Villarreal for Real
A suprise out of this seasons Tigers spring training camp was pitcher Brayan Villarreal. The hard throwing right-hander was thrilled yesterday to find he made Detroits 25-man roster. After hearing the good news, the 23 year old from Venezuela immediately called his parents.
“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for for a long time,” Villarreal stated. “It feels really, really good. I can’t say how good I feel. My mom and dad were just so happy. They said ‘You deserve it; you worked hard. I am proud’.”
Villarreal pitched in five games for the Tigers this spring, earning one save, striking out four, and had a 5.06 ERA. I was able to see him pitch against the Peoria Chiefs back in 2009 while he was with the Whitecaps. In that outing he pitched five scoreless innings and had a measely 1.06 ERA at the time.
Also making the cut on Saturday are outfielders Casper Wells and Brennan Boesch. Niether player made last years team out of spring training, but did well when they were called up.
“This is tremendous,” Wells said. “It’s a stepping stone to what I hope to accomplish. And it’s really nice to break camp with the team. I grew up following the Yankees, and went to games at old Yankee Stadium. This will be my first time at the new Yankee Stadium, and I can’t wait.”
In 36 games last season, Wells batted .323 and manager Jim Leyland stated he had the second best outfield glove on the team behind Austin Jackson. Boesch batted .256 last season, and led all American League rookies with 14 home runs and 67 RBI’s.
Boesch stated, “It’s the first time breaking camp with the team and that’s cool. It’s and honor and everything. But I fully expected to be here. I did a few things last year, but I also know competition is good for the organization, and I never have a problem with competing.”
These players join former Whitecaps Alex Avila, Brandon Inge, Joel Zumaya, Ramon Santiago, Don Kelly, Ryan Raburn, and Will Rhymes (who won out the second base job) on Detroit’s Opening Day roster. That’s a pretty impressive list of former ‘Caps. Good luck to all these guys, as there success should be wins for the Tigers.
Photo property of M.I.B
Seems like the Tigers like to break camp with young rookie phenoms these days, eh? Good for them!
I love it when the young guys do well. I just wish that the Blue Jays move back to the same division as the Tigers.
That was a rivalry!
The Tigers farm system doesn’t get a lot of press compared to the Royals and the Rays but reading your blog, it sure sounds like they have a pretty good one. I love to see so many talented rookies get their chance.
This is a very simple game…
Player development is so important and it looks like the Tigers are reaping the rewards of their farm system. Hope these players have good seasons in 2011.
I love to see the Rookies when they get to Dodger Stadium. Dee Gordon was tweeting that it was the biggest day in his life. Do you know anything about Mariano Gomez?
Jeff-they need guys like this to be solid in the bullpen which I have my concerns about.
Mark-It’s so much fun watching these guys come up through the system.
Kristen-the system isn’t too bad, lots of pitching , but short on position players. I hope this is changing, though.
Ron-I hope these guys do well, too. Thanks.
Emma-don’t know much about Gomez. I need to get to Midland more often to check out the Dodger prospects playing with the Loons.