Chris McCosky | The Detroit News
Lakeland, Fla. — The Tigers’ first cuts of the spring came on Friday.
Four pitchers were assigned to Triple-A Toledo: Joey Wentz, Alex Faedo, Beau Burrows and Kyle Funkhouser. Wentz and Faedo, both coming back from Tommy John surgeries, are rehabbing and will eventually end up on the injured list.
Seven other players were assigned to the mini-camp: pitchers Zack Hess and Gerson Moreno; catcher Dillon DIngler; infielders Daniel Pinero and Aderlin Rodriguez; and outfielders Jacob Robson and Danny Woodrow.
“That’s why we set the mini-camp up originally, we knew we had to send guys somewhere and get that feeling of shrinking camp,” manager AJ Hinch said.
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There is a chance, eventually, the players in mini-camp will get to play in games against mini-camps from other organizations. In the meantime, they will do full team workouts on the back fields in the afternoons.
“The important thing is to get everybody ready,” Hinch said.
“Because things can change in a hurry.”
Wither Burrows, Funk
Hinch said no decision needs to be made just yet regarding whether Burrows and Funkhouser will end up starting or relieving once the Triple-A season starts in May. They were among the first cuts Friday.
“We need to give them direction by the end of the month,” he said. “Right now, we’re going to leave them hovering in that two-to-three inning, 50-pitch conditioning role. Until we get to May, we’re thinking about the alternate site or a minor-league camp, we still have another month.”
If the Tigers were to summon either of them from the alternate site in April, it would be for bullpen help.
“I’m not saying they won’t start at some point in the minor-league season,” Hinch said. “But we need to be smart how we build them up to 45-50 pitches and then make decisions along the way.”