Former Detroit Tigers catcher Eric Haase has made his way back to his original team, the Cleveland Guardians. The Guardians claimed Haase off waivers from the Tigers, where he was originally chosen in the seventh round of the 2011 MLB draft out of Dearborn Divine Child. This move was part of a series of corresponding actions that involved designating fellow catcher Zack Collins for assignment.
Having previously seen action in 19 games for the Guardians during the 2018-19 seasons, Haase is now anticipated to serve as the backup catcher to the Guardians’ top prospect, Bo Naylor, throughout the remainder of the 2023 season. Tigers manager A.J. Hinch expressed his satisfaction for Haase, stating, “He deserves to be in the big leagues, and of course, he’s going to end up in our division, so we’re going to see him again by the end of the year.”
The Tigers and Guardians both belong to the American League Central and are scheduled to conclude the regular season with a three-game series against each other from September 29 to October 1. As of the latest update, the Guardians are trailing the first-place Minnesota Twins by six games, while the Tigers are eight games behind the leader.
Haase’s recent journey saw him being designated for assignment by the Tigers, which coincided with the team’s game against the Guardians at Progressive Field. Hinch praised Haase’s character, noting that he was highly respected by the team. Despite a challenging 2023 season, the Tigers’ pitching staff maintained a solid 3.75 ERA across 468 innings with Haase as their catcher.
Haase’s ties to Detroit are strong, as it’s his childhood team, and he had worked his way into the Tigers’ lineup while contributing significantly to the organization. Over the years, Haase’s performance included hitting .231 with 22 home runs in 2021, followed by a .254 batting average with 14 homers in 2022. However, his struggles became more apparent in 2023, as he posted a .201 average with four home runs, 16 walks (5.7% walk rate), and 78 strikeouts (27.7% strikeout rate) in 86 games. Notably, he struggled notably against left-handed pitchers, a skill that had been his strong point in the past.
Despite his challenges, Haase’s impact was evident in the Tigers’ pitching effectiveness. As the team’s catcher, the pitching staff managed a commendable 3.75 ERA across 468 innings during the season.