Detroit Tigers bring back left-hander Ian Krol on minor-league deal for 'revenge tour'

Evan Petzold
Detroit Free Press

It's been 1,899 days since left-hander Ian Krol pitched for the Detroit Tigers, registering a perfect inning Oct. 4, 2015, against the Chicago White Sox. And he hasn't thrown in the big leagues since May 27, 2018 — or 933 days ago — for the Los Angeles Angels.

The 29-year-old's "revenge tour" began Monday night. That's when the Tigers signed Krol to a minor-league deal, with an invitation to spring training.

"I can't express how grateful I am for this opportunity," Krol said in a Twitter statement Tuesday. "Knowing the history and familiarity of the organization, I truly believe this is a great fit. I can't thank my support system enough, you have been a significant part of this journey to keeping the dream alive, thank you.

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"I am determined to be the best version of me, on and off the field. I have always wondered if I would ever get to prove my worth in this great organization again, I am so thankful for that opportunity. Thank you for taking a chance on an old friend. Let the revenge tour start."

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Ian Krol plays against the Chicago White Sox on April 19, 2015, in Detroit.

The Tigers first acquired Krol, a seventh-round pick in the 2009 draft, in December 2013 (with second baseman Steve Lombardozzi and lefty Robbie Ray) from the Washington Nationals in the Doug Fister trade.

In November 2015, the Tigers traded Krol and lefty Gabe Speier to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Cameron Maybin.

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Through 78 games in Detroit, Krol had a 5.34 ERA, 1.698 WHIP, 54 strikeouts and 30 walks in 60⅔ innings. In his six-year MLB career, he had a 4.50 ERA, 178 strikeouts and 73 walks across 190 innings.

He played for the Nationals (2013), Tigers (2014-15), Braves (2016-17) and Angels (2018). In 2019, Krol couldn't get back to the majors. He pitched 46 games for Triple-A Louisville (Cincinnati Reds) and Triple-A Rochester (Minnesota Twins), combining for a 5.28 ERA, 58 strikeouts and 22 walks.

Last season, with the minors canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Krol competed for the Nerds Herd in the City of Campions Cup in Joliet, Illinois — an independent league. He recorded a 0.47 ERA, 0.569 WHIP, 31 strikeouts and three walks in 19 games (19⅓ innings).

The Nerds Herd finished the make-shift season with a 7-19 record. Extra-inning games were determined by a home run derby.

Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.