detroit — The Tigers on Monday designated left-handed infield hitter Nick Maton for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for left-handed reliever Kolton Ingram, whom they claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels.
Ingram, 27, made his major league debut with the Angels last season. Although his superficial results in the short sample were not good (five earned runs, eight hits in 5.1 innings), there were some encouraging metrics.
With a five-pitch combination (92-93 mph four-seam fastball, cutter, slider, sweeper, and changeup), he had a 36% strikeout rate and a 33% strikeout rate against major league hitters. He also missed bats in the minor leagues. Pitching in Double-A and Triple-A last year, he averaged 11.2 strikeouts and five walks per nine innings.
He pitched 61 innings in the minors and posted a 2.95 ERA.
Ingram was originally selected by the Tigers in the 37th round of the 2019 MLB Draft.
Maton, entering his age-27 season, had no minor league options and was considered a long shot to earn a roster spot after camp.
He came to the Tigers last offseason with multi-positional Matt Vierling and catcher Donny Sands in a trade that sent reliever Gregory Soto and infielder Kody Clemens to the Phillies. He played 93 games with the Tigers, but struggled both at the plate and in the field.
Although he hit eight home runs, he hit just .173 with a .288 on-base percentage, struggling mightily against speed and spin. He was 16-for-130 (.123) against breaking balls and changeups, for a 41% hit-miss rate.
However, he hit well in Triple-A, hitting .293/.414/.457 and .871 OPS for Toledo.
Maton, who underwent a procedure on his left knee in November, will go through the waiver process. If he approves, he could be transferred directly to Toledo.
The Tigers also announced that right-handed reliever Devin Sweet, whom they designated for reassignment last week to make room on the roster for Colt Keith, has been traded to Toledo.