Minneapolis – You can’t blame Ian Krol if he immediately thought of the worst.
It was Tuesday night and the Toledo Mud Hens were trying to secure a victory in Omaha. Left-hander Krol was warmed up and ready and was called up in the ninth inning to close the game.
“I got out of the bullpen and took about six steps, right next to the grass, and they waved me back,” Krol said. “I just stopped and put my hands on my knees. Then I started to think to myself, “This is probably something good. But it was a whirlwind of emotions the last 45 minutes wondering what was going on.
What ultimately happened was that after dominating hitters in Triple A for the past two months, he got the call. Krol, 30, was back in the big leagues for the first time since 2018.
“I don’t think it struck me yet,” he said. “Once I get into a game and start rolling, it sets in emotionally. But right now I’m riding a little adrenaline rush which has been pretty cool.
These 45 minutes in the bullpen, waiting for the end of the match (the Mud Hens ended up missing the stop and losing the match), wondering why he was stopped, must have been scary.
Because while Krol pitched 15.2 scoreless innings in his last 13 games, unnamed reliever after reliever Ian Krol was either buying his contract or being called up to the big boys. leagues.
Alex Lange, Rony Garcia, Kyle Funkhouser and Beau Burrows, all on the 40-player list, were called up before Krol. Erasmo Ramirez, Jason Foley, Buck Farmer (who had been nominated for the assignment and signed back), Wily Peralta and Miguel Del Pozo were all off-roster players who were bought and bred before Krol.
“I’ve been in the game for a long time and I’ve seen a lot of things happen to other people and I’ve seen a lot of things happen to me,” he said. “I was really trying to take it day to day and not push myself too far.
“Watching other guys get called before me can be frustrating. But you can also look at it in a different light. I was happy for these guys. We had a good team there and everyone did well. And finally, I ended up pitching well enough to have a chance as well. “
That kind of perspective comes from a guy who spent part of six seasons in the big leagues (with the Tigers in 2014 and 2015), then rebounded in four different organizations and spent 2020 in a near-independent league.
“You have good days and you have bad days,” he said. “Sometimes you can be too high and sometimes you can be too low in this game. When you are too low you talk to the people who care about you the most and they tell you exactly how it is and where you were there. last year and how much you’ve worked and how far you’ve come.
“It resets everything and puts things in perspective.”
Krol always brings his fastball between 92 and 95 mph. He still has his trusty cutter-cursor hybrid, his release card when he gets unfavorable counts. And his curved bullet still bites and sinks. The difference, however, is the consistency of his command.
He’s had 22 strikeouts and five walks in his last 15 outings. He has a strike rate of 67% and 50% of the balls put into play against him are balls on the ground in this stretch.
“My main focus was on first pitch hitting, winning 1-1 counts and avoiding three ball counts,” he said. “The curved ball works great, trying to dig it with the fastball in the area. My body feels good. My mind is where I need to be. I’m ready to go. “
Turnbull, Boyd updates
Tiger Head Athletic Trainer Doug teter informed manager AJ Hinch on the status of his two injured veterans Spencer turnbull (forearm) and Matthew Boyd (general pain in the arms). It was bad news, good news.
“The news was pretty good about Boyd and that kind of balance my day after Spencer’s report wasn’t very good,” Hinch said.
Turnbull was examined in Dallas by specialist Dr. Keith Meister and he was advised, as he had been by the Tigers’ medics, to stop his throwing program indefinitely.
“He won’t be pitching for the foreseeable future,” Hinch said. “We weren’t expecting good news from this doctor’s visit, but he has yet to receive a full diagnosis. When the symptoms return, it is a bad sign. We know it and he knows it.
Hinch said Turnbull could seek the advice of another specialist.
As for Boyd, he’s in Lakeland and still only throws dish.
“But he’s as confident as he was in his pitching schedule,” Hinch said. “I say this with caution because he hasn’t thrown a mound yet. But his program is progressing well.
Hinch expects Boyd to have a lengthy rehab process once his arm strength is restored until he can start matches. While there is no definitive timeline yet, Hinch has hinted that it could be August before Boyd returns.
“It’s like forever from now, but I know it won’t,” he said. “Hopefully we can get a good solid pitching week and get him out of the mound. But it is essential not to have a setback. Setbacks now and we’re starting to think deeply about the season.
“We are trying to avoid this.”
Around the horn
Robbie grossman was out of the lineup Thursday with a stuck finger, which he suffered while diving back into first base Wednesday in Texas.
… Miguel CabreraWednesday’s single hit was the seventh hit of his career in 21 at-the-bat appearances. It was his first blow since 2018.
► First pitch: 8:10 p.m. Friday, Target Field, Minneapolis
► TV / radio: BSD / 97.1 FM
► RHP Matt Manning (1-2, 7.94), Tigers: The results were lousy, but there were positive signs in his last outing against the White Sox. Namely, he reincorporated his slider into the mix, a tighter breaking ball to accompany his vertically breaking curve ball.
► RHP Kenta Maeda (4-3, 5.03), twins: Coming in on Friday, he pitched exactly the same number of innings as last season (66.2) and allowed 20 more runs, 30 more hits, 11 more walks with 16 fewer strikeouts. . He came off a beauty in his last start, however, shutting out the Royals on two hits with 10 strikeouts in six innings.