John Schreiber Eyes Role In Tigers' Bullpen
After another strong season, reliever John Schreiber will be knocking on the door to the big league bullpen in 2019.
And the 24-year-old righthander will have another opportunity to improve his stock in the Arizona Fall League. The first order of business? Improve his performance against lefthanded batters.
Schreiber is a sidearmer who sits in the low 90s and spent the season at Double-A Erie. Because of his low arm slot, he has been lights-out against same-side hitters. Righthanded batters in the Eastern League hit .205/.287/.304 with two home runs and 28 percent strikeouts.
Schreiber has consistently dominated minor league hitters by striking out 10.0 per nine innings and allowing a .195 average and two homers in 94 appearances.
"He really had an impressive season,” vice president of player development Dave Littlefield said. "He throws a lot of strikes, has some sink to his fastball and is very deceptive.”
The mandate the Tigers have given Schreiber heading into AFL play is to firm up his slider so it’s more of a weapon against lefthanded hitters.
Schreiber’s slider is tough against righties, coming at their right hip, but the rubber meets the road a lot of times against lefties. They hit .245 against him in 2018.
Schreiber’s story is a good one: He grew up in Rockwood, Mich., rooting for the Tigers. He was a 15th-round pick from Northwestern Ohio in 2016.
As a sidearmer, Schrieber will have to prove he's more than a matchup reliever, but the Tigers think at worst he could be a low-leverage bullpen option.
"He’s not far away,” Littlefield said. "The level really kind of tells you his effectiveness.
"You want this kind of guy to be a pitcher who can handle both sides of the plate, righty and lefty,” Littlefield said. "It’s just such a specialization to only face righties, and you just want to make a guy more valuable for the manager to use.”
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>> Righthander Franklin Perez will be rehabilitating from shoulder inflammation in Lakeland, Fla., for the duration of the offseason, Littlefield said. The 20-year-old worked just 19.1 innings this season. The Tigers are aiming to get Perez back on a mound by January.
>> Second baseman Kody Clemens, a third-rounder out of Texas this year, turned heads this season by jumping to high Class A Lakeland. "He's a great competitor,” one rival talent evaluator said. "He’s got a real interesting bat, but he looks like an all-around player. I think he’s going to show some power in the big leagues.” Clemens is the youngest son of Roger Clemens.