Results tagged ‘ Brayan Villarreal ’
With the Tigers pretty well done in free agency and clear of arbitration, they began the process of signing their younger players by reaching agreement with six members of their 40-man roster on Tuesday.
Lefty starting candidates Duane Below and Casey Crosby reached agreement on one-year contracts, as did prospects Avisail Garcia, Jose Ortega, Tyler Stohr and Brayan Villarreal. The deals raise the total of signed Tigers to 24 players on the 40-man roster.
The deals are essentially a foregone conclusion. Players on the 40-man roster without enough time in the Majors to qualify for arbitration can either negotiate a contract with the team or have the club renew their contract at the last possible date – this year, it’s March 11. Most players will reach an agreement before then.
None of the players who agreed to terms Tuesday have a full season in the big leagues yet. In fact, Below is the only one with more than a month in the Majors. He turned a couple of midsummer spot starts into a bullpen role down the stretch in a pennant race, and could be poised to win a rotation spot out of camp this year.
The 26-year-old Michigan native went 0-2 with a 4.34 ERA in 14 games, allowing 28 hits over 29 innings with 11 walks and 14 strikeouts.
Crosby came out of the same 2007 draft that brought Rick Porcello to the Tigers. The left-hander passed up on a football scholarship to Illinois to sign with Detroit for a bonus just under $750,000 before injuries slowed his development. A healthy 2011 season put him back on the prospect watch with a 9-7 record and 4.10 ERA at Double-A Erie. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski mentioned him last week as part of the rotation competition for the lone open spot.
Villarreal was the surprise of last year’s camp, making the Tigers’ Opening Day roster as a reliever. The 24-year-old right-hander gave up 12 earned runs on 21 hits over 16 innings before spending the rest of the season at Triple-A Toledo.
And you thought the Tigers bullpen lost its character when Phil Coke became a starter.
Daniel Schlereth is out there, and as it turns out, he’s a character. So is Brad Thomas, and so, apparently, is Brayan Villarreal.
Schlereth announced today that he wants to be known by his nickname, the Alaskan Assassin. He was born in Anchorage, so that makes sense. He also has been nicknamed the Baby Black Bear.
I told him that could be quite a tandem, the Alaskan Assassin and Agent P, otherwise known as Ryan Perry, or the Platypus. But Perry has earned a new nickname in the Tigers bullpen. After his DL stint with an eye infection, he’s now known as Cyclops.
On down the line it went. Brayan Villarreal? He’s known as Zorro, Schlereth said, because of the hair.
Al Alburquerque? Schlereth didn’t have one for him, but Villarreal said he’s known as Avatar, after the characters from the movie.
Jose Valverde? They don’t really need a nickname, or at least they don’t dare put one of him. But when Big Potato was mentioned, Valverde nodded in approval.
Brad Thomas? Nothing. They just make fun of the Aussie accent.
Joaquin Benoit? Nothing yet.
Offbeat? You bet. But look at it this way: It sure beats those mohawk haircuts Tigers relievers had last year around this time.
It’s the second home game of the season, the day when the Tigers start to really settle into a routine at Comerica Park. For Casper Wells, however, it’s Opening Day. The last Tigers position player to get a start is in the lineup today, getting the start against lefty Bruce Chen.
Look for some more creativity if the Tigers take a lead into the seventh inning. Leyland is looking for six innings or so out of Phil Coke, and both Brayan Villarreal and Daniel Schlereth are off today since they pitched teh last couple days. Could be a spot for Robbie Weinhardt to get his first appearance, or it could be a day for Leyland to mix and match Brad Thomas and Enrique Gonzalez again. We’ll see.
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Will Rhymes, 2B
- Magglio Ordonez, DH
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Victor Martinez, C
- Ryan Raburn, LF
- Jhonny Peralta, SS
- Brandon Inge, 3B
- Casper Wells, RF
P: Phil Coke
- Chris Getz, 2B
- Melky Cabrera, CF
- Alex Gordon, LF
- Billy Butler, DH
- Kila Ka’aihue, 1B
- Jeff Francoeur, RF
- Wilson Betemit, 3B
- Brayan Pena, C
- Alcides Escobar, SS
P: Bruce Chen
The latest round of Tigers cuts came this morning, and it included two pretty big surprises. Scott Sizemore and Robbie Weinhardt are headed to Triple-A Toledo, along with Clete Thomas. Fu-Te Ni and Max St. Pierre were assigned to minor league camp. The moves whittle Detroit’s roster to 28 players, with three more moves needing to be made by the time the Tigers break camp next Tuesday.