The last time we opened the Tigers Inbox, Detroit was looking forward to Opening Day in March and hoping for a sunny afternoon with temperatures somewhere above freezing, providing some comfort for fans in the stands. Suffice to say, a lot has changed since then, about baseball as well as
The last time we opened the Tigers Inbox, Detroit was looking forward to Opening Day in March and hoping for a sunny afternoon with temperatures somewhere above freezing, providing some comfort for fans in the stands. Suffice to say, a lot has changed since then, about baseball as well as the world.
As we wait for the 60-game schedule to be released while looking forward to summer camp, plenty of questions arise. We don’t have all the answers, but we’ll try to tackle some of them here by dusting off the Inbox.
What are the chances we see Matt Manning, Casey Mize or Spencer Torkelson with the big league club this season?
-- Brett D., Detroit
General manager Al Avila’s comments last week seemed to leave open a strong possibility on Mize, maybe on Manning as well.
• Tigers' Top 30 prospects list
“There are some young guys that quite frankly, if it was a [normal] regular season, we had plans at some point to bring them up and get them some experience,” Avila said last Wednesday. “A guy like Mize or [Alex] Faedo would've been those possibilities. That would still remain the same as we move forward in this season.”
30 innings -- what's the over/under for Mize and Manning?
Thirty innings each or 30 innings combined? Manager Ron Gardenhire said he plans to use a five-man rotation. So over a 60-game season, that means 12 starts in each slot. Spencer Turnbull averaged just under five innings per start last year. Michael Fulmer averaged just over six innings per start in his rookie season in 2016. If you go with five per start, that would be 60 innings for the season.
What are the odds that Torkelson plays in the Majors this year?
Not great. While some evaluators believe he could step into a Major League lineup and not be overwhelmed, the Tigers aren’t in a win-now position where they have to rush things. And remember, Detroit has made clear that it intends to have Torkelson work as a third baseman and see if he can be a fit there. That takes time and repetitions, and while the Tigers can work with him on that at summer camp now and at Triple-A Toledo later, he won’t be getting work under the intensity of actual games there. Can’t completely rule it out, but the chances look pretty slim for now.
Any chance Riley Greene gets a callup?
-- Chris M.
Greene made a very good impression at Spring Training. Still, he has yet to play a game above Class A West Michigan. His inclusion is all about getting to work with coaches and instructors in Toledo to try to ensure this isn’t a lost season for him.
Has it been determined how the Draft order will be set next year? Will it just be based on this 60-game season, or will it be based on a combination of this season's record and last year's?
There has been no word on that yet.
What's the likelihood of Jordan Zimmermann getting traded at the Deadline?
There are a whole lot of opinions out there on whether a shortened season will result in more or fewer trades. As it is, an Aug. 31 Trade Deadline leaves about four weeks of regular-season play, plus the playoffs. With Zimmermann in the final year of his contract, Detroit’s pitching prospects knocking on the door and Fulmer back from injury, the Tigers still have an obvious motivation to find a deal, regardless of the level of return.
What was the bigger shock: Troy Stokes Jr. or Alex Wilson being left off the 60-man player pool?
-- Michael J., West Branch, Mich.
That would be Stokes, who is on the 40-man roster and made a very good impression in Spring Training.
• Tigers announce 60-man player pool
There are two empty spots in the 60-man player pool. One is for Torkelson. Any thoughts on the other?
-- Dan K., St. Thomas, Ontario
Not necessarily. They could still add Stokes later.
The undrafted free-agent haul seems very light. Do you think it's a case of having deals close or completed that aren't publicized, or are the Tigers really signing only a few?
It doesn’t sound like Tigers are necessarily done yet. It might not be a big class, but they still have the chance for some more deals beyond Trevin Esquerra, whose signing still hasn’t been officially announced by the club yet.
Given his health issues, will Jim Price even be in the radio broadcast booth?
-- Steve A.
I talked with Price on Monday, and he plans to be in the booth for games at Comerica Park. I'm still waiting for final word on how the Tigers and other clubs will handle road games on radio.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.