Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
Of course, after his 2011 return to glory, most Tigers fans are excited by the presence of left-hander Casey Crosby on the AFL squad. Crosby, who will get married this fall but have to head back to work shortly after his wedding (and actually had to cancel his honeymoon because of it), had a big rebound year in 2011, and in turn has rocketed back up the prospect charts. While his season wasn't perfect, he stayed relatively healthy all year long, and struck out nearly a batter per inning. That sort of performance with his impressive stuff has many excited about the potential he has, maybe even in 2012 in Detroit. With so many prospects traded away this summer, alternatives were scarce, Jay Voss had a 2011 season that arguably deserved consideration for the fall league. With a mid-three ERA between Lakeland and Erie and a K:BB ratio over three, Voss re-established himself as a viable pitching prospect this summer. While his credentials don't jump off the page, given the others invited, Voss certainly had a strong case to keep pitching this year against more quality competition.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
There are two players of particular interest to me in the AFL this year. Left-hander Casey Crosby and catcher Rob Brantly are highly intriguing for a variety of reasons. Crosby offers the power left arm that simply needs experience and polish to become a big league asset. The current plan is for Crosby to be used in relief situations during the AFL. While this may not signal an immediate shift to the bullpen, scouts have felt Crosby would end up there for quite some time, and this may be his first entry to the role in advance of such a job in Detroit in 2012. Brantly, a 2010 draft pick, raked at West Michigan and while he struggled at Lakeland after his promotion, scouts remained relatively high on his offensive abilities. He uses the Tigers exception for sending a player below Double-A, and the opportunity to play against more advanced competition this fall willa lmost certainly put him in a positino to play in Erie in 2012. The pool of players the Tigers had eligible to send to the AFL this year was relatively small, at least once you removed non-prospects, potential free agents, and players who simply need rest. That said, there are few, if any players that I truly wish were in the AFL. I am at least somewhat surprised that Ryan Strieby, now healthy, isn't heading out there as a last chance to show what he can offer to either the Tigers or another club. Either way, the critical pieces in Arizona this fall will be Crosby and Brantly, and Tiger fans should be hoping they remain on the roster between now and opening day.
Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!