Left-handed pitcher Casey Crosby remains on the 40-man roster for the Detroit Tigers. If he appears with the Tigers again, it will most likely be as a reliever, rather than a starter. Crosby (6-5, 228) will come to spring training aiming for a bullpen job. Two years ago, he came to Lakeland, Fla., trying to win a job as the Tigers’ No. 5 starter. Although he didn’t win the job, he wound up making three starts for the Tigers in 2012. He had a 9.49 ERA with nine strikeouts in 121⁄3 innings. Crosby was 2-5 with a 4.84 ERA in 13 starts at Triple-A Toledo last season with 61 strikeouts and 40 walks in 572⁄3 innings. Asked if Crosby, 25, was at a crossroads with his career, Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones said “in a sense.” “It’s not like he’s in his 30s or anything and he’s had some injury problems as well,” Jones said. “You get to a point where the window starts closing a little bit. It might be starting to close a little bit for Casey. “I think he’ll adapt to pitching out of the bullpen. I think he’ll do fine with that. A lot of times, you take guys who started all their lives and you put them in the bullpen and they just flourish. That’s kind of what we’re hoping might happen here.” Jones mentioned how Drew Smyly had always been a starting pitcher, but made an outstanding transition last season when the team needed him to fill a bullpen role. Smyly will be in the starting rotation for the Tigers this season. “There’s some adjustments you make in your preparation,” Jones said of going from starter to relief. “I’ll talk to Casey about it. I’ll have some of the other guys talk to him, guys who have pitched out of the bullpen.” Although Crosby’s fastball could reach 93 m.p.h., then-Tigers manager Jim Leyland pointed out in spring 2012 that Crosby sometimes backed off to around 89 when he was trying to throw strikes. Leyland said at the time that Crosby was a young pitcher who needed to have more confidence to throw harder for strikes.
If Detroit Tigers turn to Casey Crosby again, it will likely be out of bullpen
Detroit Free Press | Jan 30