Detroit Tigers early spring training observations: Team is hitting for power
Garrett Hill looks rejuvenated
Garrett Hill started the spring training opener against the Phillies, and he looked fantastic. His sinker got all the way up to 97 mph. He struck out two and walked one in two scoreless innings. There are even reports that his sweeping curve has been replaced by a harder split-curve.
If he keeps this up, that would be one heck of a development. He already looked better in the bullpen last season. If he's able to pump 95-97 with his mix of secondary pitches, he could be a very interesting piece in the bullpen.
Bullpen arms are beginning to separate themselves
Again, it's been three games, but we're already beginning to see a few bullpen arms separate themselves from the pack. We already mentioned Hill, but there are a few others.
Let's start with the Rule 5 pick, Mason Englert. He pitched two shutout innings on Saturday, striking out four batters in the process. He doesn't throw very hard, but he has outstanding command and has great offspeed stuff. He hasn't been in any of my Opening Day roster predictions yet simply because I needed to see him for myself (not literally—I am not in Lakeland). If he keeps this up, he's almost a guarentee to win a spot in the bullpen.
Another guy that was impressive was Kervin Castro. He pitched a scoreless inning on Sunday, topping out at 97 mph with his fastball and mixing that in with a nasty curveball. He's a very interesting arm moving forward.
One guy that has already pitched himself out of a roster spot is LHP Jace Fry. He pitched the fifth inning on Sunday, and it was not pretty. He faced seven batters and only recorded one out. He allowed three runs on five hits and also walked a batter. It was nothing but hard contact against him. As of right now, he's certainly on the outside looking in.