06/06/10 1:23 AM ET
Leyland knows importance of scouts
By Samuel Zuba / MLB.com
As hundreds of scouts across the country pour over thousands of Draft prospects and prepare for the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Leyland said their job is crucial for the success of Major League ballclubs.
"The amateur scout, to me, is the most important ingredient you got in your organization. He's the most important," Leyland said.
Amateur scouts study college and high school stars to see whether or not they will evolve into big league superstars.
"I'm my opinion, those guys that can look at a 17- or 18-year-old kid and can project what he's going to be, and have the courage to put their neck on the line for him, they're the backbone of the organization," Leyland said.
Leyland stressed that although draftees come from all different types of leagues with different talent levels, if they have what it takes to make it to the Majors, they will.
"I don't think it makes any difference," he said. "If you see the ability and the talent and the reflexes and all that stuff -- they'll catch up with the league and the competition if they're good."
Blister forces Zumaya from Saturday's game
KANSAS CITY -- After relieving Justin Verlander in the eighth inning of Saturdays' 4-2 victory over the Royals, Joel Zumaya exited the game with a broken blister on his right index finger.The righty threw six straight balls, four to Billy Butler and two to Jose Guillen, before being replaced by Phil Coke.
Perry gets backing from Leyland
KANSAS CITY -- After giving up two earned runs on three hits in less than an inning of work Friday night, reliever Ryan Perry had a chat with manager Jim Leyland.
"I had a nice talk with him today," Leyland said. "But we have to get him going. I told him, 'You're a big league pitcher and you gotta pitch with that confidence.'"
Perry, who was drafted in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, has been rather erratic this season for the Tigers. In his last five outings, Perry is 0-2 with a 20.25 ERA (four innings pitched with nine earned runs.)
Leyland said he will give Perry time to get it together, but if he can't, Perry might spend some time in the Minors.
"I'm going to stay with him for awhile," Leyland said. "I think he's a very credible Major League pitcher, [but] if things, at some point, don't get worked out, then you go down [to the Minor Leagues] and work them out."
Leyland added he believes in Perry and he isn't trying to scare him into pitching better.
"There's no secret about it and that's not meant to put any pressure on anybody," Leyland said. "Those are just the facts. He's got to get it going, he's a big part of our ballclub. ... I have confidence in him and I'm going to see if we can't iron out these problems up here."
Scherzer working to get slider going
KANSAS CITY -- After Max Scherzer picked up his fifth loss of the season Friday night, manager Jim Leyland had one major complaint.
Scherzer needs to use his slider more -- and more effectively.
"He won't be a finished pitcher until he gets his slider going," Leyland said. "He'll be good, and on given nights, he'll overpower some people, but when he gets that slider going for sure, he'll be dynamite."
Scherzer has been struggling lately as he is 1-4 in his last five starts with a 9.36 ERA, although he didn't think his slider is what lost the game.
"I guess that's a correct assessment," Scherzer said of Leyland's comments. "But I really don't think my slider is what killed me [Friday night]."
Schlereth making strides
KANSAS CITY -- Before the start of Saturday's contest against the Royals, manager Jim Leyland discussed left-handed reliever Daniel Schlereth's journey to the big leagues.
Schlereth, who was sent down to Triple-A Toledo after a rough Spring Training, has been taking large strides as he attempts to join the Tigers at some point this season.
"Pretty good," Leyland said of Schlereth's scouting reports. "His stuff is good. He's a little more in the strike zone."
In 19 appearances in Toledo this season, Schlereth is 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA. Leyland said his numbers are good, but there is just no need for him on the Tigers' 25-man roster.
"I think in his case, to be honest with you, that's a need that we don't have right now," Leyland said. "It's not that we're not talking about him -- because we've talked about him -- but we don't really need another lefty reliever."
Samuel Zuba is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.