Tigers Prospects Have Winter Plans
DETROIT—Several Tiger prospects are playing winter ball in an attempt to improve their stock.
First baseman Ryan Strieby, who is playing for the Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican League, needs to cut down on his strikeouts while continuing to show power. But he fanned in five of his first 15 at-bats for the Gigantes and didn't have an extra-base hit, batting .267/.353/.267. He hit .255/.341/.429 with 19 homers for Triple-A Toledo this season.
Another Detroit prospect playing in the Dominican League is 24-year-old shortstop Audy Ciriaco, who batted .238/.238/.381 in his first six games for Aguilas. Ciriaco hit .277/.301/.415 at Double-A Erie this year before struggling to a .093/.138/.093 mark in a brief trial in Toledo.
Righthander Brayan Villarreal and outfielder Avisail Garcia are teammates for Anzoategui in the Venezuelan League. Villarreal, who began last season with Detroit but spent most of the year with Toledo, struggled to a 5.63 ERA in his first nine relief appearances, allowing 12 hits and four walks while striking out three in eight innings. Garcia, 20, hit .264/.297/.389 at high Class A Lakeland last season as one of the youngest players in the Florida State League.
Righthander Jose Ortega (Magallanes) and lefthander Shawn Teufel (Caracas) are also pitching in Venezuela. Ortega, 23, spent last season with Toledo and struggled with command, walking 27 in 50 innings while striking out 44 and finishing with a 6.30 ERA. Teufel was 4-5, 3.78 splitting team between the rotation and bullpen for Lakeland.
• The Tigers extended their affiliation agreement with Triple-A Toledo through the 2016 season. The franchises have been together since 1987.
• Low Class A West Michigan and Fifth Third Bank agreed to a 10-year extension to the naming rights sponsorship of the Whitecaps' ballpark.