Beau Brieske is still searching for his first major league victory. He believes he’s given his opponents an advantage, and that by correcting the problem, he’s bound to have some success.
The Detroit Tigers’ rookie right-hander will start the opener of a five-game home series against Minnesota on Monday.
When he faced the Twins in Minneapolis on Tuesday, he required 90 pitches to get through four innings. Though he allowed only two runs, he believes Minnesota had some inside information on him.
Opponents have noticed that his hand movement in his glove as he goes to grip a breaking ball is different than when he grips a fastball.
“That’s been my biggest issue,” he told the Detroit News. “I have subconsciously been tipping pitches. I wasn’t aware of it in the minor leagues. I guess they don’t have as much access to video or advance guys whose actual job is to find little differences like that. There were signs they knew what was coming, and I think that’s led to the high pitch counts early in games. I was throwing good pitches and they were either (taking) them or they were able to foul them off.”
Brieske is 0-4 with a 5.04 ERA in six starts. Tuesday’s appearance was the first time he didn’t go at least five innings.
“I’m definitely not using it as an excuse, because that’s part of the game,” he said. “It’s part of the growth. It’s just another level of, yeah, they are more talented up here, but also their baseball IQ and everything that comes with it is so advanced.”
Brieske will be opposed by Dylan Bundy (3-2, 4.54), who held the Tigers to one run on five hits and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings on Wednesday. Bundy is 0-2 with a 4.08 ERA in six career appearances (five starts) against Detroit.
The Twins won’t have their top prospect for the series. Called up from Triple-A on Sunday, Royce Lewis crashed into the wall while playing center field in Minnesota’s 7-3 win over Kansas City. Lewis was forced to exit the game with a bone bruise in his right knee.
“He got jarred pretty good. … goes back to the wall, takes away an extra base hit, makes a really nice play, crashes in there,” Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said.
“You’re not going to run out there every time a guy hits the wall, but if he stays down, not getting up, then you do. He did eventually make it up to his feet, but his upper body hit, his shoulder hit, his head hit, but he did feel some knee pain. That’s where we sit right now,” Baldelli said.
With a doubleheader coming up on Tuesday, the Twins are in a bind.
“It’s really hard to have players on the roster that cannot play on Tuesday,” Baldelli said. “That’s a very difficult thing for us right now and for all teams that are dealing with this type of schedule.”
The injury-ravaged Tigers have a couple of new concerns. Miguel Cabrera missed Sunday’s 2-1 win over Cleveland with back soreness, though the team is hopeful he can return on Monday. Robbie Grossman, who was the DH in place of Cabrera, exited after one at-bat due to neck spasms.
–Field Level Media