to shorten up his swing,'' Leyland said. "It's really not a punishment. I'm sure he will be back."
So, Thomas bats third today and then gets sent down to work on his swing after the game? Leyland knows better than me but it seems pretty odd that he would bat a young player third who he admits was having trouble with his swing. It also seems pretty clear that Leyland likes Thomas so I would expect that he'll be back later in the season. Clete was batting .237/.315/.412 in 33 games and had been struggling at the plate the last couple of weeks.

The first thing you will probably notice about Donnie Kelly when you see him is that he is very tall and slim at 6-4 190 pounds. The 29-year-old Kelly is a nine year minor league veteran who came up through the Tigers system as a shortstop but now plays all over the field. In fact, he can play any position except catcher. Not only is he versatile but he also reputation as a good defensive player. The left-handed hitting Kelly was having a good season at the plate for the MudHens batting .341 and slugging .478 with 14 stolen bases.

Kelly has also spent time in the Pittsburgh and Arizona organizations and batted .148 in 27 at bats for the Pirates in 2007. Kelly is a good contact hitter but doesn't have a lot of power and is batting .285/.357/.383 in his minor league career. It's good to see Kelly rewarded for his strong play so far this season. He will be the starting left fielder versus Pittsburgh tomorrow night. I don't know where he'll bat but I think third is probably not a good idea.


  1. glad i'm not the only one who thought it was weird for a guy with a swing problem about to be sent to the minors to bat third.

  2. Guess who batted 3rd! Baseball managers get way to much credit. In my opinion, they lose more games for their respective clubs then they will ever win for their clubs. Leyland is certainly no exception.



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