Former Knight Crosby now in MLB win club

By on June 14, 2012

Photo: Casey Crosby went 5.1 innings for his first-ever win as a member of the Detroit Tigers pitching staff.
Originally scheduled to start against the Cubs on Wednesday, he is slated to pitch on Friday, June 15, against
Colorado. Mark Cunningham/Detroit Tigers

KHS grad holds
Indians at bay, Tigers player development impressed

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—After his Major League Baseball debut on June 1, Casey Crosby knew he had to push on after a less-than-desirable result.

“You don’t dwell on it and you move on, and the experience is for the better,” Crosby said on June 5.

The member of Kaneland High School’s class of 2007 came back against the American League Central Division rival Cleveland Indians, and earned his first win (1-1) after leading the effort in a 7-5 result.

The lefty went 5.1 innings, two full innings more than his losing effort against the visiting New York Yankees.

Crosby allowed three earned runs on five hits, while striking out two batters and walking three. He threw 91 pitches, 54 for strikes.

Four pitchers followed the former Knight two-sport standout, with Tigers closer Jose Valverde tossing a perfect ninth.

For a highly-touted draft pick like Crosby, selected in the fifth round five years ago, it’s rewarding for the personnel keeping tabs on promise.

“He was a young kid making his first start and facing New York and obviously he didn’t have the start he wanted, but he adjusted well and did things differently in his next start,” Dave Owen, Tigers director of Player Development, said.

Owen, fresh from a trip to Detroit to prepare for the MLB Draft earlier this month, was able to see Crosby in his major league infancy.

“Obviously he’s a great competitor and had success and injuries,” Owen said. “He’s a terrific athlete and ready to emerge and help the club, and we hope he has a long career ahead of him.”

Crosby was the sixth player from the Tigers’ 2007 draft taken. The odds are immense to make it, but Crosby and teammate Rick Porcello are products of the designed strategy.

“You root for everyone to make it and want to see everyone succeed, top to bottom, no matter what round they are taken,” Owen said. “Each call-up is unique and there’s joy when they come up because you get to know them and build relationships with them.”

Owen, who also swung a bat for the 1984 National League East champ Chicago Cubs, believes Crosby has tools in his favor that stand to be heightened.

“He has a plus fastball, and a great changeup. He’s a three-pitch guy and he’s going to gain experience along the way,” Owen said.

Crosby dips into interleague play on Friday, June 15, against Colorado.