| Detroit Free Press
Detroit Tigers VP of player development: ‘Feel very good about talent’ in minors
Detroit Tigers vice president of player development Dave Littlefield checks in Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, about the team’s minor-league system.
Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Tigers don’t have a definitive timetable for the return of injured left-handed pitching prospect Joey Wentz, who underwent Tommy John surgery last March, but they should know more leading up to spring training next month.
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They are working out together at the team’s facility in Lakeland, Florida, vice president of player development Dave Littlefield said Tuesday. The industry-wide benchmark for a full recovery from Tommy John surgery is 14-16 months.
Faedo had his ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery in December 2020. The 25-year-old was on track to make his MLB debut this year, but that will be pushed back at least a year.
“He has had surgery,” Littlefield said. “I actually saw him yesterday, and he feels very good and is starting that whole process of rehab, which will be done in Lakeland.”
Wentz, however, is inching closer to his return. The 23-year-old told the Free Press in early December that he hopes to throw bullpens by the midway point of spring training.
“After the break, and him getting some work in Kansas City, where he lives, probably the next couple of days, we’ll get our hands on him and get a better feel for where he’s at,” Littlefield said. “He’s been making great progress. I talked to him, and he said he’s feeling very good about where he’s at, his health and the progress he has made.
“Nothing definitive as far as the timeline right now, but we’ll get a better feel for things in the next few weeks as he gets out there and starts throwing it around, tossing the ball a little bit.”
The Tigers acquired Wentz on July 31, 2019, when they traded closer Shane Greene to the Atlanta Braves for the 2016 first-round pick and outfielder Travis Demeritte. He registered a 2.10 ERA, 37 strikeouts and four walks in 25⅔ innings (five starts) for Double-A Erie.
Faedo has been with the Tigers since he was selected No. 18 overall in the 2017 draft from Florida. He pitched the 2019 season in Double-A and logged a 3.90 ERA, 134 strikeouts and 25 walks across 115⅓ innings (22 starts).
Cameron gearing up for spring
Outfielder Daz Cameron, the Tigers’ No. 7 prospect, only made two appearances in the Puerto Rican Winter League in late last month before departing from his offseason assignment with a right arm injury.
The 23-year-old’s return to the U.S. was a precautionary move. After further evaluation, the Tigers deemed him healthy.
“The stopping and starting, and stopping and starting, sometimes it happens where you get a little tender, arm-wise,” Littlefield said. “The priority, obviously, is to head into spring training and get ready for that. We got together and worked that all out. He’s in the process of just getting ready for spring training and being 100% (healthy) there.”
Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training Feb. 17, with the first full-team workout taking place Feb. 22.
Cameron played two regular-season games for Indios de Mayagüez and went 0-for-7 with one RBI, one walk and four strikeouts. He made his MLB debut in 2020, hitting 11-for-57 (.193) with two doubles, one triple, three RBIs, two walks and 19 strikeouts in 17 games.
Stokes Jr. claimed off waivers
On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed outfielder Troy Stokes Jr. off waivers. He was designated for assignment by the Tigers on Jan. 5 to make room on the 40-man roster for new outfielder Robbie Grossman.
The 24-year-old did not play in 2020 because of right hand surgery in July. Back in September 2019, the Tigers added him off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Stokes was a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft from Calvert Hall College High School in Maryland. He owns a .250 batting average, 57 home runs and 246 RBIs across 554 games in six minor-league seasons.