Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tigers Demote Adam Wilk, Recall Ryan Perry

After a solid 2010 campaign, the Tigers and their fans were undoubtedly hoping that young, hard throwing righty Ryan Perry could build on his performance and leap into the discussion of elite setup men. A classic hard throwing (94-95mph) fastball/slider reliever, Perry instead struggled mightily to open this season, boosting his strikeout rate to an impressive 8.71, but simultaneously displaying horrendous control, walking nine batters in his 10.1 innings of work.

How much of those struggles were related to an infected eye that was originally thought to be the by-product of allergies this summer is uncertain, though it seems likely that a pitcher like Perry, who has never had great control, but also never experienced control issues this bad, was certainly adversely affected by the issue. With his control back (1.65BB/9 in 16.1 AAA innings of work) Perry and his powerful fastball/slider combo seem ready to rejoin the Tigers bullpen and hopefully help add further strength to a unit that already features three high quality arms.

For his part, the left handed Adam Wilk pitched about as well as could be expected. Despite possessing underwhelming raw stuff (his fastball works in the 87-88mph range) and getting hit fairly hard (5.91 ERA), he gave the team 10.2 innings, mostly in long relief, and flashed strikeout and walk rates that could play long-term in a long-relief role or as a lefty specialist. He'll head back to AAA where he can continue to improve and hopefully return one day.

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