Tigers pitching prospect Joey Wentz set to make major-league debut

Detroit News

Detroit — Another Tigers pitching prospect is set to make his major-league debut.

Manager AJ Hinch announced Monday that left-hander Joey Wentz, No. 12 on the team’s list of prospects according to MLB.com, will start Wednesday’s game against the Oakland A’s at Comerica Park.

Wentz, 24, was acquired from the Atlanta Braves in the 2019 deal for Shane Greene, then missed all of 2020 to Tommy John surgery. He split last year between Single-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie, and has been pitching this year for Triple-A Toledo.

In five starts at Toledo, he has a 4.12 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 19.2 innings. He’s allowed 11 hits (four of them home runs) and 10 walks.

“Wentz has been good when he’s been inside the strike zone,” Hinch said. “His fastball has always been really good, secondary pitches have been a little better as of late.

“With Joey inside the strike zone, very effective. He can pitch at any level.”

It’s unclear whether Wentz will get the one start or an extended stay.

That will depend as much on right-hander Alex Faedo, No. 16 on the Tigers’ prospect list and another Tommy John comeback story. Faedo will get his second start in Detroit this season in Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader.

One of the two, Hinch said, will get an additional start as the expected horses of the rotation work their way back from injuries. Hinch wants to get Eduardo Rodriguez and Beau Briske an extra day of rest during this stretch that will see the Tigers play 18 games in 16 days.

On that front, Casey Mize (elbow) will make his first injury-rehab start for Toledo on Friday, and Matt Manning (shoulder) will get his second start, after throwing three crisp innings Sunday for the Mud Hens.

Hinch was pleased with the reports on Manning, who allowed one hit, one walk and no runs and struck out four, as his fastball ranged from low- to mid-90s.

“Which tells me, he’s letting it loose and doing everything without restriction,” Hinch said.

Manning, who is back in Detroit for a few days before heading out to pitch in Louisville this weekend, went three innings Sunday and should go four in his next outing.

In more pitching injury news, lefty Tyler Alexander (elbow) is beginning a rehab stint with Lakeland.

On the position-player side, outfielder Victor Reyes (quad) is set to start playing with Toledo.

No looking back

Don’t ask Hinch to characterize what’s gone wrong.

He’s not looking back, because, after all, what’s the point? You can’t change it. As Jim Leyland used to like to say, you can’t chew yesterday’s breakfast.

“I appreciate the question, but I don’t have any answer to characterize. I don’t characterize any part of seasons,” Hinch said before the series opener with the A’s on Monday. “We have not won enough games. I know that. I’m not naive. The stuff is already played. It does us no productive energy to characterize it. … We’ve got issues with the A’s today that don’t include the last month.

“We have a good team. We have not played to our capabilities, and those games are in the past.”

The Tigers enter this series with an 8-19 record, second-worst in the majors, having lost four straight to the Houston Astros.

The Tigers started 8-19 last season and actually dropped to 8-22, before finishing the season 77-85.

Around the horn

►Former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (2014-17) is back at Comerica Park this week, as bench coach to first-time manager Mark Kotsay with the A’s. Ausmus was last in uniform in Detroit in 2019, his lone year managing the Los Angeles Angels.

►With the Tigers’ offense scuffling, Toledo infielder Kody Clemens is opening some eyes with a hot start at the plate. “He keeps swinging the bat, he’s gonna make himself a viable candidate soon,” Hinch said.

►Single-A West Michigan’s Colt Keith was named Midwest League player of the week, after batting .407/.448/.630 with three doubles, a home run and four RBIs in six games.

►With his next hit (3,010), Miguel Cabrera will tie Wade Boggs; with his next home run (503), he will tie Eddie Murray; and with his next double (601), he will tie Barry Bonds.

A’s at Tigers (DH)

First pitches: Game 1, 1:10; Game 2, approximately 4:10; Comerica Park, Detroit

TV/radio: Both games on BSD/97.1

SCOUTING REPORT

Game 1

RHP Frankie Montas (2-2, 3.44), A’s: A subject of trade rumors, he’s done nothing to hurt his stock early in 2022, posting a WHIP of 0.927 through six starts.

LHP Tarik Skubal (1-2, 3.04), Tigers: He’s been solid the last four starts, with a 1.99 ERA in that span, though he did allow his first two homers last time out.

Game 2

RHP Adrian Martinez (First start), A’s: He was a late cut in spring training, but appears poised to make his major-league debut in the doubleheader nightcap.

RHP Alex Faedo (0-0, 3.60), Tigers: He didn’t pitch in any games the last two seasons (2020 COVID, 2021 Tommy John), but had a fine major-league debut.

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tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984

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