Tigers minor-league report: Greiner making case for work in Detroit

By Lynn Henning
The Detroit News
Grayson Greiner


Who’s hot …

Grayson Greiner, C: He’s 6-for-15 since checking into the Mud Hens clubhouse following a second stint in Detroit. The Tigers need Greiner to swing that bat and pressure for at least a part-time big-league job in 2019. It was a vision held when they made him a third-round pick in 2014 (University of South Carolina).

Paul Voelker, RH reliever: Hard to believe he won’t make it to Detroit, if not the end of this season, by next year. He’s simply too good, and too consistent. Consider those last 10 appearances at Toledo: 0.49 ERA. He’s walked a few too many batters, and his strikeouts are down. But the overall performance has been on a par with past seasons. Voelker has 255 strikeouts in 216 innings. Voelker is 5-10, 185, and was a 10th-round pick in 2014 (Dallas Baptist).

More: Tigers prospect Jacob Robson still bashing, but is he a big leaguer?

Zac Reininger, RH reliever: Only two earned runs in his last eight games, with 12 strikeouts and four walks in 14 innings. Still must sharpen that fastball-slider combo, but he could be closing in. Reininger is 25, was a 2013 eighth-round pick out of Hill College, in Texas, and has had a couple of past stints with the Tigers.

Zac Houston, RH reliever: Just keeps purring: 1.69 ERA in his last 10 games, 17 strikeouts, six hits and five walks in 10.2 innings. Houston was an 11th-rounder in 2016 (Mississippi State).

And who’s not …

Jason Krizan, OF: He stayed hot through April and May but has caught a cold recently: .158 in his last 10 games.

Cam Gibson


Who’s hot …

Cam Gibson, OF: He’s another of the one-time Single A Lakeland gang that has hit better at Erie than he was slashing with the Flying Tigers. Gibson is batting .370 in eight games since joining the SeaWolves. He was a fifth-round pick (Michigan State) in 2015.

Jake Rogers, C: He’s getting that leg-kick issue ironed out and hitting of late, as the Tigers had anticipated. Rogers is batting .297 in his last 10 games, with a batch of doubles. He’s not in clover quite yet, but life has improved markedly for a former third-round pick by the Astros (2016, Tulane) who was part of the three-player package the Tigers got last season for Justin Verlander.

Will Maddox, 2B: He’s 26 and not high on the pecking order, but Maddox has done a neat job at Erie, batting .300. The Tigers got him in the 18th round in 2014 (University of Tennessee).

John Schreiber, RH reliever: Might as well do a copy-and-paste on Schreiber. Same routine: Two appearances the past week, two innings, no hits, no walks, five strikeouts. He’s a machine. He also hails from Rockwood. Schreiber was pitching at Northwestern Ohio University when the Tigers snagged him in the 15th round in 2016.

And who’s not …

The SeaWolves receive a commendation for their generally upstanding efforts during the past week.


Who’s hot …

Luke Burch, OF: He was a ninth-round grab last June out of Kent State and has been hitting deftly since being bumped to Lakeland: .308 in 32 games.

Danny Pinero, 3B: .333 in his last 10 games for Pinero, who was a ninth-rounder (University of Virginia) in 2016. He’s 24, and needs to get going, but decent work of late at Lakeland.

Alfred Gutierrez, RH starter: He’s twirling to the tune of a 1.95 ERA in his last 10 games, with 39 strikeouts in 37 innings. On the year, batters are hitting .188 against Gutierrez, who has allowed only 42 hits in 62.2 innings. He turned 23 last month, is 6-1, 200, and was signed out of Venezuela.

Wladimir Pinto, RH reliever: One of the Tigers’ top-floor prospects has been getting comfortable with the Flying Tigers: No hits in his last five games, spanning 9.1 innings, with 13 strikeouts and two walks. Pinto is 20, is 5-11, 170, and was pitching in Venezuela when the Tigers signed him four years ago.

And who’s not …

Jeff Thompson, RH reliever: Rugged times for Thompson, whom the Tigers scooped in the third round (2013 Louisville): 10.61 ERA and 3.00 WHIP in eight games.


Who’s hot …

Brock Deatherage, OF: He was the Tigers’ 10th-round choice in June as he was leaving North Carolina State. In 14 games for the Whitecaps, he’s batting .320, with a .937 OPS. Deatherage bats left-handed, is 6-1, 175.

Dane Myers, RH starter: This is a pitcher to be monitored. Myers was steered to a Tigers contract last summer after pitching at Rice and being plucked in the sixth round. In nine games for the Whitecaps, he has a 2.96 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and a .225 opposing batting average. Myers is from Columbus, Texas, and is 6-2, 205.

And who’s not …

Dylan Rosa, OF: Having a bit of a tussle at the moment, batting .188 in his last 10 games. Rosa was drafted in the 18th round in 2017 (Kent State).


Who’s hot …

Carlos Guzman, RH starter: He’s out of Venezuela and he’s had a swift start in five games (one for Single A Lakeland): 16 innings, 11 hits, 20 strikeouts, four walks. Guzman is 20 years old and is 6-1, 170.

Jack O’Loughlin, LH reliever: He’s only 18 and is one of the Tigers’ prizes from Australia. In four games for manager Gerald Laird’s team, O’Loughlin has worked 13.2 innings and has doled out nine hits, while whiffing 15 and walking four. That’s good for an 0.95 WHIP and .196 enemy batting average. He’s 6-5, 210.

Tarik Skubal, LH reliever: The Tigers jumped on him early in last month’s draft, taking him in the ninth round from the University of Seattle. Skubal has struck out 15 in nine innings for the Tigers, allowing five hits and unintentionally walking one batter. He’s got a power pitcher’s frame: 6-3, 215.

Mitchell Stalsberg, LH reliever: He’s got it going a month after the Tigers snagged him in the 23rd round (Winona State): six hits and 12 strikeouts in 10.1 innings. Stalsberg is 6-foot, 215.

And who’s not …

Wilkel Hernandez, RH starter: He’s only 19, and has a truckload of potential, so no one’s trembling over Hernandez’s bumpy early work: 7.94 ERA in two starts. Hernandez became Tigers property in the trade that shipped Ian Kinsler to the Angels.


Who’s hot …

Pedro Hurtado, C: Batting .313 in seven games, which is A-OK when you’re 19, a switch-hitter, and a catching prospect out of Venezula.

Luis Laurencio, 1B: He’s a 19-year-old who was signed as an adolescent during his days in Dominican Republic. He’s also batting .304, with a .935 OPS, in 14 games. Laurencio bats right-handed and is an impressive teen at 6-2, 215.

Chavez Fernander, RH reliever: He just turned 21, and he played college ball at Polk State Junior College, so beware of numbers. But his three-game totals are gaudy: nine innings, three hits, nine strikeouts.

And who’s not …

Jorge Ynirio, 2B: Things will get better, because they can’t get a lot worse when you have a .394 OPS in 10 games.


Nick Ames, 1B: He likely is headed for Connecticut, given that he’s a bit advanced for GCL ball. But he’ll take the numbers through 12 games: .304 batting average, with five home runs and a 1.126 OPS. He was pilfered by the Tigers in the 15th round of June’s draft (University of Nevada-Las Vegas).

Alfredo Silva, LH starter: He’s only 19, which makes those 17 strikeouts in 15.2 innings, against 10 hits, all the more imposing. The Tigers signed him out of Venezuela. He’s a daunting 6-3, 180.


Twitter @Lynn_Henning