Tigers say Lorenzen’s groin strain is mild, but status for start of season unclear

Detroit News

Tampa — The Tigers have a relatively new policy on releasing information about injured players. Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, the club puts out a medical update.

Regarding starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen, who was scratched from Monday’s scheduled start, the report read: “RHP Michael Lorenzen (left groin strain) sustained a mild left groin strain during a workout earlier this week. He will progress back to baseball activities as his symptoms allow.”

So, given the vague nature of the update, it was natural to ask manager AJ Hinch if he expected Lorenzen to make his next start Saturday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. It would be Lorenzen’s final tune-up before the start of the regular season.

“I have no idea,” Hinch said. “I would push back and say (the report) is not vague. It’s the information we have day-to-day. It’s all we know.”

Lorenzen passed through the Tigers’ clubhouse in Lakeland Tuesday morning and, when asked by a couple of teammates as he was walking into the training room, he said, “I’m good.”

“We will see how he feels the next few days,” Hinch said. “We can’t make that assessment (about whether he will make his next start) until that time goes by and he gets his treatment. Then, we will see where he’s at.”

Until then, Hinch wouldn’t comment on possible contingency plans, should Lorenzen have to start the year on the injured list.

“We will survey everything we can, but first and foremost, we have to see where he’s at physically in the next couple of days,” Hinch said.

As things have developed this spring, left-hander Joey Wentz is in position to step into the rotation. He will start in the Tigers’ split-squad game Wednesday afternoon in Clearwater against the Phillies. Hinch, who will manage the nightcap against the Orioles in Sarasota, said he planned to be in Clearwater for the first part of the game — presumably to watch Wentz.

Wentz, with the exception of one brief hiccup in his last spring outing against the Yankees, has had a strong spring. Adding an 87-mph cutter to his four-seam (94 mph), curveball and changeup mix has been huge.

Five of the 10 runs he’s allowed in 10.2 innings this spring came in two innings against the Yankees — the big blow a three-run homer by Wilmer Difo. But he’s punched out 14 with just four walks.

Twitter: @cmccosky

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