Tigers trim 3, but Ausmus says they could be back

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Luke Putkonen works the seventh inning at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla., earlier this month.

Lakeland, Fla. — Gone but possibly not forgotten.

The Tigers on Tuesday sent three pitchers to minor league camp, but as manager Brad Ausmus said, there is a chance at least two of them could work their way to Detroit at some point this season.

Right-hander Luke Putkonen and left-handers Omar Duran and Joe Mantiply were trimmed from the spring training roster.

All three were non-roster invitees.

"You look at last year with all the guys we ended up calling up," Ausmus said. "I certainly would never say there is no chance we'd see Duran or Mantiply — the way things went with our pitchers last year, we saw most of Toledo and parts of Erie."

Duran, whose fastball touched 98 mph, allowed one hit and two walks in three innings. Mantiply worked 2.1 innings and gave up a winning home run to Baltimore.

"Mantiply is extremely well-liked by our minor league people, that was part of the reason we brought him to camp," Ausmus said. "He's a guy, left-handed, he might move fast. So we wanted to get him familiar with the big league atmosphere and get the big league staff familiar with him.

"We think he has a chance to be a good major-league pitcher some day."

Putkonen, who missed much of last season with an arm injury, gave up four hits and three runs in 3.2 innings.