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 Tigers replace Cruceta with Fossum!

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PostSubject: Tigers replace Cruceta with Fossum!   Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:15 pm

06/03/2008 4:50 PM ET
Tigers replace Cruceta with Fossum
Club moves veteran left-hander into late-inning setup role
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

OAKLAND -- The Francisco Cruceta experiment in Detroit is over, at least for now. The Tigers designated for assignment the man who had been their primary setup man on Tuesday and replaced him with left-hander Casey Fossum.

The Tigers now have 10 days in which to either trade Cruceta, release him or outright him to the Minor Leagues. He is out of Minor League options.

The move essentially ends Cruceta's brief tenure as the late-inning reliever of choice for the Tigers, who had signed him last fall with hopes that he could fill their seventh-inning setup role until injured Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya return. His impressive performance down the stretch for Triple-A Oklahoma last year, coupled with a strong start in the Dominican Winter League, convinced the Tigers to take a shot and sign him to a Major League contract, hoping they could turn his nasty splitter into a consistent out pitch that could help him emerge as a bona fide reliever.

Visa problems coming out of his native Dominican Republic essentially cost him his entire Spring Training, however, and he never really caught up. Once he was finally cleared to enter the United States in early April, he had what amounted to a brief rehab stint before joining the Tigers at the end of April.

He didn't have much time to ease into a role before Denny Bautista's trip to the disabled list moved Cruceta into an eighth-inning role. After some early success, hitters started laying off the splitter and waiting on the fastball, which he struggled to command. He converted one hold in three opportunities and either lost a lead or a tie score in his last three outings.

The latest came Monday night against the A's. He entered the ninth inning with a 2-2 score, gave up a leadoff single, then watched Bobby Crosby line a high fastball into right-center field for a walkoff single.

"I threw a fastball for a strike and he jumped it," Cruceta said after the game. "I just want to try to throw my fastball for a strike. That's what I have to do [to set up the splitter]. The last couple games, I really struggled with my fastball."

The 30-year-old Fossum signed with the Tigers at the end of Spring Training while Detroit was looking for a veteran reliever to replace the just-released Tim Byrdak. He struggled early on out of the bullpen, but found some success when he moved into the rotation in early May. He went 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA for the month, allowing 14 hits over 34 innings with 10 walks and 39 strikeouts, and opponents hit him for just a .125 average.

Fossum is expected to pitch out of the bullpen as the Tigers' second left-hander while Clay Rapada is on the disabled list. Rapada has been playing catch for the past week, but is not yet close to a return.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers replace Cruceta with Fossum!   Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:18 pm

Throw that eephus!


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers replace Cruceta with Fossum!   Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:35 pm

catbox_9 wrote:
Throw that eephus!

Gala has done that very successfully this year! LMAO


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers replace Cruceta with Fossum!   Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:43 am

Go :fossum:!


bow Z. Miner
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