Detroit Tigers release alternate training site and underage camp rosters

The Detroit Tigers announced rosters Friday for the alternate training site in Toledo, Ohio, and minor league spring training in Lakeland, Florida. These pitches will feature some of the team’s top prospects, including infielder Spencer Torkelson, outfielder Riley Greene and right-hander Matt Manning.

The alternate training camp at Fifth Third Field will be used through April as the Triple-A season doesn’t begin until May 4. At that time, players at spring training in Lakeland will take the break for their minor league teams.

Manning looks destined for Triple-A Toledo, with Greene at Double-A Erie and Torkelson at High-A West Michigan. Manning is expected to make his MLB debut midway through the 2021 season if he does well in the minors.

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The 23-year-old, drafted No. 9 overall in 2016, is being kept at Lakeland to rack up his innings after being stopped last year with a pulled right forearm. He didn’t pitch more than two innings per outing in spring training. Torkelson and Greene join him in Lakeland for the miners’ camp.

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At the alternate training site, the Tigers will closely monitor the developments of infielders Isaac Paredes and Renato Nunez. Both are expected to play in the majors this season, assuming Paredes finds consistency at the plate and Nunez improves defensively at first base. Wide receiver Jake Rogers can return to Comerica Park with competitive beats with Toledo.

The field staff running the alternate camp combines the efforts of Tom Prince, Dan Hubbs, Mike Hessman, CJ Wamsley, Gary Cathcart, Mike Alvarez and Rafael Gil.

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Detroit Tigers shortstop Isaac Paredes (19) chases New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier (77) and throws the ball to first base for a double play in the second inning on March 29, 2021 at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida.

Infielder Zack Short starts in Toledo and could make his MLB debut this year. Manager AJ Hinch said Short was “an injury away from being an option for us” to be called up to the major leagues. He can play second base, shortstop and third base. Pitchers Alex Lange and Logan Shore could also be called up, general manager Al Avila said.

Second baseman Kody Clemens, who picked up the first baseman glove during spring training, is heading to Toledo. Hinch was impressed with his “high baseball IQ” at camp and thinks he could rise faster than initial expectations. “He absolutely can do it,” Hinch said of first base. “To me, it’s our obligation to pave the way for guys to make the big leagues.”

Detroit Tigers' Riley Greene, left, Derek Hill, center, and Kody Clemens in the dugout during Grapefruit League action against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021, at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland , in Florida.

Because the Tigers have a deadlock in the outfield, given the offseason additions of Robbie Grossman, Nomar Mazara and Akil Baddoo (Rule 5 draft pick), it’s unclear if outfielder Daz Cameron — received when traded Justin Verlander in 2017 – will return to the majors after a brief stint in 2020. He suffered an elbow injury in Puerto Rico this winter but is fully healthy again.

“We love him on the corner outfield,” Hinch said of Cameron. “(But) he has a history as a central defender. We know the best central defender out there is probably Derek Hill, but that doesn’t mean Derek Hill doesn’t need to be in left field or right to the occasion. The multiple emphasis will be on virtually everyone’s position on the alternative site.”

Hinch promised Hill, the 23rd overall pick in 2014, to play in the majors this season. “The adjustments he made at home plate were noted. His defense has been great,” Hinch said. “I told him he was going to play for us, but not off the parachute.”

Here is the 2021 Alternative Training Sites List, with MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Prospects Ranking:

Pitchers (16): Nolan Blackwood, Handsome Burrows (#28)Drew Carlton, Ethan DeCaster, Miguel Del Pozo, Jason Foley, Kyle Funkhouser, Drew Hutchison, Joe Jimenez, Ian Krol, Alex Lange, Andrew Moore, Wladimir Pinto, Erasmo Ramirez, Robbie Ross, Logan Shore.

Seekers (3): Dustin Garneau, Eric Haase, Jake Rogers.

Infielders (7): Kody Clemens (#18)Renato Nunez, Isaac Paredes (#6)Danny Pinero, Brady Policelli, Aderlin Rodriguez, Zack Short (#26).

Voltigeurs (4): Daz Cameron (#11)Derek Hill, Jacob Robson, Danny Woodrow.

Back in Lakeland, the Tigers are expected to coach 142 players. Southpaw Joey Wentz will continue his rehabilitation after Tommy John surgery. He is progressing steadily and could make his MLB debut this year, Avila said.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Joey Wentz walks to the bullpen Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, at Tiger Town's practice grounds at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida.

Right-hander Franklin Perez, included in the deal with Verlander, needs to increase his fastball speed (to 89-90 mph in the big league court) and identify his command. Once May arrives, he will launch live matches. Since being traded to the Tigers, the 23-year-old has gone just 27 innings in nine games. Injuries sidelined him for most of the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

A few key international signings will also be in the United States, including outfielders Roberto Campos, Jose De La Cruz and Carlos Pelegrin and infielder Adinso Reyes. Pelegrin, 20, signed with the Tigers in January for $550,000. Campos signed for $2.85 million in July 2019.

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Detroit Tigers wide receiver Dillon Dingler moves on to the next drill after bullpen sessions Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 at the Tiger Town practice grounds in Lakeland, Fla.

Other rising prospects at Lakeland include wide receiver Dillon Dingler, outfielder Daniel Cabrera and outfielder Parker Meadows. Along with Torkelson, Dingler and Cabrera, the other three 2020 draft picks will be in town: shortstop Trei Cruz, third baseman Gage Workman and third baseman Colt Keith.

Here is the 2021 minor league spring training slate, complete with prospect rankings:

Pitchers (76): Jose Appleton, Gio Arriera, Brad Bass, Adolfo Bauza, Matt Beattie, Austin Bergner, Michael Bienlien, Beau Brieske, YaYa Chentouf, Josh Coburn, Cale Coshow, Nick Davila, Angel De Jesus, Israel De La Cruz, Sandel De La Cruz, Luis De Leon, Jack Dellinger, Daniele Di Monte, José Diaz, Rodolfo Fajardo, Wilmer Fenelon, Chavez Fernander, Wilmer Flores, Rony Garcia, Ruben Garcia, Dario Gardea, Max Green, Carlos Guzman, Zack Hess (#29)Garrett Hill, Zac Houston, Xavier Javier, Marco Jimenez, Sam Kessler, Carson King, Chance Kirby, AJ Ladwig, Mark Leiter, Billy Escher, Andrew Magno, Matt Manning (#5)Brad Markey, Henry Martinez, Chris Mauloni, David McKay, Keider Montero, Gerson Moreno, Williander Moreno, Joe Navilhon, Jack O’Loughlin, Pedro Payano, Wily Peralta, Cleiverth Perez, Franklin Perez (#17)Erick Pinales, Ricardo Pinto, Angel Reyes, Paul Richan, Nick Richmond, Elvin Rodriguez, Jesus Rodriguez, Joseph Salazar, Gabe Sequeira, Zac Shepherd, Hugh Smith, Luke Sommerfeld, Locke St. John, Ted Stuka, Bryce Tassin, Jared Tobey, Cristhian Tortosa, Matt Walker, Robbie Welhaf, Joey Wentz (#9)Brendan White, Adam Wolf.

Seekers (12): Eliezer Alfonzo, Juan Centeno, Daneurys De La Cruz, Dillon Dingler (#7)Cordell Dunn, Cooper Johnson, Cole MacLaren, Sam McMillan, Chris Proctor, Yoandy Rea, Jon Rosoff, Eduardo Valencia.

Infielders (33): Nick Ames, Jeremiah Burks, Cesar Calderon, Trei Cruz (#19)Griffin Det, Alvaro Gonzalez, Yariel Gonzalez, Jake Holton, Carlos Irigoyen, Corey Joyce, Colt Keith (#20)Jack Kenley, Jimmy Kerr, Jose King, Ryan Kreidler (#27)Luis Laurencio, Josh Lester, André Lipcius, Pedro Martinez, Dane Myers, Andrew Navigato, Wenceel Perez (#23)Cole Peterson, Nick Quintana (#30), Adinso Reyes (#22)Rey Rivera, Manuel Sequera, AJ Simcox, Spencer Torkelson (#1)John Valente, Drew Ward, Gage Workman (#14)Cole Zabowski.

Outfielders (21): Ulrich Bojarsky, Daniel Cabrera (#8), Roberto Campos (#13)Kerry Carpenter, Jose De La Cruz (#21)Eric De La Rosa, Dayton Dugas, Trevin Esquerra, Cam Gibson, Riley Greene (#3)Reece Hampton, Austin Langworthy, Kingston Liniak, Parker Meadows (No. 10), Bryant Packard (#25)Carlos Pelegrin, Connor Perry, DJ Poteet, Kona Quiggle, Danny Reyes, Dylan Rosa.

Evan Petzold is a sportswriter at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.

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