DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers have opened up a spot on the 40-man roster. Now the only question is, why?
The Tigers announced Sunday that infielder Isan Diaz had cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Toledo. Prior to the announcement, it was not publicly known that Diaz had been waived.
The Tigers claimed Diaz off waivers from the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 7. He played in two games, starting one, and went 0-for-5 during his brief stint with the Tigers while Javier Baez was on bereavement leave. Diaz has been with the Mud Hens since being optioned on Aug. 18.
The Tigers now have one vacancy on their 40-man roster. Two of the club’s most notable position player prospects -- Colt Keith and Justyn-Henry Malloy -- are candidates for promotion to Detroit before the end of the season. Neither are currently on the 40-man roster.
It’s also possible the Tigers are maneuvering to add another pitcher, as the bullpen has been taxed in recent days, including Sunday’s 17-4 blowout.
Finally, it’s possible that today’s move is merely roster housekeeping, and no other move is imminent.
Diaz, 27, was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round in 2014. The native of Puerto Rico attended high school in Springfield, Mass.
Diaz has been a part of two big trades. He was sent to the Milwaukee Brewers in January 2016 as part of the Jean Segura deal. Two years later, he went to the Marlins as part of the package for Christian Yelich.
He was purchased by the Giants in April.
Diaz has gone just 1-for-24 in the big leagues this year. In 527 career plate appearances, he’s hitting .177 with nine home runs.
Diaz has been previously outrighted, so he has the right to reject his assignment to Toledo and become a free agent if he chooses.
TIGERS’ 40-MAN ROSTER (39)
Left-handed pitchers (5): Tyler Holton, Eduardo Rodriguez, Tarik Skubal, Andrew Vasquez, Joey Wentz.
Right-handed pitchers (14): Beau Brieske, Blair Calvo, Jose Cisnero, Mason Englert*, Alex Faedo, Jason Foley, Garrett Hill, Alex Lange, Matt Manning, Reese Olson, Spencer Turnbull, Will Vest, Brendan White, Trey Wingenter.
Catchers (3): Carson Kelly, Jake Rogers, Donny Sands.
Infielders (12): Javier Báez, Miguel Cabrera, Andy Ibañez, Ryan Kreidler, Eddys Leonard, Andre Lipcius, Nick Maton, Zach McKinstry, Tyler Nevin, Wenceel Perez, Zack Short, Spencer Torkelson.
Outfielders (5): Akil Baddoo, Kerry Carpenter, Riley Greene, Parker Meadows, Matt Vierling.
Players on the active roster are in bold.
*Player on 10- or 15-day injured list.
Outfielder Austin Meadows (anxiety); left-handed pitchers Tyler Alexander (left lat/shoulder strain) and Matthew Boyd (left elbow); and right-handed pitchers Casey Mize (Tommy John surgery), and Freddy Pacheco (right elbow sprain) are on the 60-day injured list and do not count against the 40-man roster.