Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch is “taking the kid gloves off” young pitchers

When current Detroit Tigers manager A.J. Hinch took over as manager of a young Houston Astros team who was starting to come out of a long rebuild (sound familiar?) he did so by unleashing the young Astros pitching staff. He did not limit pitches or put inning limits on the staff. Now on the first day of spring training, Hinch said he is going to do the same with young Tigers pitchers.

Just yesterday, Detroit Tigers General Manager, Al Avila said this will be the season that Matt Manning will be pitching in Detroit. Be it out of spring training or at some point early in the season. Manning will join top organization prospects Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal giving the Tigers and the fan base a true look at the future.

DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 29: Rookie pitcher Tarik Skubal #42 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the third inning of game two of a doubleheader at Comerica Park on August 29, 2020, in Detroit, Michigan. Skubal recorded his first major league win in the Tigers 4-2 victory over the Twins. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled for August 28 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to Friday’s postponed game, Robinson will be honored during today’s game. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Back to A.J. Hinch. This would appear on the surface to be a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Meaning, If “taking the kid gloves off” young Tigers pitching prospects worked in Houston then Hinch is hedging a bet it will work again in Detroit.

New Tigers pitching coach Chris Fetter will be charged with overseeing the talented group of young arms. Yet, Fetter will be getting instructions from Hinch. The age old question in baseball is how do you handle young pitchers?

Both Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal, spent time with the Tigers last summer. Both top pitching prospects took the typical rookie pitching lumps. With time under their belts the two enter spring training with a spot in the Tigers starting rotation.

CHICAGO – AUGUST 19: Casey Mize #12 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during his Major League debut against the Chicago White Sox on August 19, 2020 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)

Like the Detroit Tigers veteran pitchers, Mize and Skubal will not be limited. A.J. Hinch feels that the way young pitchers get better is by innings pitched and allowing the pitcher to fall flat on their face when they have a bad outing. That is how pitchers learn.

This is one storyline to keep an eye on during spring training and into the 2021 Detroit Tigers season.

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