Watch CBS News

Tigers Hoping Krol's Success In Toledo Translates To Detroit

By Ashley Dunkak

DETROIT - Reliever Ian Krol received his latest call-up in a cab on the way to the airport, where he was scheduled to leave for a road trip with the Toledo Mud Hens. Instead of heading to Pawtucket with his Triple-A teammates, however, Krol ended up back at Comerica Park, where he spent the first month of the season with the Detroit Tigers.

Since the Tigers sent down him down around the end of April, Krol has posted a 1.15 ERA in 14 outings for the Mud Hens, and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus indicated he hopes that success translates.

"He's pitched extremely well in Toledo ever since he went there," Ausmus said Friday. "He's worked on a cutter that he started in spring training, and it's been very effective for him. His velocity's been good. He seems like he's in a good spot, so we're hoping he helps us here."

No player ever wants to be sent down, of course, but Krol tried to make the best of his time in Toledo.

"It's always good when you figure your stuff out," Krol said. "That's always a plus. The energy level down there is not the same, I'll tell you that much - the ballparks, the travel, obviously. But yeah, every time I go down to the minors I take that as a positive. You have to, really. You can't really just get sent down and then start moping around. You want to get back up to where you were. My main goal was just to put up numbers, get my stuff right, keep the ball down in the zone, make my pitches, get out."

Krol would not go as far as saying he needed the stint in the minors, but it certainly seems to have helped him. He could not say for sure whether he would have made the strides he did had the Tigers kept him in Detroit.

"That's a tough question because I have no idea," Krol said. "You don't know, really. I don't know how my stuff would have played out up here as it does down there. It's a completely different ball game down there. There's a couple things that you can work on down there that you don't have up here. You can actually experiment a little bit more because the hitters aren't as experienced, but other than that, I don't know. It's a tough question. That's a really tough question."

Krol said his cutter and his curveball have both looked good, and he is working on a two-seam fastball, though he does not think it is quite ready for a game because he cannot yet control it like he wants. Overall, Krol said he has seen improvement in his time in Toledo.

"Most of my pitches are in and around the zone now, all of my offspeed pitches are in and around the zone instead of being sporadic, in the dirt, up high, I'm getting good swings on offspeed pitches," Krol said. "I think just being able to collect, gather my weight on my back foot and just have rhythm throughout my whole delivery has helped me a lot."

In his six appearances for Detroit earlier this season, Krol has an 4.76 ERA.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.