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Tigers prepare for Spring Training with new staff and high expectations for 2023

Eric Haase Twins Tigers Baseball
Posted at 4:32 PM, Jan 19, 2023

AJ Hinch, Matt Manning, Matthew Boyd, and Eric Haase met with the media Thursday at Comerica Park with about a month to go until teams report for Spring Training. This is the first offseason under new president of baseball operations Scott Harris. Here are the biggest takeaways from what was talked about at Comerica Park with a new staff in place for 2023:

  • AJ Hinch
    • Top priority is to get the players, especially the hitters, building relationships with the staff members as soon as possible. This has already been a focus during the offseason. Matt Manning said he has already been working with the pitching coach, analyzing statistics and numbers to get a better understanding of how to enhance his training and performance.
    • As far as the dimension changes go at Comerica Park, Hinch said that it has been an ongoing process since he's been with the Tigers, but it was certainly expedited with the hiring of Harris.
    • The acquiring of Matt Vierling and Nick Maton will bring a ton of versatility to the Tigers and will be focused on during Spring Training. Hinch said they will be the most active players in the spring and their positions will move around a lot.
    • "Our best team has a contributing Spencer Torkelson." Hinch said this offseason is not about a rehaul, rebuild, or remake of Torkelson's game, but it's more about getting him back up to speed. He said his introduction to the MLB woke up him quite a bit, but compliments him as a player, specifically how he left Detroit at the end of the 2022 season.
    • There is a lot of confidence and expectations set for the young guys on the Tigers roster. Hinch said they learned that the standards are pretty high in the MLB and there is a small margin of error. One of the guys mentioned is pitcher Matt Manning, who Hinch says has a best game that is good enough to compete at the MLB level. He said the more solid outings he has, the more confidence he will gain.
  • Matthew Boyd
    • He would prefer a shorter infield and smaller margin of error on himself as a pitcher, in order for his hitters to get rewarded with more homeruns.
    • Boyd's injury and rehab process has left him more exciting than anything. He said he has a good grasp of what his ability is and what he needs to do hit his highest potential.
    • He feels like he has business left to do in Detroit and wants to bring the same taste of the playoffs that he felt in Seattle, to Detroit, a franchise where he spent 2015-2021.
    • Boyd complimented the Tigers roster and said there is high level of rotation depth, bullpen talent, and lineup options.
  • Matt Manning
    • The young pitcher is coming off a injury ridden year that he called disappointing, but says his health is at full-strength and in the offseason has been "self-monitoring" himself and how he feels, but that he is training for a full slate of starts this season. He called the offseason very normal as far as training goes.
    • He said he is proud to be a part of this organization as they take a step forward and complimented how well the staff has been using statistical and analytical training throughout the offseason.
    • He expressed how happy he is to have Matthew Boyd back in the rotation, saying he always wanted to be a part of an organization that had veterans that he could lean on and learn from instead of compete against.
  • Eric Haase
    • The Tigers catcher said that there has been a "very clear plan evident from day one" of the hiring of Scott Harris. He also said how much AJ Hinch has kept him in the loop with the hiring and different offseason decision making.
    • Haase said the hirings they have made and staff members they have added are evident for the potential of what this Tigers team can do. Haase said when people are leaving winning programs to come to Detroit, it is a sign of how bought in they are to the system.