Two suspensions in two months? It had to be asked: David Chadd, what kind of player did you just draft? “We don’t believe we got a problem child,” said Chadd, the Tigers’ vice president for amateur scouting. “I think we got maybe a young individual that might’ve made some bad decisions in the past.” The draft pick, hard-throwing right-hander Corey Knebel, agrees with that assessment. “I’ve learned from those things,” Knebel, 21, said the other day, as he was packing up his belongings in Texas ahead of a trip to Lakeland, Fla. “For sure.” The Tigers this month selected Knebel higher than many expected, including Knebel – 39th overall, interestingly just one spot ahead of where another prolific Texas closer, Huston Street, went in the 2004 draft. Detroit’s decision to pounce early came after Knebel’s junior season in which he twice was suspended by the team – once in April following a dugout altercation with a coach, and once in May after he was caught providing urine for a teammate’s drug test. It all caught the university by surprise, with a college pitcher whose success in the classroom twice earned him a spot on the Big 12 honor roll. Impressively, asked about both instances, Knebel doesn’t offer a “no comment” or one-word answers. He fesses right up, in pretty great detail. The second suspension drew by far the most attention, after Texas officials learned Knebel had provided urine to fellow pitcher Cameron Cox. “I thought I was doing the right thing by helping out a teammate,” Knebel said of the switch with reportedly was discovered after the urine tested positive for Adderall — a drug banned by the NCAA, but one Knebel had a prescription for. “But you gotta live with your mistakes. I shouldn’t do that.” The first suspension came less than a month earlier in the season, following a dugout war of words between Knebel and Texas’ pitching coach, Skip Johnson. Knebel tells the story this way: During a ballgame, some of his Longhorns teammates had started yelling at the opposing team — a no-no in the Texas handbook.
Tigers have big expectations for Texas reliever Corey Knebel
Detroit News | Jun 20