Crosby struggles in Hens loss

Casey Crosby’s would-be audition for the Tigers rotation fill-in role apparently looked like a kid making his Triple-A debut, which he was. The big left-hander showed his potential, striking out four of his first six batters and fanning six over four innings against just two walks, the six runs and five hits he allowed in the process sent the Hens to defeat and likely sent Jim Leyland (who was in attendance) into serious thought on how he’ll fill Doug Fister’s rotation spot coming up later this week.

Crosby spent all of last season at Double-A Erie, his first full, healthy season since coming off a spat of injuries that slowed his career since he was a highly-regarded draft pick in 2007. He made an impression in Tigers camp this spring, and Leyland said over the weekend in response to questions about the rotation that he would be heading to Fifth Third Field to watch Crosby. Other Tigers officials had watch fellow Hens lefty Andy Oliver struggle with walks on Sunday night.

Crosby didn’t struggle with walks, but he gave up early damage — a leadoff triple and two-run double in the first inning, then a tape-measure home run to Denis Phipps following an Argenis Diaz error.

So at some point very shortly, Leyland and team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski have to decide how to approach this rotation spot for the next couple weeks. Duane Below would still seem to be an option despite pitching back-to-back days over the weekend (hey, he does lead the Majors in wins at the moment). Adam Wilk still stands as the most effective Mud Hens starter out of the gate with five scoreless innings on one hit to go with six strikeouts last Friday.


The lead off triple was actually just a sharply hit single the centerfielder misplayed into a three bagger…….poor shortstop play and a dropped tag by his catcher didn’t help Crosby much either….

And before people get too excited about John Lannan, he gave up 5 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in TWO INNINGS in his first AAA start. I would rather see Oliver or Crosby take some lumps than give someone up for Lannan.

Could Balester be stretched out for some starts in Fister’s absence?

They could attempt a bullpen start following Verlander, but that would leave nothing for Scherzer the following game, if the current rotation continues. I think I’d just start Below and Smyly and move ahead until Fister returns. Management earns their bucks in these situations.

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