Player development is a tricky proposition for Major League Baseball organizations. It’s hard to know when the right time is to bring someone up to the majors and it’s hard to know what to do with them if they begin struggling. Sometimes players just don’t cut it when they’re initially brought up, or sometimes they do well before they begin struggling. Although it’s seen by many people as a demotion, I believe the minor leagues can be an asset to players, not an embarrassment.
Pitcher Max Scherzer might be the best example of how the minor leagues can be beneficial for a player recently. Scherzer is a fireballer who came to the Tigers in the Edwin Jackson/Curtis Granderson three-way deal via Arizona. Although Scherzer started off well throwing six shutout innings in his first start with Detroit, he started getting bombed later in April. In a string of four straight starts, Max surrendered at least five earned runs each time out seeing his ERA jump from 2.63 to 7.29. The Tigers knew something was wrong so they sent Scherzer down to Triple-A Toledo to face lower-level competition, regain confidence, and redevelop his fastball. The plan worked to perfection.