Crosby visits Friendly Confines

By on June 21, 2012

Stat line: 1-1, 9.49 ERA before heading back to Toledo
by Mike Slodki
CHICAGO—Casey Crosby’s first tenure in the majors with the Detroit Tigers was a historic occurrence.

However, he’ll have to do it again by springboarding from Toledo, Ohio.

After having his start pushed back two days in order for veteran starting pitchers Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander to pitch in turn, Crosby missed a chance to start in front of his local fans at Wrigley Field against the Cubs on June 13. Instead, the Kaneland Class of 2007 graduate made a home start on Friday at Comerica Park against the Colorado Rockies, and lasted just 3.2 innings in a 12-4, 10-inning loss. Crosby was sent down after Friday’s setback.

Pitcher Doug Fister, whose disabled list sting paved the way for Crosby’s callup from Class AAA Toledo on May 30, was then activated.

Crosby, in three starts, went 1-1 with a 9.49 ERA in 12.1 innings, while averaging nine strikeouts and 11 walks per nine innings.

The 23-year-old former two-sport standout for the Knights makes the return trip west on I-75, where he went 4-2 with a 4.26 ERA to go with 57 strikeouts and 26 walks in nine starts. He made a start Wednesday against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

While in town with the Tigers on June 13, the lefty was witness to an 8-4 win over the Cubs by his teammates. Things had come a tad easier for Crosby in his second week of major league life, even while simply observing.

“It’s good to be back here, even if I’m not pitching,” Crosby said. “They needed to get the other guys like Justin Verlander their regular rest.”

A bevy of resources available at the top level make a difference, as well.

“It hasn’t changed much since I’ve been up here. There’s still a routine. You get a look at the lineup, and there’s a lot better video and better technology,” Crosby said.

Crosby tried to adjust and build from start to start in his June tenure in the bigs.

“I threw a lot of mistake pitches. I just have to limit damage every time out and maintain consistency when I’m out there,” Crosby said.

Veteran catcher Gerald Laird has handled his share of pitchers in Crosby’s spot, who see their first season shuffling back and forth between levels.

“You just have to be ready and offer what you know and help them prepare,” Laird said.

Laird is on his second tour of duty with the Tigers, after catching for the world champion St. Louis Cardinals in 2011, and knows a pitcher with tools when he sees one.

“Casey has a fastball that he’s not afraid to throw. All he needs to do is execute; it doesn’t matter who’s hitting,” Laird said.

Toledo hosts Lehigh Valley on Thursday, June 21.