5 Prospects That Will Make an Impact for 2015 Detroit Tigers
By Matt Pelc
Mar 3, 2015; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Kyle Lobstein (53) pitches during the first inning of a spring training baseball game Baltimore Orioles at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
#3 Kyle Lobstein
Our second young “Kyle” on this list–as in Kyle Lobstein–is probably the Tigers’ best prospect that will be a staple of the starting rotation in the not too distant future.
Like that other Kyle, Lobstein was called up because of the absence of Sanchez and the frequency of second-half double-headers. He made his major league debut in Minnesota in the first game of a doubleheader on Aug. 23. In that game the Tigers turned to another rookie, Buck Farmer, to hold down the potent Minnesota bats and try to preserve the bullpen for the second game.
Farmer failed, allowing seven runs and lasting only into the second inning. Lobstein was the unsung hero in the lost cause. While he allowed three runs on four hits, Detroit just needed him to chew some innings. That he did, pitching the final 5.2 innings in the 12-4 decimation.
That outing earned Lobstein a start over Robbie Ray and Farmer the next turn through the rotation. Kyle gave the team innings and held them in the game with the Yankees on Aug. 28, allowing his team to win it with a ninth inning walk-off. Another solid effort came while the Tigers were looking to avoid a home sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants. On Sunday Night Baseball, Lobstein limited the future World Series Champs to one run on four hits and earned his first major league win.
In each of his first four starts, Lobstein allowed three runs or less, but seemed to bottom out near the end of the year, including the penultimate game of the year. With the division on the line, Kyle fell victim to the Twins’ hot hitting and surrendered a career-high six runs, necessitating the Tigers win the division on the season’s final day.
Lobstein will be on the Tigers in 2015, however he may not be here full-time unless one of the starters gets injured or become ineffective. Unlike other young players plucked from the minors, we know we will get a solid effort out of him.