Mikie Mahtook Optioned By Detroit Tigers
Former St. Thomas More and LSU standout Mikie Mahtook was sent down by the Detroit Tigers earlier this week.
The 28-year old Mahtook was optioned to Triple A Toledo by the club on Thursday.
The move is a little puzzling. Mahtook was the opening day leftfielder and a starter for the first two weeks of the season, and somebody who played well in Detroit last season, hitting a .276, to go along with 12 home runs and 38 runs batted in.
No; he didn't get off to the start he would have liked, hitting a .129 in 31 at-bats, but again, it's only 31 at-bats.
So, he plays well for an entire season...he's the opening day leftfielder...and they send him down after 31 at-bats?
Jeff Bagwell; you know him; the guy that was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017; hit a .125 with one homer for the entire month of April back in 1995, a season after winning the Most Valuable Player Award.
As a matter of fact, Bagwell, heading into June in 1994, was hitting a .183, but the Astros didn't send him down.
It's a good thing they didn't either, as he rebounded to finish in the top 15 in MVP voting once again in 1995.
Now, is it silly of me to compare Mathook to Bagwell, a guy who won an MVP, and a future Hall of Famer? Yes.
But my point is that it's also silly to option a guy who played well for an entire 162-game schedule last year, after only 31 at-bats this year, regardless of the circumstances.
It doesn't even appear that Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire was in support of the move. It seems like the idea was more that of the front office of the Tigers.
It's just a reminder that it can be a cold, hard business, at times.
Still, don't expect Mahtook to stay in AAA long. Part of the reason they made the move was to add a 13th pitcher, after a recent injury to Jordan Zimmermann.
Once the Tigers go back to 12 pitchers, and after Mahtook gets a few swings in Toledo, he should be right back up.
One of the most well-liked players in the Detroit organization, Mahtook handled the news with the class you would expect him to.
We wish Mikie the best of luck, and hope he makes a quick return to Detroit.