Tigers seek ‘progress’ as Tyler Alexander works through rough spring

Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. — Lefty Tyler Alexander is one of four relievers whose name can probably be written in ink on the Opening Day roster. Still, he’s had a rough spring.

In his last outing, his fastball topped out at 88 mph. He’s allowed six runs and 10 hits with three homers in 7.2 innings.

“The velocity isn’t an issue if you get outs,” manager AJ Hinch said. “It’s where he’s at performance-wise. He’s pitched in that range — 88-91 — his whole career. I knew he wants to throw harder. His stuff would play up if he threw a little bit harder.

“But we just need to see progress. You want your guys to be pitching well when spring training ends.”

Is there any cause for concern?

“I don’t use that word,” Hinch said. “But I am aware.”

Around the horn

Outfielder Matt Vierling (knee) returned to game action Monday.

Miguel Cabrera was back from the WBC and back in the Tigers’ lineup Monday.

… Infielder Tyler Nevin (oblique) continues to take part in defensive drills with no restrictions. He’s been hitting off a tee but on Monday he was scheduled to take batting practice in the cage. There is still no timetable for his return to game action.

chris.mccosky@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @cmccosky

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