Moya is on the 7-day DL at Triple-A Toledo with a left oblique strain. After clearing waivers before the season, it's safe to say the 25-year-old power hitter's prospect stock has cratered. He was hitting .161/.196/.355 with five home runs and a horrendous 38:4 K:BB in 93 at-bats.
Moya cleared waivers Friday and will likely be sent to Triple-A Toledo, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports. Moya seems to be on track to return to his 2016 role, serving as organizational depth for the Tigers' outfield. The lefty hit .284/.310/.501 with 20 home runs in Triple-A last season, but failed to truly transfer that success to the major-league level in various opportunities. After a dismal spring (.192/.208/.288) dampened any prospects of a roster spot, it seems Moya will once again be destined for an organizational depth role in 2017.
The Tigers placed Moya on outright waivers Wednesday, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports. Moya looked as though he might be in position to see regular at-bats in right field to begin the season with J.D. Martinez (foot) bound for the DL, but the 25-year-old didn't inspire much confidence that he'd be a capable replacement after supplying a .192/.208/.288 batting line in 52 at-bats during spring training. Assuming Moya goes unclaimed off waivers, he'll report to Triple-A Toledo and will face an uphill battle to get back to the big leagues now that he's no longer a member of the 40-man roster. With Moya out of the picture, the Tigers appear set to rely on Mikie Mahtook and Tyler Collins as their primary options in right field until Martinez returns, provided they don't acquire another veteran outfielder before the start of the season.
With J.D. Martinez out for 3-4 weeks and set to begin the season on the DL, Steven Moya is a candidate to play right field, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News reports. Moya filled in for Martinez for a long stretch last season, but he struggled at the plate and in the field. The 25-year-old is not doing anything to earn the role this spring, as he's slashing just .186/.205/.233 with no home runs. The Tigers could decide to use Mikie Mahtook and Tyler Collins in right while giving prospect JaCoby Jones a shot in center. Moya is out of options, so if the Tigers try to send him down after spring training, he will have to pass through waivers.
Moya is 5-for-17 (.294) through seven spring training games, although he has just one RBI. Moya is collecting hits, but he has just one double and no home runs so far. Moya is a less versatile defender than Dixon Machado, who he's likely competing with for the team's final bench role, so he needs to make his mark as a power hitter at the plate. The 25-year-old is out of options, so if the Tigers try to send him down after spring training, he will have to pass through waivers.