After spending the 2015 season split between Comerica Park and as a fixture in Triple-A Toledo, right-hander Angel Nesbitt made his winter league debut with the Bravos de Margarita in Porlamar, Venezuela last week.
Nesbitt, who made his first 2015 appearance with Detroit on April 8, spent the opening portion of the season at Comerica, tossing 21-2/3 innings through 24 games and earning his first win on May 12 against Minnesota. Nesbitt posted 5.8 strikeouts 3.3 walks per nine innings with a 1.38 WHIP during his time with the Tigers.
Nesbitt made the transition to join the Mud Hens in June, concluding the year by adding another 27 games on the hill for Toledo. Nesbitt's rate of walks rose to 4.7 per nine at the Triple-A level, while his WHIP rose to 1.86 in 40 1/3 innings.
With a pair of games submitted to date, Nesbitt has worked in limited relief, posting 1-2/3 innings for the Bravos, fanning three and walking a pair since his debut.
Elsewhere win the Venezuelan Winter League, Toledo outfielder Trayvon Robinson hasn't been in Caracas for long, but he is already finding ways to win the hearts of the locals. The 28-year-old, who hit .234 in his 86 games with the Hens during the 2015 regular season, is currently hitting .311/.436/.489 with a .925 OPS through 12 games with the Leones. To add to his three doubles and four RBI, Robinson has also woven together a six-game hit streak, with multi-hit games in four of those six contests.
Puerto Rico Winter League
By the conclusion of the 2015 regular season, Tigers resident minor league torch Joe Jimenez had made one thing abundantly clear. He throws strikes and he throws them hard. Now, with that earth shattering analysis aside, the 20-year-old righthander is putting his championship caliber experience to good use with the Gigantes de Carolina in the city of Carolina, Puerto Rico.
In his first full-season campaign with Low-A West Michigan this summer, Jimenez flirted with triple-digit radar gun readings on multiple occasions, making it abundantly clear that although he had hardly broken out of his teens, the Tigers had a viable talent on their hands. Jimenez posted a 12.8 K/9 during his time with the Whitecaps, limiting his self-made damage to 2.3 BB/9.
Since joining the Gigantes, Jimenez's strikeout rate has fallen only slightly, to 12.4 K/9 in 13 1/3 innings of work. Try one on for size: His 18 strikeouts on the year with Puerto Rico have his tied for a team third-best through 14 games.
Australian Baseball League
The Australian Baseball League has spoken and Tigers big righty Calvin Drummond will represent the Sydney Blue Sox as a member of "Team World" in the ABL All-Star Game to take place on Dec. 16 in Melbourne.
Since joining the Blue Sox, Drummond has secured four saves in five opportunities, striking out 14 in 11-2/3 innings of relief. Drummond's pitching teammate, and Twins prospect, Todd Van Steensel is appreciative of the contribution from the 26-year-old San Diego native.
"Over the years, we've always had lights out closers and with Dae-Sung Koo not returning this season, it was a spot that needed to be filled," Van Steensel said. "Calvin has joined the club and turned into that sure thing in the ninth inning for us."
The Blue Sox have returned to playing .500 baseball, capturing their last four contests, including taking a trio of victories from the first place Canberra Calvary.