LAKELAND, Fla. -- Though many Tigers pitchers have already been here for several days in preparation for Spring Training, former first-round pick Kyle Sleeth probably owns the title for the longest stay. He's been working out here since last Spring Training.
Last year was a lost season for Sleeth, who underwent elbow surgery last June, but the work seems to be paying off. He said on Wednesday that he's been ahead of schedule in his rehab and has been throwing fastballs and changeups in bullpen sessions.
The 24-year-old right-hander hopes to be ready to pitch in time for the opening of the Minor League seasons, though that's not an official prognosis.
The Tigers are being understandably cautious in their handling of Sleeth, the third overall selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. New pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, for one, has experience with the road back. He underwent similar surgery when he was a player.
Sleeth's only Minor League experience came in 2004, when he combined to go 8-8 with a 5.23 ERA in 23 starts for Class A Advanced Lakeland and Double-A Erie.
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Last edited by Dannomyte on Thu Feb 15, 2007 6:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.