‘We need guys that are playing good’
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Detroit Tigers need a spark after their six-game winning streak came to a screeching halt with a four-game losing streak, leaving them 1½ games ahead of the last-place Kansas City Royals in the American League Central.
After Monday’s doubleheader sweep, the Tigers called up outfielder Akil Baddoo from Triple-A Toledo. To create room on the roster, utility player Kody Clemens was optioned to the Mud Hens.
It’s unclear if Baddoo will be available for Tuesday’s game.
“Akil is playing great,” manager AJ Hinch said, following a 7-3 loss to the Royals in Game 2 at Kauffman Stadium. “We need guys that are playing good.”
Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo strikes out against White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease during the fifth inning on Saturday, April 9, 2022, at Comerica Park.
Baddoo, a 2020 Rule 5 draft pick, hit .438 (21-for-48) with six doubles, three home runs, nine walks and 10 strikeouts in his past 13 games for Toledo. The 23-year-old has posted a .300 batting average with 19 walks and 26 strikeouts in 30 games for the Mud Hens this season.
The Tigers demoted Baddoo to Toledo on May 9, after he struggled to control the strike zone and hit for contact through 17 games. Once Baddoo joined the Mud Hens, he missed a couple weeks with an oblique injury.
“We want Akil on this team,” Hinch said last week. “It’s just a matter of when we feel like he can be a contributor, when the playing time is there for him, what he can offer to a club.”
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In 2021, Baddoo hit .259 with 13 home runs in 124 games for the Tigers. Coming out of this year’s spring training, the Tigers planned for Baddoo to play a key role this season.
That plan didn’t last long.
Now Baddoo is back.
“He’ll certainly be in there the rest of the way this first helped,” Hinch said.
The Tigers also returned right-hander Alex Faedo to Triple-A Toledo after the 26-year-old served as the 27th player for the doubleheader. He allowed four runs and threw 60 pitches (29 strikes) in 1⅔ innings in the game 2 loss.
Faedo is expected to pitch this weekend for the Mud Hens.
“That’s what we’re hoping for before the (All-Star) break,” Hinch said, “so we can get him in a little bit more of a routine rather than the long gap in between starts the way we’ve had him in the last two starts.”
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers’ Akil Baddoo called back up; Kody Clemens demoted