Tigers Send Schenectady’s Casper Wells To Minors
In what Tigers manager Jim Leyland called a painful decision, Detroit sent Schenectady native Casper Wells down to AAA Toledo.
Wells became the odd man out in a numbers game as the Tigers called up left-handed starting pitcher Duane Below. Below made his Major League debut last week.
Wells was on the Tigers’ Major League roster out of spring training.
Leyland said Wells “doesn’t deserve to go down” — but the Tigers needed to make some tough decisions with their outfielders. They instead decided to keep backups Andy Dirks and Don Kelly.
Wells was hitting .257 with four homers and 12 RBI’s for Detroit.
“We tossed and turned about this one,” said Leyland, who didn’t say how many other players were considered for the move besides Wells.
“Casper — it’s a crying shame,” Leyland said. “He doesn’t deserve to go down. … This one hurts, because the kid has done a hell of a job. I don’t expect him to understand that tonight.”
Wells hits right-handed, like Magglio Ordoñez, whereas rookie outfielder Andy Dirks hits left-handed.
“We felt that if we rest Magglio (Ordoñez) against a right-hander, then we have Dirks in the outfield,” Leyland said. “But there are a lot of catches to this. Wells was our best defensive replacement (for Ordoñez).”
Leyland has regularly taken out Ordoñez for the late innings when the Tigers are leading. He listed Dirks, Don Kelly and Ryan Raburn as players who can take over for Ordoñez in the final innings.
Wells, 26, quietly told reporters that he would be back in the big leagues.