If you can believe it, baseball is right around the corner.
Detroit Tigers pitchers and catchers have reported to Lakeland, FL and the first full-squad workout will be held next week.
And if the early report from new manager A.J. Hinch regarding team pitching is any indication, Tigers fans should feel fortunate.
After stating that Matthew Boyd tossed 41 pitches in his bullpen session yesterday, he said the rest of the staff appears ahead of schedule.
“These guys are gonna be game ready faster than I would have expected coming in,” he said.
He then gave a positive review of Alex Lange’s bullpen session:
“I thought he was pretty sharp with his stuff. It’s the first time I’ve seen him live, obviously, and I can see why we’re happy with him,” he said.
Tigers fans are also going to like what Hinch had to say about Casey Mize, whom the Tigers selected with the 1st overall pick in 2018 and saw his first Major League action last year.
“His pitches are elite across the board,” Hinch said Friday, the third day of pitcher-catcher workouts in spring training. “When he understands the impact of the elevated fastball, when he can use his splitter — incredibly nasty — throughout the counts and not just late in counts to punch guys out, he will take a leap forward.”
Mize, who is prepping for his second year in the Majors, has the stuff that Hinch wants to see progress and enhance this season.
“I want to enhance that,” Hinch said. “His stuff, across the board, inside the strike zone is really key. He’s got so many weapons. It’s going to be fun to watch him evolve and use his pitches a little more efficiently and effectively.”
“He has just about anything that he needs to attack the weakness of a hitter, and it’s still considered a strength by him,” Hinch continued. “He’s learning, and we have to allow him the platform to learn. He wants to be perfect. He wants to be an anchor in this rotation. And I’ve told him the opportunity is going to be there for him to earn it.”