These Two 'Cats Need To Step It Up In 2012

After taking a look at David Pauley in my last article, I decided to focus on two other members of the Tigers bullpen who are going to be critical to the success of the Detroit Tigers in 2012. Ryan Perry and Daniel Schlereth share many traits. They were both Arizona Wildcats in college, playing on the same team. They were both relievers drafted in the first round. They both have good stuff. And last, but not least, they both need to take a step forward in 2012 as teammates on the Detroit Tigers.

Ryan Perry has been somewhat of a disappointment since being drafted in the first round in 2008. Up until 2011, his ERA numbers at least have been pretty good, 3.79 in 2009, and 3.59 in 2010, leading the Tigers and the fans to believe he would begin to take a more important role on the club. Essentially a 7th inning guy, but his 2011 has got to make the Tigers take a step back on that idea. Perry had an ERA of 5.35 in 2011, and even spent some time in Toledo this season. It was a step backward for a guy that should be moving forward.

It’s not an issue of stuff with Perry, as he throws a good mid 90′s cutter, and solid slider. It’s an issue of consistency, and his inability to command and locate his fastball. Perry, over the course of his 3 year career has walked 4.6 batters  per 9 innings, helping lend to a career WHIP of 1.438. That just isn’t going to cut it for a back end bullpen guy. His K/9 rate has dropped drastically from his rookie season, in 2009, he had a K/9 of 8.8. In 2011, it was all the way down to 5.8. Not a positive trend to say the least.

Daniel Schlereth, like Ryan Perry, was put through the minor leagues at a brisk place, and suffers some of the same issues. Over the course of Schlereth’s career, he has walked 5.9 batters per 9 innings, and walked 5.7/9 in 2011. While Schlereth’s K/9 rate was good at 8.1, it has dropped every year from his rookie year as well. He started off his career striking out more than 10 per 9. Schlereth had himself a good ERA in 2011, with a mark of 3.49, and for his career it is 3.87. Like Perry, Schlereth has a career WHIP that suggests he has no business pitching late in games at 1.477.

Schlereth certainly appears to have a little more utility than Perry at this point. Schlereth can at least get lefty hitters out at a pretty good rate, and while he is down trending in some areas, it is nowhere near to the extent that Ryan Perry is. Still, these guys both being first round picks puts the pressure on them to produce at a higher level than they currently are. Both guys are still young, but it is time to start producing. Why?

It is pretty simple really. It is my contention that Schlereth was acquired to give the Tigers a choice in replacing Jose Valverde even after the 2011 season. Since neither of these guys seems fit to take over closer duties at this point, and not even set-up duties at this point, Jose Valverde was picked up for 2012. I would have to think that in 2013, David Dombrowski isn’t looking forward to potentially dropping 10+ million on a closer. Ryan Perry or Daniel Schlereth could save the Tigers from that eventuality.

It’s time for these Cats’ to grow into Tigers, otherwise it might be time to cut their ties, and hopefully learn a valuable lesson.

It’s never a real good idea to draft relievers in the 1st round.

Tags: Arizona Wildcats Daniel Schlereth Detroit Tigers Jose Valverde MLB Draft Ryan Perry

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