Crosby, Matt Young optioned to make room for Weber, Fister
Tigers manager Jim Leyland wasn’t sure how rookie left-hander Casey Crosby would react to starting on extended rest. His wild outing Friday night brought a reaction from the Tigers, who optioned him back to Triple-A Toledo for more seasoning.
Outfielder Matt Young was also optioned to Toledo.
The Young move opened the spot the Tigers needed to activate Doug Fister from the 15-day disabled list in time for his scheduled start Saturday afternoon. The Crosby move created room for Thad Weber, who was recalled from the Hens as an extra reliever for the weekend. For Saturday, at least, the Tigers will have to fill innings without closer Jose Valverde, setup man Joaquin Benoit and hard-throwing right-hander Brayan Villarreal.
“We’re really short for tomorrow,” Leyland said after the game. “We’ve got major problems.”
No decision has been made on how the Tigers will proceed with their rotation, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said, which suggests they weren’t planning this initially. With an off-day Monday, they could go with four starters until next Saturday at Pittsburgh, when they would need a fifth starter the rest of the way to the All-Star break.
Their other injured starter, Drew Smyly, won’t be eligible for come off the DL in time to fill the spot next Saturday.
Crosby took Fister’s rotation spot after he aggravated his left side strain in a Memorial Day start at Boston. His rookie jitters didn’t help in his Major League debut against the Yankees, who hit him for six runs on just four hits in 3 1/3 innings with four walks June 1. He was significant more composed six days later against Cleveland, but his wildness returned Friday night, walking three of the first 12 Rockies he faced.
He recovered from a two-run third inning to enter the fourth with a lead thanks to a Tigers rally, but a two-run homer from Chris Nelson and an ensuing four-pitch walk to Dexter Fowler brought manager Jim Leyland out for the pitching change.
Crosby took a no-decision, giving up four runs on six hits over 3 1/3 innings with four walks and four walks.
“In fairness, he hasn’t done terrible,” Leyland said. “I think if you’re judging it from a professional perspective, he’s not ready. He’s got 93, 94, 95 [mph] in there, but I think he’s a little concerned about being able to throw it over at that velocity. And so, until he can conquer that, I think his bullpen sessions will be important.”
Coincidentally, Jacob Turner gave up a lone earned run over at least six innings for the third straight start Friday night for Triple-A Toledo. He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out six at Norfolk to outduel Jamie Moyer. After going into spring training as arguably the favorite for the open spot in the Tigers rotation that eventually went to Drew Smyly, Turner is making a case for a midseason promotion.