Crosby Climbing For Tigers





DETROIT—You could almost hear Tigers fans gasp when Double-A Erie lefthander Casey Crosby went on the disabled list in mid-June. After all, the highly regarded pitching prospect had already missed nearly all of the 2008 and 2010 seasons because of elbow problems.

So everyone breathed a sigh of relief when Crosby returned from the DL June 27 and promptly carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning in his first start back.

Crosby has gone 5-3, 3.73 in his first 15 Double-A starts. Walks have been a problem—he has issued 50 in 80 innings—but he also has struck out 65. Considering Crosby hadn't pitched above low Class A before this season, and is still 22, well, the news is more good than bad.

"He is healthy, and he's throwing the ball well," minor league pitching coordinator Jon Matlack said. "He had some fatigue, so that's why we put him in the DL—to let it calm down and to rest him. When he came back, he threw the ball just fine."

During his first and only healthy season in 2009 with low Class A West Michigan, Crosby was 10-4, 2.41 in 24 starts and was the Tigers' minor league pitcher of the year.

"He's an extremely athletic kid who is fine-tuning his delivery," Matlack said. "Early on he had some tension in his delivery, which may have stemmed from when he played football (in high school), and we're trying to turn that into a more relaxed attack rather than a bottled-up tension.

"Some of the rehab may have come from the aggression with which he attacked the rehab. I really expect that, when we get this year under our belts, we can expect some good things from him."

TIGER TALES

• The Tigers signed two 16-year-old international free agents: Venezuelan shortstop Steven Fuentes and Dominican righthander Emanuel Chavez.

• Outfielder Danry Vasquez, a 17-year-old native of Venezuela, batted .345/.351/.436 in his first 14 Rookie-level Gulf Coast League games.