Triple-A Toledo catcher Dusty Ryan may be joining the Detroit Tigers’ active roster today, Lee of Tiger Tales is reporting. (Given that Lee has broken news about roster moves a couple of times already this season, most recently Wilkin Ramirez’s call-up, I have confidence in his source, so I’m going with this.) Most likely, Ryan will replace backup catcher Dane Saridnha, who is known for calling a good game, but who could also not hit worth a lick this season and threw out base stealers at just a .167 clip.)
Ryan currently holds an .816 OPS (.374 on-base percentage, .442 slugging average) with seven home runs and six doubles. He’s also walked 24 times.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote the Tigers should give Ryan a call-up. Since then, his numbers have gotten better, while Sardinha’s haven’t. While some knock Ryan for his defense — most notably his game calling — he did throw out six of 13 base stealers in 15 games last season. He was charged with one passed ball, though he was unable to curtail numerous wild pitches.
The Tigers needed to make this move because they could not continue using starting catcher Gerald Laird in such a high percentage of games. He’s already started in 51 of 66 games, and his batting has grown progressively worse as the season has gone on. Sardinha was not a viable option for making a large number of starts because he cannot get his batting average above .100, and that really says it all. The Tigers should be able to use the solid-hitting Ryan quite a bit more as long as his fielding holds up, and that ought to keep both catchers healthier for the long run.
MLB.com beat Jason Beck adds via Twitter:
Tigers call up Dusty Ryan from Toledo. He’ll fill D-Train’s roster spot for now until Alfredo Figaro is called up to start Saturday.