LAKELAND, FL — While pitchers and catchers have been in Lakeland for a few days, Monday marked the first full team workout for the Tigers in Spring Training and with it came new manager A.J. Hinch's first hands on day with his new squad.
"We had a bunch of fields going, guys flying all over the place, the intensity was really good," Hinch said about day one. "I think it is important that we get all these firsts out of the way for me and the players and really just get to work. Stop talking about it and get to the baseball."
"He talked to us, he's a guy who likes to communicate with the players," Tigers 3rd baseman Jeimer Candelario said about his new skipper. "I feel really excited for me for the team and for AJ Hinch and the staff."
The Tigers have struggled in recent years and the roster is made up of many young players so this camp was going to be important, throw in a new coaching staff and the next five weeks are paramount.
"I am really proud of this group's attention to detail, about how they are sponges right now," Hinch said. "They are kind of feeling me and my staff out, we are feeling them out but the work on the field has been good so far."
One key to success should be how the young players mesh with the older players that were brought in this offseason like eight year veteran outfielder Robbie Grossman.
"Once you look at the roster and the guys Al (Avila) and A.J. have brought in, it makes us more competitive," Grossman said. "We want competition in camp and we want to bring out the best in everyone and I'm here to compete too. I couldn't ask for more as a player, someone in my position than to have a competitive camp and guys want to go out there and do their best."
The team will play its first spring training game on Sunday against the Phillies.