The Detroit Tigers started spring training action on Friday and within the first two games, Riley Greene pickups where he left off last season.
Welcome to week 2 of the “Sunday MCB notes” a weekly recap of all things Detroit Tigers & Major League Baseball and anything else that catches our eye. In this week’s edition, we look at the Tigers spring opener, a former Tiger has found a new home and Detroit turns off the hot stove for the year & more.
The Tigers kicked off spring training on Friday with a 6-6 tie over the Phillies. Speaking of the Phillies, Philadelphia made news earlier in the day by signing former Tigers outfielder Nick Castellanos to a five-year, $100 million dollar deal. Castellanos was one of the best players in the National League, winning a Silver Slugger award and was named to the All-Star team. He joins a very dangerous Phillies lineup that includes Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, and J.T Realmuto.
Combine that with the signing of Kyle Schwarber earler in the week, the Phillies will have four players in their lineup that hit 30 or more home runs in 2021. They also addressed one of the worst bullpens in the league by signing another former Tiger, as Corey Knebel signed before the lockout to be the team’s closer along with lefty Brad Hand and former Mets closer Jeurys Familia.
Detroit Tigers outfielder Riley Greene is off to a quick start.
So far in two games, Riley Greene is 2-for-3 with a home run, single and a walk in three plate appearances. As you may recall, in his final two months after being called up to Toledo on August 17th, Greene put up an impressive set of numbers. He put up a slash line of .308/.400/.553 with an OPS of .953 and showed the power with an .ISO of .245 and wRC+ of 152. He hit 8 home runs, 9 doubles and 3 triples.
Greene right now is one of the better outfielders in camp. There was a big reason why he has been the number prospect on the MCB Top 20 prospect board for the past two seasons. He can mash and you can see it here on display going opposite field on Friday.
Detroit Tigers RHP Beau Brieske heads down to minor league camp on a high note
Detroit Tigers minor league pitcher of the year Beau Brieske(number 15 on the MCB top 20) has been turning heads lately. Brandon Day of Bless You Boys.com, myself, and some of us here at MCB watched last season between his stops at West Michigan to Erie how Brieske was mixing his fastball, changeup, a slider and curve on his way to an impressive 2021 campaign. Here’s one note from Brandon’s article that spoke highly about his secondary pitches.
"“His best secondary pitch right now is probably his slider, although the changeup isn’t far behind. It’s a fairly prototypical slider with good sweeping action, and occasionally he’ll break one off with a little sharper tilt. With a little more refinement he might have a plus pitch there. It pairs well with the fastball, as does Brieske’s changeup”"
A sign of true progress within the system as he was drafted in the 27th round in 2019. It is not often the Tigers get prospects that pan out that are drafted that late but props to Brieske’s work ethic and determination.
This was yesterday in two innings of work against the Pirates. In order for pitchers who are expected to break camp, Brieske was sent down to minor league camp this morning but expect him to start the season in Toledo.
Daz Cameron makes a quick impression
Daz Cameron is 3-for-5 so far in two games in spring training so far. One of those hits was a home run yesterday as he is competing with Derek Hill and Victor Reyes for a spot in the outfield. He can play all three outfield positions and shown some pop. A position battle to keep your eye on.