What’s in Stohr? Tigers’ Tyler Stohr talks big-league camp experience
Hello baseball fans, Tyler Stohr here for another installment of What’s in Stohr. First off, I’d like to apologize for not posting anything in a few months. I could give you some excuses for why I haven’t written anything, but every excuse I can think of is pretty weak, and I am constantly remembering what my college coach, Dusty Rhodes, would say when we would present him with a lame reason for our actions: “Excuses are a sign of weakness.”
Okay, so What’s in Stohr? Since my last installment was before Christmas, I will try and play a little catch-up and clue y’all in on what the end of my off season looked like and how I approached my first big-league camp and beginning of the season. My offseason was rather short this year because I participated in the Arizona Fall League and returned back to Lakeland, Fla., the Detroit Tigers spring training complex, around January 6 to continue my preparations for the 2012 season. This season is a very important one for my career, not that I feel that any season is of less importance, but it is my first year on the 40-man roster, and I felt that arriving back in Lakeland more than a month and a half before my report date would be far more beneficial than continuing to work out at home.
My first big-league camp was definitely a learning experience; one that I tried to soak up as much as I could from my teammates and coaches. I was very fortunate to have my locker located in an area full of veterans I could watch and listen to as they conducted their daily business of interviews and general baseball preparations. My stay in big-league camp lasted 27 days this year, and it was probably the best 27 days I’ve had in my baseball career so far. I pitched pretty well while I was there, gave up a few too many free passes for my liking, but it was nice to cap off my last appearance with a save against the Baltimore Orioles. The next day I got called into the skippers office, where I sat in front of Jim Leyland, Dave Dombrowski, Al Avila and Jeff Jones and found out I was optioned to double-A Erie to start the season. I can’t lie. There was some disappointment I wasn’t going to break camp with the team and head to Detroit, but realistically, I knew that a lot of things were going to have to happen for me to get that shot on the opening day roster.
There was a sense of relief that heading to minor league camp; I knew where I was heading to start the season, I would have a head start on finding living arrangements and I could continue to keep my focus on baseball and pitching. One of the biggest disappointments I had to deal with was parting with my beard that I had grown since November. Even though I kept it well manicured, it is against Tigers minor league protocol to have a full beard, so it had to go. I had the beard for about three and a half months, and it had become a part of me. I guess I will just add it to my list of motivators to get to the big leagues.
With just a few days left of camp, I know I can speak for the rest of my teammates in saying I cannot wait for opening day and the start of the 2012 season. It should be an exciting year for Detroit Tiger fans, and I hope to become part of that excitement.
Check me out on Twitter @TylerStohr, where I will be posting pictures of my trip north from TigerTown to Erie, Pa.