The Jair Jurrjens era begins tonight in Cleveland. Justin Verlander's career with the Detroit Tigers began in Jacobs Field, as well, back in 2005. That didn't go so well, so hopefully, tonight turns out better for Jurrjens. I've been practicing the proper pronunciation of his name all day, and you could tell the FSN Detroit crew was having some fun trying to get it right last night. One of the interesting things about Jurrjens is that he can speak four different languages: English, Spanish, Dutch, and Papiamentu. I don't know what Papiamentu is, but I hope it means Jurrjens speaks the language of kicking some Cleveland Indians ass tonight.
(Okay, the BYB research team just got back to me. Apparently, Papiamentu is not the language of kicking ass, but a creole dialect spoken in the Caribbean. Well, if the Indians don't know that, let 'em wonder.)
What else do we know about Jurrjens? Coming into the season, Baseball America had him as Detroit's #4 prospect. Lee at Tiger Tales says he throws in the "low 90s with good movement," but still needs work on his curveball and change-up. Jurrjens' last three starts with Double-A Erie were outstanding. He went 3-0 in those games, allowing just two earned runs and racking up 24 strikeouts in 23 innings.
For Cleveland, Fausto Carmona has probably been the surprise of the season, becoming the Indians' second-best starting pitcher behind C.C. Sabathia. As great as Carmona has been, however, he's on a three-game losing streak. In his defense, the Indians couldn't score any runs for him in those games. But the Tigers have been able to score some runs on Carmona, putting up eight runs (and 19 hits) in 13 innings.
▪▪ To make room for Jurrjens on the major league roster, Yorman Bazardo was sent back down to Toledo. I'm kind of disappointed because I had a photo of Superman's arch-enemy Bizarro all ready to go whenever Bazardo did something notable. Oh well - maybe in September. Bizarro would say "Me am happy."
▪▪ Danny Knobler says Rick Porcello will begin playing in the Instructional League next month, after working out with the Tigers coaches.