Detroit Tigers’ Alex Faedo, one of seven players cut, to work as starter in Triple-A Toledo

Detroit Free Press

LAKELAND, Fla. — In the fourth round of roster cuts, the Detroit Tigers removed seven players from big-league spring training. One of those players, right-hander Alex Faedo, was the No. 18 overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Faedo, 27, will be a starter in Triple-A Toledo.

“We’re going to map out his week,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “He will have one outing in minor-league camp to build up his pitch count to four to four-plus innings, and then he can jump in the rotation in Toledo.”

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This spring, Faedo posted an 11.81 ERA with three walks and seven strikeouts across 5⅓ innings in four outings out of the bullpen. He started 12 games for the Tigers last season before undergoing hip surgery at the end of July.

Faedo missed the entire 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery.

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Along with Faedo, the Tigers trimmed from their pool of potential Opening Day relievers by optioning right-hander Edwin Uceta to Toledo and reassigning righty Kervin Castro, righty Miguel Díaz and left-hander Miguel Del Pozo to minor-league spring training. Utility player Brendon Davis and infielder Jermaine Palacios were also reassigned to minors camp.

There are 41 players remaining in MLB spring training.

“Had some late arrivals today,” Hinch said. “Maybe they knew what was coming.”

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Díaz, 28, was the most surprising subtraction because he completely dominated throughout spring training. His changeup is an elite weapon against left-handed hitters but not as effective against right-handers. He tossed 6⅓ scoreless innings with three walks and 12 strikeouts in six games.

Del Pozo, 30, fired five scoreless innings with four walks and four strikeouts in five innings. He kept opposing teams off the scoreboard but wasn’t as sharp as Díaz in spring training.

“You have to deliver bad news sometimes even when they pitch well,” Hinch said. “We delivered the news to them when we had the news. No one likes to stand around for a week and look at them knowing they’re not going to be on the Opening Day roster and give them false hope.”

Both Díaz and Del Pozo will pitch for the Tigers in Thursday’s split-squad against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater and the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota. Díaz will pitch again over the weekend.

“They have positioned themselves to be viable candidates at any time,” Hinch said. “Opening Day is one day, and things can change, especially for both of them being off the (40-man) roster. We could purchase them any time. It’s tough, specifically Diaz because he threw the ball the best of the group we’ve sent down thus far. But his opportunity ran out.”

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The Tigers claimed Palacios off waivers from the Minnesota Twins in October and removed him from the 40-man roster in November. Last season, the 26-year-old primarily played in Triple-A St. Paul while serving as the backup to Twins shortstop Carlos Correa.

Palacios hit .286 with two walks and 12 strikeouts in 16 games this spring.

“He can really hit,” Hinch said. “He had a nice spring with the bat, and he can be versatile on defense. We’ve got to get him comfortable at some of the other things within the game. It’s not all just his offense. The defensive side, the base running are areas that he can improve on, but he’s very comfortable in the batter’s box.”

Before coming to camp, Palacios posted a .400 batting average with five home runs, 16 walks and 19 strikeouts across 32 games for Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Defensively, he is most comfortable at shortstop and third base. The Tigers want him to continue to work on playing second base in case playing time opens up at that position during the season.

“We played him at his least comfortable position at second base a lot in the last week, more so to just give him reps,” Hinch said, “but we’ll move him around and even introduce some outfield to him, so if his bat is the best option when we need it, we can bring him right up.”

Contact Evan Petzold at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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