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Tigers enjoy youthful feeling in spring camp

Avila, coaching staff excited about upcoming season
MLB.com @beckjason

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tigers have had just a couple days of Spring Training workouts, but so far, general manager Al Avila likes the feeling around camp as a younger roster goes to work.

"We've only gone through two days of pitchers and catchers, so it's hard to pinpoint how the overall atmosphere is right now," Avila said during Thursday's annual Spring Training Media Day gathering at Tropicana Field. "I think come Sunday and Monday, when we start [working out with] the full squad, you'll get a better picture of it. But I think right now, you see with our young players, I think there's a level of excitement.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tigers have had just a couple days of Spring Training workouts, but so far, general manager Al Avila likes the feeling around camp as a younger roster goes to work.

"We've only gone through two days of pitchers and catchers, so it's hard to pinpoint how the overall atmosphere is right now," Avila said during Thursday's annual Spring Training Media Day gathering at Tropicana Field. "I think come Sunday and Monday, when we start [working out with] the full squad, you'll get a better picture of it. But I think right now, you see with our young players, I think there's a level of excitement.

"There's guys that obviously want to make the club. They see the opportunity. And really, the window of opportunity for a lot of these guys is right now. And so I think that in itself is an exciting time for the players, period. And then you have a brand-new coaching staff that quite frankly is very excited for the season and they want to teach [players] how to play the game in a winning manner. I think those two dynamics create for a good camp, and that's what our expectation is: Have a good camp, get our players to be better and hopefully stay healthy. I think with those thoughts in mind, you can have a very good camp."

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Among those young faces is first-round pick Alex Faedo, who isn't competing for a Major League job yet, but he was invited to camp to be around established Major League players as well as more advanced prospects.

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"He is going to get a great experience by being in camp," Avila said. "just by being around some of the guys and seeing how they go about their work to get prepared for the season. I think that experience in itself is good, plus also get our Major League staff and our Minor League staff to get a good feel for him."

Avila said Faedo will eventually head over to Minor League camp to finish out Spring Training, but that no decision has been made yet on where he would pitch to open the season. Avila noted that they've historically preferred top prospects to begin the season in warmer weather, which would favor staying in Lakeland, but that West Michigan could also be an option.

Video: Beck discusses Tigers inviting Faedo to camp

Avila addressed a number of topics during the media session. Among the notes:

• Relief prospect Bryan Garcia had successful Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Thursday and is expected to begin rehab relatively soon. Avila called the injury "a huge disappointment for us. He did so well [last year]. But in saying that, we have to look at it in a positive manner. While it is a setback, we know that guys have come back. Our hope is that come next year, he's recovered and back to being the pitcher that we know he can be. It's going to delay his arrival by a year; that's how we're trying to look at it."

• Avila said they've begun the process of compiling a list of prospects for the top pick in the MLB Draft on June 4. "Right now it's a long list," Avila said, "and hopefully by May it'll be a short list."

• The Tigers are still looking for pitching depth on the free-agent and trade markets, though nothing is imminent. "We're still looking at the pitching market and we still might add maybe one," Avila said. "I don't know if we're going to be able to add two, but we're looking to hopefully add one. I can't give you a good feel for it as far as if it's going to happen sooner or later because it might not necessarily be a free agent. It might be a guy that gets put on waivers at the end of Spring Training. It might be a guy available via trade. But we're looking at it every day."

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

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