If losing two games in a row with their best pitchers on the mound wasn’t enough, the Tigers took a swift kick to the groin when it was announced that Doug Fister is headed back to the disabled list. This time his injury is being called a “left side strain,” but it is likely a re-aggravation of the rib issues that sent him to the DL in April.
In Fister’s place will be lefthanded pitcher Casey Crosby. Crosby, who is still just 23 years old, was a dark horse candidate to make the Tigers’ rotation out of Spring Training, but only ended up pitching 5 2/3 innings before being re-assigned to minor league camp.
A 5th round pick in 2007, Crosby has enjoyed limited success. He missed nearly all of the 2010 season due to Tommy John surgery and has otherwise struggled with his control. He walked 77 batters in 131+ innings last year and has already walked 26 in 50+ innings this season. That lack of command could really hurt him at this level, but especially in his first start, which is Friday against the New York Yankees (welcome to the bigs, kid!).
Concerns aside, Crosby has the stuff to pitch at the major league level. He has struck out nearly a batter per inning at the minor league level, even after coming back from his injury in 2010. Whether his future lies in the rotation or the bullpen remains to be seen, but he could provide a big boost to the team with a solid debut on Friday.