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Tigers calling up 2013 draft pick Corey Knebel

May 22, 2014, 7:25 PM EDT

Corey Knebel Getty Getty Images

The Tigers optioned left-hander Robbie Ray to Triple-A Toledo after today’s start against the Rangers and Chris Iott of hears that the team will call up right-handed reliever Corey Knebel for Friday’s game.

It’s been a rapid rise for Knebel, who was drafted No. 39 overall by the Tigers in last June’s First-Year Player Draft. The 22-year-old has posted a 0.90 ERA and 68/19 K/BB ratio over his first 50 innings in pro ball. This includes 11 appearances in Double-A this year and three scoreless appearances after a recent promotion to Triple-A. He’ll be the second player from the 2013 draft class to reach the majors, as the Indians called up fourth-rounder Kyle Crockett for a brief stint last week.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Knebel features a mid-90s fastball and a power curveball. He could be an impact arm in Detroit’s bullpen before long.

  1. redwing26 - May 22, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    Until they get rid of Phil Coke this bullpen will struggle.

    • frank433 - May 22, 2014 at 8:02 PM

      Why do you equate Phil Cokes performance to the overall performance of the bullpen? That would be like saying “This team will struggle to hit and win games as long as Don Kelly is on the team.” Each has a role as the team is currently comprised and must fit into that role. The other players will succeed or fail on their own.

      • rcj22001 - May 22, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        Baseball is the only team sport, where every player is on an island by themselves.

  2. georgewashingtonsghost - May 22, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    I’m interested to see what this guy has. If he’s the real deal then the Tigers’ bullpen will look a lot better.

  3. larjones64 - May 22, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    The Kitties love to bring up young power arms early and use em before they need TJ surgery

  4. redwing26 - May 22, 2014 at 9:50 PM

    Frank you’re right and Phil coke has sucked all year!

  5. beaston - May 22, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    The crap thing about this is, I watched the game and read Brad Ausmus lips. He told Robbie “good job, don’t worry about it.” Then he gets sent down the same day. That’s cold. Wow, nothing like false advertising.

  6. timmmah10 - May 23, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Beaston- Robbie Ray was probably getting sent down no matter what.

    Ausmus didn’t say “You won’t get sent down for this effort”. He is just telling a young pitcher to take his lumps and get over it. The young pitchers that dwell on their failures never find success.

    Not sure why you think it’s false advertising, or why you’re so emotionally broken up over Robbie Ray getting sent down, but this is a business. You’re not performing, go back to the training room.

    I hope Knebel is as good as his numbers suggest. We could use another home grown arm. If he comes through and Hanrahan provides anything this fall, our bullpen will be competitive. (not good… but competitive).

    • beaston - May 23, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      Ya, don’t get me wrong, I totally agree. I thought it was funny.

  7. Minoring In Baseball - May 24, 2014 at 4:04 AM

    I watched Knebel last season for the Whitecaps and he was lights-out. His stats look good for Erie and Toledo, too. I don’t think they expect him to stick around, but it would be nice if he could find his niche’ and help this highly unstable bullpen. I agree that Ray was going back down to the Hens for sure. He’s better off as a starter there than in the Tigers’ pen.

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