Detroit Tigers RHP Michael Lorenzen scratched from start with groin tightness

Detroit Free Press

LAKELAND, Fla. — A member of the Detroit Tigers‘ projected starting rotation has suffered an injury for the first time this spring training.

Right-hander Michael Lorenzen, who signed a one-year, $10 million contract in the offseason, was scratched from Monday’s start against the Toronto Blue Jays. The 31-year-old reported groin tightness during his conditioning Sunday.

In his place, right-handed reliever Trey Wingenter takes the mound in the first inning for the beginning of a bullpen-only game. The Tigers expect to have an update on Lorenzen’s health Tuesday.

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Lorenzen has started three games in spring training, posting a 4.91 ERA with four walks and nine strikeouts in 7⅓ innings. He began his big-league career as a starter in 2015, pitched out of the bullpen from 2016-21 and returned to being a starter in 2022 with the Los Angeles Angels.

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“Well, not yet,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We need to get him evaluated.”

Entering spring training, the Tigers were prepared for these five starters in the rotation: Lorenzen, left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, right-hander Spencer Turnbull, lefty Matthew Boyd and righty Matt Manning.

The other four starters are healthy.

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In 2022, Lorenzen logged a 4.24 ERA with 44 walks and 85 strikeouts across 97⅔ innings in 18 starts. A right shoulder injury forced him to miss nine weeks. His walk (10.7%) and strikeout (20.7%) rates were slightly worse than MLB averages.

Left-hander Joey Wentz, once expected to begin the season in Triple-A Toledo’s starting rotation, could be a candidate for Detroit’s rotation if Lorenzen is unable to break camp with the Tigers.

The most stretched out relievers with prior experience as starters: right-hander Garrett Hill (46 pitches), lefty Tyler Alexander (39 pitches), righty Beau Brieske (35 pitches) righty Mason Englert (30 pitches).

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Englert, a Rule 5 draft pick, has impressed in spring training and looks like a lock for the Opening Day bullpen. He had a 3.64 ERA with 31 walks and 136 strikeouts across 118⅔ innings in 24 starts for High-A Hickory and Double-A Frisco with the Texas Rangers last season.

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

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