Some very brief, very amateur observations from yesterday afternoon at Fifth Third Field.
Starter, and key figure in the Doug Fister deal, Robbie Ray is not close to being an MLB piece, at least not as a starter. He's a Tigers prospect, and at this point NOT a top MLB prospect.
Good life on his fastball, but more than a few times he overthrew and lost what modest control he had. During his recoil and release, Ray looks a bit like Roy Halladay, though much, much smaller of a presence on the mound. With his life-y fastball I'm still a bit surprised the Tigers didn't at least consider him in the role that Drew Smyly vacated, but he does have much to work on.
Casey Crosby, now in the bullpen and still struggling with walks; 3 in 2 innings of work in 3 games.
Jhan Martinez is another little guy, but offered the most valuable fastball I saw yesterday. Another pitcher who struggles with walks, but in 9(!) minor league seasons and 320 innings thrown, the ability strike out hitters is there.
Melvin Mercedes has a lanky and herky jerky delivery. A guy behind me mentioned Antonio Alfonseca and he wasn't wrong. Mid 90s on all his fastball, most of which weren't in the strike zone.
Hernan Perez. Little Hernan Perez put a sock into his first homer of the year. Cleared the 320 left field wall easily and only the scoreboard stopped it from leaving the park.
Jordan Lennerton has an odd line. He's hitting .000, but with an OBP of .385, thanks to five walks and just eight at bats.
Does the new Ausmus-driven philosophy dip down to the lower levels? Very possible, that's where the success for contributions can begin. This happened in the bottom of the first.
@MudHens bunt hit. SB. Advance on a FO. GB RBI. Looks like the big league team.— IG: chase_eric (@Eric_Chase) April 6, 2014