07/19/10 9:39 PM ET
Tigers' road woes boggle Leyland
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
"If I knew the answer, I'd have it," Leyland said. "But don't start quizzing me. I don't know."
Leyland wanted numbers behind the struggles, and what he found, he called "mind-boggling." All five of his current starters have dramatic splits between home and road. All-Star Justin Verlander is 6-2 with a 2.70 ERA at Comerica Park, but 5-3 with a 4.99 ERA everywhere else. Jeremy Bonderman owns a 3.63 ERA and .250 average against at home, but 6.11 and .288 on the road. Max Scherzer (3.80 ERA at home, 5.61 on the road), Armando Galarraga (2.57/7.78) and Rick Porcello (4.37/7.55) also have dramatic home-road splits.
"I've heard it all," Leyland said. "It can't be the ballparks. It has nothing to do with the ballparks. We haven't played in any bandboxes. Chicago is a little small, but we've only played a couple times there. It can't be the teams because we've played the Yankees and Boston at home and we pitched great."
As a team, the Tigers have a 3.53 ERA, better than the big league average of 3.85. Their 5.22 road ERA, however, is well worse than the league average of 4.59.
Offensively, the stats are a mixed bag. Rookie of the Year candidate Brennan Boesch entered Tuesday batting .375 on the road compared with .285 at home. Brandon Inge hits .310 away from Detroit compared with .209 in the Motor City. Magglio Ordonez bats .333 at home, .277 on the road. However, the splits for Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson, Carlos Guillen and Ramon Santiago are stronger away from Comerica Park -- in Santiago's case, a .321 average compared with .207.
As a team, though, the Tigers hit .261, six points above the Major League average. They're just not translating the hits into many runs, scoring 53 fewer on the road than at home despite the same number of games entering Monday. That averages out to a full run less per game.
"The one puzzling thing to me has been the entire rotation on the road. It's mind-boggling to me. That's the only issue."
Prospect Crosby shut down for season
DETROIT -- Casey Crosby entered the spring ranked among Detroit's top prospects, but he'll end the year without having had a chance to back it up. The Tigers have shut down the gifted left-hander for the rest of the season with recurring swelling in his left elbow.
The injury won't cost the 21-year-old another elbow surgery, but orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews recommended that the Tigers rest Crosby to quiet the swelling and give him a better chance of coming into next spring healthy.
Crosby opened the season on the disabled list with elbow tenderness and had a slow recovery before being cleared for a rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League. He gave up 15 runs, 12 earned, on 21 hits over 12 1/3 innings in three starts there, including nine runs over 3 1/3 innings in his final start on July 3. That was supposed to be a five-inning, 75-pitch performance.
The Tigers sent him back to Dr. Andrews after that for exams.
"Structurally, he's fine," Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Monday. "Dr. Andrews recommended we shut him down from throwing for six to eight weeks."
Crosby's velocity was strong, Rand said, but he had residual swelling.
The move continues what has been a rough summer for Tigers pitching prospects. Former first-round Draft pick Jacob Turner, regarded alongside Crosby by many as Detroit's top prospect, pitched relatively well at Class A West Michigan, but has had growing pains in four starts at high Class A Lakeland. Relief prospect Cody Satterwhite is out for the season following shoulder surgery, and Robbie Weinhardt also missed time before his promotion to Detroit earlier this month. Andrew Oliver has arguably been the brightest spot in the system armwise.
Brandon Inge's start Monday marked his 842nd game at third base, tying him with Mike Higgins for fourth place on the Tigers' all-time list. ... Alex Avila ended an 0-for-12 slump with his RBI single in the first inning. ... Former Triple-A Toledo outfielder Jonathan Weber received a 100-game suspension from Major League Baseball on Monday for a third positive drug test. Weber played 21 games with the Mud Hens, batting .256 with a home run and five RBIs, before announcing his retirement over the weekend. He played 12 Minor League seasons without ever playing in a Major League game. ... Former Tigers catcher Mike Rabelo's return to the organization ended last week when the team gave him his unconditional release. The 30-year-old batted .143 (5-for-35) for the Mud Hens with a home run and eight RBIs.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.