Detroit Tigers right-handed relief pitcher Drew VerHagen will work as a starter in spring training, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com.
After being drafted by the Tigers in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB Draft. VerHagen joined the major league roster in 2014. He started one game for the Tigers in the 2014 season, but that was the only game he participated in that year. In the 2015 and 2016 season, VerHagen pitched in 39 games, but did not make any starts. He has posted a 4.29 ERA with 24 earned runs allowed on 51 hits and 24 walks in 40 career appearances.
The 26-year-old underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome last August, so he will likely start the season with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens.
Detroit has Justin Verlander, Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd, Mike Pelfrey, and Anibal Sanchez as potential members of the five-man rotation. With seven candidates to start, VerHagen will either wait for his moment in Triple-A as a spot-starter, or perform as a middle reliever.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said that the first pitchers and catchers workout was "real crisp" and "guys were taking it serious."
If VerHagen starts in the bullpen, he will join Victor Alcantara, Chad Bell, Buck Farmer, Daniel Stumpf, Justin Wilson, Blaine Hardy, Kyle Ryan, Alex Wilson, Mark Lowe, Bruce Rondon, and Francisco Rodriguez.null