The Tigers optioned left-hander Robbie Ray to Triple-A Toledo after today’s start against the Rangers and Chris Iott of MLive.com hears that the team will call up right-handed reliever Corey Knebel for Friday’s game.
It’s been a rapid rise for Knebel, who was drafted No. 39 overall by the Tigers in last June’s First-Year Player Draft. The 22-year-old has posted a 0.90 ERA and 68/19 K/BB ratio over his first 50 innings in pro ball. This includes 11 appearances in Double-A this year and three scoreless appearances after a recent promotion to Triple-A. He’ll be the second player from the 2013 draft class to reach the majors, as the Indians called up fourth-rounder Kyle Crockett for a brief stint last week.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, Knebel features a mid-90s fastball and a power curveball. He could be an impact arm in Detroit’s bullpen before long.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.