Tigers Minor League Wrap 4-22-0

Columbus 5 Toledo 3
It’s amazing what a big story Francisco Cruceta has become. I’m certainly intrigued but you’d think he’s the second coming of Mariano Rivera. Well, in his AAA debut he certainly impressed, even if he may have been tipping his pitches. Striking out the side on 10 pitches is a nice debut. In all he pitched 3 scoreless innings fanning 6. Mike Hollimon also made his season debut and went 1 for 4 with a double. Mike Hessman hit his 6th homer.

Erie 12 Harrisburg 2
Dusty Ryan had 3 hits and a walk. Wilkin Ramirez doubled and homered. Deik Scram homered and walked twice. Ben Fritz went 6.1 innings allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks while fanning 3.

Lakeland 9 Fort Myers 10
Cale Iorg went 3 for 5. Justin Justice added 3 hits including a home run. Matt O’Brien started and allowed 3 runs in 5 innings. Jordan Tata made an appearance and struggled. He didn’t make it out of his inning before allowing 4 runs on a hit and 4 walks.

Beloit 3 West Michigan 5
Casper Wells had 3 hits and a walk. Ronnie Bourquin and Jordan Newton each had multi hit games. Alfredo Figaro allowed 2 runs on 6 innings and now has a 0.75 ERA.


  1. Chris

    April 23, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Ok, if Francisco Cruceta is as dominant in the majors as he was in Toledo last nite, and if Zack Miner is sent down to Toledo to make room for Cruceta, then this bullpen would improve 1,000%.

    BTW, when they do send Zack Miner back to the minors, they need to convert him into a starter. The hope is that his struggles at relief don’t carry over into a starting pitching role. We may need starting pitching depth in the organization just in case of injury and if Willis can’t find the strike zone.

  2. Joel in Seattle

    April 23, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Iorg! The Stormin’ Mormon! My favorite Tigers prospect continues to light it up…

  3. Brenden

    April 23, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I am definitely excited for the arrival of Cruceta as long as he continues to look as amazing as he has. My question though, is what happens if Bautista and Cruceta both remain dominant in the bullpen when Rodney is ready to comeback? Who do they cut? I would personally say cut Rodney because he has already shown to be a liability and if Bautista and Cruceta are getting the job done, why screw it up?

  4. Brian P

    April 23, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    What do you mean by “cut”, Brenden? Not pitching the 7th or 8th inning, or not being in the Tigers bullpen alltogether? I’ll assume you mean the former, with which I have to agree. If Creceta and Bautista are successfully shutting down the 7th and 8th, then Rodney would need to re-prove himself after his (likely) on-going tendonitis. Perhaps he and Lopez could share middle relief duties when we have a lead.

    That requires alot of assumptions, though. But the same question applies when Zumaya is ready to return, which I think is much more likely then a healthy Rodney.

  5. Brenden

    April 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Yeah, I meant cut as in get rid of him. I just don’t think there is going to be room for Rodney on this team anymore if Cruceta and Bautista are solid. I don’t it will be much of a problem when Zumaya returns, considering that he will be hopefully the closer of the near future. I would love to have a bullpen with Cruceta, Bautista and Zumaya closing out the last 3 innings in the next season. I just don’t trust Rodney’s health anymore. After starting out the last two seasons on the DL, it just seems like it is going to be a continuing problem. Not to mention, the guy is a headcase.

  6. charlie

    April 23, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    i know you’re just dreaming but cruceta has not yet pitched for the tigers..he may or may not work out. it is only 20 games into the season and i think bautista (although he has been good so far) needs to prove himself over a longer period of time.AND you don’t just throw away a talent like rodney ever. sure glad you guys are not making personnel decisions for the team.

  7. Brian - BG

    April 23, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    If Rodney comes back next month healthy why not keep him. Isn’t having quality depth in the bullpen a good thing? Bautista has looked good so far this year but there is still alot of baseball to be played and why not have extra depth in the bullpen. With the way our starting pitching has gone bring Cruceta in the 6th, Rodney in the 7th, Bautista in the 8th and the rollercoaster in the 9th.

  8. Ryan

    April 23, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    If Rodney comes back dealing, there’s NO WAY you get rid of him, short of an extremely compelling trade. I think it would be Rapada and Grilli on the firing line (assuming Cruceta is decent and no one else falls apart). Lopez seems like he could easily slide over and become one of MLB’s top long guys. Statistically, Rodney and Zumaya are about the same (except GO/AO, which I think favors Rodney in that he has kept decent numbers while being a ground-ball guy with the 06-07 infield). I still can’t fathom where all the hate of him and love of Zumaya comes from. Is hat angle really more relevant than WHIP? Is throwing 100 that important?

  9. Mark in Chicago

    April 23, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I agree with Brian BG on this one. You can never have too much depth in your pen, especially given how mercurial they are from year to year. I don’t trust Rodney’s health either, but he’s pretty capable as a setup guy when he’s right. Cruceta has yet to pitch in the majors and Bautista has only done it successfully for about 10 innings or so. Besides, having extra guys around in case someone else is not available that day is a nice luxury to have.

    My guess is Rodney pitches early in games until he demonstrates that he’s healthy and effective. Once he does that I would expect to see him in the setup role again, bump Bautista down to the 7th inning, and use Cruceta in low-leverage situations to get him comfortable in the majors.

  10. Ken from Cincinnati

    April 23, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Has it been confirmed that Granderson is playing in tonight’s game?

  11. cib

    April 23, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Yes, but Clete T being sent to Toledo.


  12. cib

    April 23, 2008 at 4:31 pm

  13. PHT in HK

    April 23, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    If Bautista and Cruceta are still hot over the next couple of months, why would the Tigers rush Rodney back? Also, what makes anybody believe that Rodney will be healthy enough to come back this season? This notion appears to be pure speculation.

  14. Mike R

    April 24, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Yo, Rodney’s probably not coming back.