Tigers manager AJ Hinch stressing bullpen versatility this season

AJ Hinch Spring Training
Posted at 6:57 AM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 06:57:15-05

(WXYZ) -- Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch is emphasizing versatility in his bullpen this season, whether the team uses a five-man or six-man starting rotation.

"I've let these guys know in individual meetings and also over the offseason that multiple-inning relievers will be huge for us," Hinch said Thursday. "Whether you have a five-man or six-man rotation, you're going to need length."

Hinch joked that 'versatility' would become his "middle name" because he's talked about it so much already.

"I like having options in ways to win games," said Hinch. "If you get too rigid with how you use your bullpen in these one-inning stints, it can really impact you."

Tigers GM Al Avila first said earlier this week that the team was considering a six-man rotation. Hinch said Thursday the rotation - including the number of starters - is still being determined.

"The younger that our rotation is, the more that we are going to have to look at that extra reliever, that eight-man bullpen anyway, which could impact the position player group" said Hinch. "But I think early in the season, we have some off days, you can kind of plan for inclement weather, so it's going to change throughout the course of an entire season."