Detroit Tigers catcher Eric Haase has been on the traveling taxi squad for road trips all season. He caught warmups, took batting practice and followed the patterns of his fellow catchers, but unless there were two injuries, he wasn’t ever going to play.
That changed Tuesday.
[ The Free Press has started a digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Tigers content. ]
The Tigers demoted catcher Grayson Greiner to the alternate training site, and Haase – a Dearborn Divine Child graduate – was named his replacement.
“I get chills just thinking about it,” Haase said Tuesday. “From the minute they said I was traded over here, it’s been something that’s been in the back of my mind. To be able to (put on the jersey) tonight, it’s pretty awesome.”
[ Tigers wrapping up 2020 season: 12 things to watch with 12 games to go ]
Haase, 27, has three hits and one homer in 19 career games across two seasons
for the Cleveland Indians. He was drafted by the Indians in the seventh round (No. 218 overall) in the 2011 draft from Divine Child.
In January, the Tigers acquired him for cash considerations.
[ How a third-base coach is shaping the Detroit Tigers’ future ]
Since summer camp broke at the end of July, Haase began splitting time between the alternate training site and road trips with the Tigers. He thinks doing both for the last two months will pay dividends because of the relationships he has with his teammates on the active roster.
Haase played 102 games for Triple-A Columbus last season, hitting .226 with 28 homers, 60 RBIs, 142 strikeouts and 42 walks. He made the Triple-A All-Star Game and was named the International League team’s MVP.
“My career has been a pretty big roller coaster throughout the minor leagues, and even in the major leagues,” Haase said. “I’ve had a lot of experiencing coming off the bench late in games. Whatever I feel like I can to do help the team, I’m lucky to have a lot of experience doing all that.”
If Greiner remains in Toledo for the rest of the season, he will finish with a .118 batting average, three home runs and eight RBIs in 18 games.
“He wasn’t swinging good,” manager Ron Gardenhire said Tuesday. “He put a couple of good swings on some balls, but Haase has been working really, really hard. Give him an opportunity here. … See what he can do, try to find a pick-me-up on offense. He’ll get his action.”
[ The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Detroit Tigers content. ]
Shortly after bringing up Haase, the Tigers announced second baseman Jonathan Schoop was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sunday, with a right wrist sprain.
Gardenhire isn’t sure if Schoop’s injury dates back to when he left the Sept. 8 game against the Milwaukee Brewers with a contusion on that same wrist. He played five games since then but sat out Sunday’s three-game series finale with the Chicago White Sox.
“I think it was part of where he got hit, but I think he sprained it swinging, or something,” Gardenhire said. “It’s been bothering him. Tough to put him in the IL, but I’m activating one and sending another down. If he can’t play, that’s really hard right now. He was going to miss three or four days no matter what. Now he’s going to miss seven. But we have to let him get well.”
[ How Schoop models game after Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. ]
With Schoop’s injury, shortstop Niko Goodrum has been reinstated from the 10-day injured list.
Goodrum has been out since Sept. 2, when he slowly walked back into the dugout while clutching his abdomen area after flying out. Three days later, the team placed him on the injured list with a right oblique strain.
In 31 games, Goodrum is hitting .186 with five homers and 17 RBIs. Since his 4-for-4 performance in a 5-1 win over the White Sox on Aug. 10, Goodrum is 8-for-62 (.129) with nine walks and 28 strikeouts.
He was replaced in the lineup by Willi Castro, who leads the Tigers with a .337 batting average in 25 games. The 23-year-old has added three homers and 13…