As Spring Training has begun around MLB, teams get a chance to view talent they’ve had for a long time in the farm system or newly acquired via free agency or trade. For the Detroit Tigers, they’ll get a good look at some new and young talent in reliever Ian Krol.
Last December, the Tigers made a trade with the Washington Nationals that sent starting pitcher Doug Fister to Washington in exchange for Robbie Ray, Steve Lombardozzi and Krol. While the Nationals got a top-10 starter, the Tigers returned two very good pitchers in Ray and Krol.
In 2013, the left-handed Krol made 32 appearances out of the bullpen for the Nationals and pitched well. In 27.1 innings of work, he finished with a 3.95 ERA and 22 strikeouts. Opposing hitters held an average of .241 against. He’s raw, but he’s talented and will be a nice addition to the Tigers’ bullpen.
The way things currently stand, Krol will head back to Detroit with the team as a member of the bullpen. Over the offseason, that was an area the Tigers wanted to upgrade, and they have done just that. Expect him to better his numbers from last year and become a solid reliever in the long-term for Detroit.
Krol can play a couple different roles out of the bullpen. While he did average less than an inning an outing, he can be used to fill as much as two to three innings. If you need a pitcher to come in and fill a couple innings before the setup man and closer, he can do that. At the same time, he can enter a game set up for your closer to finish the game off.
Spring Training is every teams’ first look at whether or not that personnel move paid off. When it comes to the Tigers and Krol, I feel that they’ll look back on the move and smile as he’ll pitch well. He’s a young reliever with a bright future in MLB.