Greiner among five sent out of Tigers' camp

Greiner among five sent out of Tigers' camp

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Grayson Greiner has played his way into the conversation about catching in the Majors in the future. His time in Detroit hasn't arrived yet. The big backstop was one of a handful of players trimmed from the Tigers' Spring Training roster on Wednesday.

Greiner was assigned to Minor League camp along with fellow catcher Austin Green and outfielders Mike Gerber and Jason Krizan. Pitcher Myles Jaye was optioned to Triple-A Toledo. The second round of Tigers cuts trimmed their camp roster to 53 players with 2 1/2 weeks before the team heads north.

Of the five, only Jaye is on the Tigers' 40-man roster. The right-hander ranks 16th on MLB Pipeline's top 30 Tigers prospects list. He struggled this spring, allowing eight runs on nine hits over three innings, with two walks and a strikeout.

"He didn't have much time," manager Brad Ausmus said. "First big league camp, he's obviously not in his midseason form. Hopefully it was a positive experience for him in big league camp, he goes down and gets more innings and has a good season."

Jaye, acquired last Spring Training from Texas in the Bryan Holaday trade, has a good chance to make his Major League debut at some point if he gets off to a good start in Toledo. The Tigers are looking for insurance starters in case of injuries, but don't have much Major League experience in the likely pool. Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey are likely headed to either the Tigers' bullpen or free agency if they don't make the rotation.

Top Prospects: Jaye, DET

Jaye went 5-12 last year with a 3.95 ERA between the Mud Hens and Double-A Erie, allowing just 13 home runs over 161 2/3 innings with 41 walks and 135 strikeouts.

The Tigers are much deeper at catcher, but Greiner has a chance to raise his profile if he can build on last season. The 6-foot-6 backstop batted .293 (94-for-321) with seven homers and 42 RBIs at three different levels, mostly at Erie. He had just six at-bats this spring, but churned out three hits.

"He just needs game experience, get at-bats," Ausmus said. "He needs to gain experience behind the plate, working with pitchers. I like the way he receives for a big guy. His bat has come around in the last year. He needs to continue to progress, but the most important thing is going to be working with pitchers, helping pitchers through games."

Green, who also caught at Erie last year, went 2-for-6 with a double in Grapefruit League play.

Gerber, the Tigers' seventh-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, went 1-for-18 with nine strikeouts this spring. Krizan went 4-for-11 with a triple and a home run.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.