Detroit Tigers choice pitcher Joe Jimenez to Triple-A Toledo

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LAKELAND, Fla. – Former Detroit Tigers closer Joe Jimenez Triple-A Toledo was selected as an option, the team announced on Saturday.

Because the Tigers then had to remove a player from the bullpen Adding the left Derek HollandWith the elimination of Jimenez, the pitching team will be completed on opening day 2021 with five starters and eight reliefs. Jimenez will start the season at the alternative training location at Fifth Third Field in Toledo before the Triple A games begin in May.

“He handled it very professionally, but he was obviously unhappy,” said Hinch on Saturday. “In the short term, it is a blow in the stomach not to get our team out of spring training. In the long term, we have to make him a lever helper again when it comes to how he attacks the strike zone and how he attacks thugs.”

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Hinch started his starting rotation on Friday: Matthew Boyd, Julio Teheran, Tarik Skubal, Jose Urena and Casey Mize. Now the bullpen is locked up: Gregory Soto, Buck Farmer, Bryan Garcia, Jose Cisnero, Daniel Norris, Derek Holland, Tyler Alexander and Michael Fulmer.

Soto, Norris, Holland and Alexander are left-handed.

“We want to cover every scenario, long, short and somewhere in between,” said Hinch. “This is a very versatile bullpen. We have some people who can do a lot of different things. It will become a relatively normal setup when the guys serve, but the competition continues.

“The fact that I can really go to every man and probably to Tyler Alexander the most and to assault them with a different responsibility every day is a great luxury. I think we have what it takes to be a very unique bullpen but also very productive. “

A place on the 40-man squad still has to be cleared for Holland, who came to the camp as a non-squad invitee. Right-hander Spencer Turnbull should also return to the starters after him returns from the list of non-baseball injuries (COVID-19).

[ Joe Jimenez has a plan to return as Tigers’ closer: ‘Whatever they want me to do’ ]

American League pitcher Joe Jimenez of the Detroit Tigers plays in the fourth inning of the MLB All Star Game at Nationals Ballpark on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC

The Tigers avoided an arbitration hearing with Jimenez this winter, bringing him back on a $ 1.5 million contract for the 2021 season. During spring training, the 26-year-old posted a 5.06 ERA with three walks and six spikes in 5⅓ innings over six outings.

“He’s a big league pitcher who got caught between pitching and approaching thugs,” said Hinch. “Ultimately, he was inconsistent in getting his outs … To make him a leverage reliever again, he’ll need more time to improve his approach.”

Last season, his fourth year with the majors, Jimenez finished the ERA at 7.15. He started the season as nearer but was removed from the role in favor of Garcia. He logged 22 strikeouts and only went six batters, but he dumped 25 hits, 18 earned runs, and seven homers in his 22⅔ innings in 25 games.

Jimenez received an all-star game offer in 2018. That year he had an ERA of 4.31, 78 strikeouts and 22 walks in 62⅔ innings. Two years ago he finished with a 4.37 ERA, 82 strikers and 23 walks through 59⅔ innings.

He made his MLB debut in 2017.

Before leaving the team’s spring training facility, Jimenez entered the Joker Marchant Stadium and sprinted from the left field foul bar to the right field foul bar.

“I love the person,” said Hinch. “He will work tirelessly. I have no doubt about it.”

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