The Tigers announced earlier today that they have optioned pitcher Casey Crosby to Triple-A Toledo. Cosby had been in competition for the team's fifth starter job, but struggled with his control this spring allowing six walks and four runs in 5 2/3 innings. Crosby is one of the Tigers top prospects - ranked number four by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospect Nation. The 23-year-old left hander posted a 4.10 ERA with a 121/77 K/BB ratio in 132 innings at Double-A Erie last season.
With the Tigers number one prospect Jacob Turner sidelined with shoulder tendinitis, we can probably assume that he won't begin the season in the starting rotation. Thus, the fifth spot appears to be up for grabs between four young southpaws - Duane Below, Andy Oliver, Drew Smyly and Adam Wilk. Wilk, Oliver and Smyly are scheduled to pitch on Saturday.
The Tigers are also said to have interest in veteran starter John Lannan, who pitches for the Nationals. They may not have been too impressed if they scouted him today though, as he gave up six runs on seven hits in four innings against the Yankees this afternoon. Lannan is a soft-tossing lefty who had a 3.70 ERA in 184 2/3 innings last season. His best asset is his ability to induce ground balls as evidenced by his 54.1% ground ball rate last year. With big Miguel Cabrera at third and generally poor infield defense all around, Detroit might not be the best environment for a left-handed ground ball pitcher.