Casey Crosby Prospects Chat

    John (Illinois): Casey, you went through surgery in your career. Who helped you through the process and what gave you the inspiration to keep going.

Casey Crosby: Plenty of people were there for me giving me motivation from my pitching coach when I was in high school to my agents and I am very blessed I had so much support. But I think that the people that were there for me the most was my family. My mother my father my older brothers and even my sisters were giving me motivation.

    Jeffrey (Windsor, ON): We know that the Tigers are not scared to promote young pitchers if they show they are ready, what do you think you have to show them before they deem you ready to perhaps crack the rotation within the next year or two?

Casey Crosby: I think I will have to prove I can throw consistent strikes and keep my walks down. I have to show them I can handle a full workload without a restricted pitch count

    Eric (Livonia Mi): Casey, Have the Tigers told you where you will pitch this year or is that done during spring training?

Casey Crosby: They wont tell anyone where they will start until the end of spring training

    Dan (PA): What are some of your career goals?

Casey Crosby: I want to make it to the big leagues and stay there. I would like be one of those guys that even when they get older, they are still just as good as they were when they were in their prime. My main goal however is to stay in the game and be able to support my family in the future

    Dan (PA): Who is your current favorite major league player?

Casey Crosby: I really like the way Jake Peavy pitches. He challenges guys all the time and is a bulldog up there.

    Dan (PA): Who was your favorite ballplayer growing up?

Casey Crosby: I was a big fan of Ken Griffey Jr. and I loved watching Omar Vizquel play short stop. Up until I was about 12 I played short stop but had to switch to the outfield because I was lefty

    Lee Oppenheimer (Grand Rapids, Mi.): After coming off surgery and pitching as well as you did for the Whitecaps, how frustrating was it for you to be on a strict pitch count?

Casey Crosby: It got very frustrating during the game especially when I was feeling good and had a shutout or no hitter going. But I know the Tigers are doing all they can to protect me because I was coming off surgery at 20 years old

    Carl Graetz (Maryland): If you could choose one of your pitching statistics (e.g., ERA, walks/strikeouts ratio, W-L, etc.) to improve this season, which statistic would it be and why?

Casey Crosby: It would definitely be walks. The reason for that is because I had too many last year and that's when I would get into trouble.

    Trey (Louisville): What's been the most important part of adding and maintaining your velocity throughtout the preseason and regular season?

Casey Crosby: I think it's keeping my muscle endurance up. Things like working out between starts and running a lot. I don't lift heavy weights though, its more repetitions and working on exploding. Also, being stretched and limber helps your flexibility so your aren't tightening up as much.

    Warren (Texas): Casey: Good luck this year, I'll be pulling for you. Just kind of curious as to what younger players in the Tigers organization have you been impressed with? WHo might we have not have heard of who has caught your eye? thanks for the chat, and good luck. Can't wait to see you at Comerica.

Casey Crosby: I think some pitchers that might fly under the radar are guys like Jared Gayhart, Robbie Weinhardt, and Luke Putkonen. The one I'm most impressed with is Jared Gayhart. He just started full time pitching after he got drafted in 2008. his ball has a lot of run and extra life. he throws it anywhere from 91-94 with a very good but very improving breaking pitch

    Warren (Texas): What players that you have pitched against have impressed you the most and why?

Casey Crosby: I think Simon Castro in the Padres organization has some dirty stuff. Also, Aaron Miller in the Dodgers organization is very good. He has a great change-up.

    Jim Kubinski (Granger, IN): Casey, Looking at breaking into the Tigers' rotation sometime in the near future, are there any concerns about how your manager, Jim Leyland, tends to push his starters, especially at a young age? I've seen Verlander out there for 120+ pitches with a 5 run lead. Does that worry you at all or is it more the old Braves philosophy...and Rangers now... of throwing more makes you stronger? Thank you and best wishes for a great career!

Casey Crosby: I think if you baby your arm, Your most likely going to have a baby arm. I definitely think throwing more builds arm strength. the key is to get enough rest and in 5 man rotations you can get plenty of rest. And also, 120 pitches isn't bad at all.

    Tony (Coloma, Michigan): What level do you expect to pitch at in 2010? Will you have any reservations about dominating the White Sox once you arrive in the major leagues since you are from Illinois?

Casey Crosby: haha YES! I was always a Cubs fan so I wasn't much of a fan of the Sox. If I pitch at The Cell it'll be a dream come true. And of course I would love to dominate them. As far as where I'll be this year, it'll be either High A lakeland or double A Erie

    Tony (Coloma, Michigan): What do you consider your best pitch? Describe your preparation and mental approach to attacking hitters.

Casey Crosby: My best pitch is my fastball. My preparation on the mound is just forget everything, take it a pitch at a time just think this is your game.

    Mark (Fargo, ND): What are your personal goals for the 2010 season? Do you feel your injuries in the past are behind you? With everything that management has told do you feel you will make it to the big leagues this year? Do you want to be in the big leagues this year?

Casey Crosby: My main goal is to stay healthy. As far as elbow injuries I feel that all is behind me. My arm feels great now and I've gotten enough innings under me after surgery to believe that. I don't know where I'll be or where I end up this year, I just know wherever I'm at I'll do as well as i can.

    brandon (michigan): what has been the hardest thing about returning from Tommy John surgery?

Casey Crosby: Right now my elbow feels like I never had surgery. During rehab however, the hardest thing was not being able to play in actual games.

    brandon (michigan): was the decision between football and baseball a hard one?

Casey Crosby: Absolutely not. I knew I would have way more success in baseball rather than football. I do miss football though.

    Jeff Sanders (Gettysburg, PA): What were the most important drills or aspects in the development of your arm strength as you progressed through high school?

Casey Crosby: I honestly didn't do much to strengthen my arm in high school. I just played a ton of long toss and lifted like every other high school athlete.

    mike (new york): besides working out and throwing what do you do to get ready for the upcoming season?

Casey Crosby: We run a lot to get our legs in condition, we do a lot of shoulder strengthening exercises, and as you start throwing more and more bullpens you want to feel more consistent and more in control of your mechanics on the mound.

    Kelly Crosby (Dallas, Texas): Since you started throwing a 2-seam fastball late in the 2009 season your fingertip couldn't handle all that friction. What methods or preventions are you taking to assure yourself this kind of thing won't happen again in 2010?

Casey Crosby: Well, it's not that i started throwing one, I just started throwing it differently. I'm just trying to build a callus on it by using the rough part of a nail file and trying to make it hard and tough.

    kris kaminska (naperville, IL): What is your off season throwing program? Time off? When do actually start cranking it up?

Casey Crosby: Yes this offseason I took about 2 months off. I started up again in mid december and I took it slow to make sure my arm is ready. You really start cranking it up around now. I just threw my first bullpen of the new season today and you just throw longer bullpens from then on.

    Jimmy (Perry, Ga.): Hi Casey. Who's the toughest hitter you've faced as a pro? And is there a particular type of hitter that you're still learning how to attack?

Casey Crosby: I'd say the toughest hitter I have faced is Tony Delmonico. Those right handed balanced hitters with good power. They make you have to hit your spots and be able to throw your change up for strikes because they can recognize a breaking ball so well.

    steve (naperville,il): Casey,watched you alot in the midwest league last year and was wondering if you feel any residual effect of your 08' surgery, I personally thought you compared well to previous MWLer Clayton Kershaw. Also have you recieved any feedback from detroit on this years plans (Lakeland)?

Casey Crosby: The only thing I would feel in my elbow is tightness sometimes. All I'd have t do is ask my trainer to rub it then it would be fine

    tim (chicago): what did you focus on the most during the offseason?

Casey Crosby: I focused a lot on the mental side of the game. preparing myself to keep confidence in myself and not letting things get to me

    Dave (Texas): Sure could use you in Texas. What is your best skill?

Casey Crosby: I got a lot of skills. nunchucking skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills. Haha I'm just joking. I think my best skill is throwing a baseball. Sorry to disappoint but I don't really have that many skills besides that.

    Jim Gibson (Sugar Grove Illinois): Casey...I watched you play football at Kaneland High school. Your athletic talents are obvious in that sport as well. Do you miss playing other sports since you're focused so hard on baseball?

Casey Crosby: I definitely do miss playing football. That is one sport you can never fully play as a pickup sport. The pads and hitting can never be reenacted. You can always shoot the basketball around and play a pickup game of basketball.

    Jon (Peoria): Hi Casey: As a big Illini fan, how close did you get to turning down the Tigers and going to Illinois?

Casey Crosby: Well I really didn't get close at all. I knew the opportunity to sign for good money and get into pro ball right away was definitely something I couldn't turn down to go to Illinois.

    Don (Rosemont, IL): Casey, how did you enjoy getting to play so close to home in the Midwest League last year?

Casey Crosby: It was awesome. I couldn't ask for a better place to play in my first full season. I had family at almost every game, I went home on a couple off days, and playing in Grand Rapids was really fun and it's an amazing place to play.

    Crosby's #1 fan (Michigan): At the beginning of last year, you struggled with your command for a month or two. Then after that you destroyed the opposing batters. Did something click? Did you change your arm angle? Put the worries of your TJS (if you had any) behind you?

Casey Crosby: No I just felt more confident out there and I learned a lot of things that I never thought of before like how to read swings and hitters approaches.

    Crosby's #1 fan (Michigan): Which pitches do you feel that you have to work on more? and how did you deal with the pressure of coming back from tommy john surgery

Casey Crosby: I feel like i need to work on my change up more. I want it to be a good pitch I can throw anytime to get hitters off my fastball.

    Mike (Michigan): which team did you grow up cheering for?

Casey Crosby: CUBS!

    Brian (Detroit, MI): What amount of strength training do you and your pitching peers do during the off-season? Do you do any during the season?

Casey Crosby: We do a lot of arm stuff. During the season we do a lot of shoulder exercises after we are done pitching. The Tigers strength program is awesome. They get us ready to take on a full season and they keep us conditioned during the season, as well as do their best to prevent injuries whenever they can by stretching and being there when we lift and run.

    Mike (Michigan): You were a 1st round talent in the 2007 draft. Were you surprised that you fell to the 5th round?

Casey Crosby: I wasn't surprised because my draft had a ton of talent. I also knew that if i didn't get selected early, with me being a high school kid and asking for what many high school kids ask for to forego college, I figured it would make a lot of teams lose interest in me.

    Fred (Mid-Atlantic Region): What expectations do you have, if any, of agents?

Casey Crosby: I believe agents should work for you. It shouldn't be the other way around. Agents should be there whenever you need them and they need to know what you want and what's best for you and not what's best for themselves

    Art Paavola (Gwinn, Mi.): I believe you will start in Lakeland ( High A) for the warm weather. What do you think?

Casey Crosby: That sounds good

    Joe (New York): Casey, What kind of information, if any, do you review prior to pitching in a game (e.g., scouting reports, box scores, film, etc.)?

Casey Crosby: I take a look at how the other teams lineup is looking. Like how they have been doing the past ten games and stuff like that. Also, if any of their key hitters aren't in the lineup

    Dan (Lincoln, Ne): What did you do to prepare yourself for this up coming season during the winter months? Would you have preferred to play in a fall league?

Casey Crosby: I lifted pretty hard and ran also. I started throwing in mid December just light toss. It would have been an honor to play in the fall league, but I knew I wasn't going to.

    Dan (Lincoln, NE): Is there a vetern pitcher that you have sought out for advice on how to throw certain pitches or just advice on how to be a big leaguer? If so who?

Casey Crosby: I try and soak up as much information as I can from former big leaguers. Our pitching coordinator John Matlack had a great career and I try and pick his brain as much as I can

    Dan (Lincoln, NE): Do you read the prospect rankings on sites like Baseball America? If so do you put much into them?

Casey Crosby: I read them if someone I know tells me about it. I think nothing of any of it because all that matters is how you perform on the field

    Fred (Madison): Hi Casey - great year last year - CONGRATS. Have you heard how Duane Below is doing, coming back from TJ? I know he's been down in Lakeland rehabbing, but haven't heard anything. How well do you know other Tiger pitchers who pitched at a different level in the system than you did?

Casey Crosby: Below is doing great. He'll probably be ready to go when ST starts. He's looking good though.

    Dan (Lincoln, Ne): Do you have any superstitions?

Casey Crosby: I wore the same shirt to all the home days I started and a different one to all the away starts. I also step on the foul line with only my front cleat.

    Baseball Fan (Diamond, Earth): How would you rank your pitches; worst to best?

Casey Crosby: 1. 4 seam fastball 2. Curve ball 3. 2 seam fastball 4. change up

    Dan (Lincoln, NE): What is your favorite baseball moment so far?

Casey Crosby: Going to Cooperstown, New York and playing in a week long tournament and taking 6th place

    Al (CA): Are you typing your answers or is a BA brain typing for you?

Casey Crosby: It's me on my laptop

    Comic Book Guy (Springfield): What are your favorite movies? What about music groups/artists?

Casey Crosby: Comedy. Anything with Jim Carrey and most of Will Farrells stuff. Dumb and Dumber, Step Brothers, Old School, both Ace Venturas. I also like Gladiator, American Gangster. Russell Crowe is my favorite actor. I like a lot of types of music but I think I like country the best. Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Boys Like Girls, Rise Against, Chris Brown. I like hip hop too but in doses.

    Don J (Grand Rapids, Mi): What is your pre-game ritual? Music, food, etc?

Casey Crosby: I ate pancakes for breakfast and spaghetti for lunch last year before home starts but that is because my host mom would make it for me. I would listen to Rise against, Fall Out Boy, or Van Halen

    travis (tinley park, illinois): Where did you learn your delivery from? Was there a pitching coach that infuenced you the most? What are you currently working on in your delivery?

Casey Crosby: It was really just what felt comfortable. I never had a pitching coach or instructions until I was 18 years old. Right now I'm working on a consistent delivery

    travis (tinley park, illinois): Being form Illinois did you ever go to the White Sox Academy? I hear a lot of minor leaguers and big leaguers work out there in the offseason.

Casey Crosby: I actually would go there a lot last offseason to throw

    mike (chicago): if you were not playing baseball what would you be doing

Casey Crosby: I'd be in school somewhere working on my business finance degree probably.

    Andrew (Idaho): Love the Napoleon Dynamite reference. What are the best and worst aspects of minor league life? The best can't be that you play baseball for a living! :) Thanks.

Casey Crosby: The best aspects are getting to go to all of these different types of ball parks in different towns and communities. the worst part is the bus rides

    Sharon (Florida): Casey, have you had a chance to speak with any of the Detroit baseball greats such as Al Kaline or Willie Horton, and if so, what advice have they given you?

Casey Crosby: Yes I have and it was a great honor to meet them. They haven't given me any advice on pitching or anything because they were hitters.

    Dale (Atlanta): How do you handle the mental part of the game? Do you visualize strikes, go over a pitch in your head first, etc.? And how do you calm yourself down when under pressure? Thx.

Casey Crosby: Yes it's a lot about visualizing where you want the ball to go. Also, just staying confident. When I get in a jam I take my time, and take deep breaths

    Derek (Fenton MI): what is the hardest thing you have noticed from playing high school ball to pro ball?

Casey Crosby: the hardest thing would be that every hitter in the lineup is really good so you have to battle every at bat. Also, In high school I threw over 90% fastballs. In pro ball, if you do that, you will get lit up

    Dave (Toronto): Thanks for doing the chat and answering all these questions Casey! Have the Tigers ever talked to you about working out of the bullpen? Do you think you'd like closing games out as much as starting them?

Casey Crosby: No I haven't heard anything about them doing that with me. Ya, I think closing games would be fun. It'd be cool to go out there for an inning or two and just let it loose