Powerful prospect Moya called up by Tigers

Powerful prospect Moya called up by Tigers

BALTIMORE -- The Tigers, victims of Max Scherzer's 20-strikeout performance Wednesday night, are getting offensive reinforcements from the Minors. Slugging outfield prospect Steven Moya is joining the team from Triple-A Toledo.

The Mud Hens announced the move on their Twitter account prior to their game Thursday morning, with lefty reliever Blaine Hardy optioned to Toledo to make room. The Tigers have not made an announcement.

John Wagner of the Toledo Blade first reported the move.

The move restores the Tigers' outfield and positional depth to normal after Detroit carried an extra reliever on Wednesday. But the 24-year-old Moya, the club's No. 10 prospect as ranked by MLBPipeline.com, isn't likely to sit on the bench.

The 6-foot-7 Moya, the Tigers' best power-hitting prospect the past few years, has torn up Triple-A pitching this season, batting .310 (39-for-126) with 11 doubles, nine home runs, 24 RBIs and a .968 OPS. It's a carryover from what he showed in Spring Training, when he hit for power to all fields and cut down on what had been a crippling strikeout rate.

Moya had been Toledo's everyday right fielder until the past couple days, when Mud Hens manager Lloyd McClendon moved him to left to try to improve his versatility. That was around the same time that Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said the Tigers were considering giving struggling left fielder Justin Upton a day off.

Moya's promotion gives Detroit a chance to sit Upton for a game or two. Though Upton ended an 0-for-19 slump with a double off the center-field wall against Scherzer in Washington on Wednesday, he's batting .221 (29-for-131) while leading the Majors with 53 strikeouts in 33 games.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.