Tigers’ Mahtook disputes notion he’s over-built body
Lakeland, Fla. — He is listed at 6-1, 200 pounds; the same as he was the day he was drafted out of LSU in 2011.
But there are those in the Tigers’ organization, general manager Al Avila among them, who wonder if center fielder Mikie Mahtook may have spent a little too much time in the weight room this offseason.
The concern — and it’s not a major stress point, by any means — is that his increased upper-body mass may get in the way of his natural quickness and agility.
Mahtook believes, whole-heartedly, the concern is unfounded.
“I don’t think I’ve lost any athleticism,” he said. “My legs feel great. I still run well. I can jump well. I don’t know where that comes from. I don’t think I’m chunky at all. Mike Trout’s not skinny.
“Everybody’s body is different. Not everybody is going to be 6-3 and skinny.”
Mahtook has gotten off to a slow start at the plate (1 for 16), but he said he doesn’t believe he’s lost bat speed or any fluidity in his swing. That would be the telltale sign for him that he’d gotten too thick.
“Everybody carries weight differently,” he said. “If I felt like I was slowing up, I wouldn’t be heavy. In season, I am sure it’ll come down just because of the grind of the season. But I don’t think I’m too big, at all.”
He has tapered off on the weightlifting portion of his conditioning routine. He’s been in more of a strength-maintenance mode since the start of camp.
“I don’t power lift or anything like that,” he said. “I do things to keep me flexible. I feel great right now.”
The Tigers have listed right-hander Michael Fulmer as the starting pitcher for the game Sunday against the Mets.
Given that he missed his last start with a mild ankle sprain, manager Brad Ausmus was asked if he’d written Fulmer’s name in pencil, not ink.
“No, I’m pretty confident he’s going to be fine,” Ausmus said. “I’ve watched him. There’s no limp in his gait. He was throwing yesterday and he wasn’t favoring anything. So barring a setback, I’d be very surprised if he wasn’t pitching.”
The entire Grapefruit League is off on Wednesday, but here’s the pitching schedule for the rest of the week:
■ Thursday:Anibal Sanchez and Matthew Boyd.
■ Friday:Jordan Zimmermann and Buck Farmer.
■ Saturday:Daniel Norris and Drew VerHagen.
■ Sunday: Fulmer.
Around the horn
Pitching prospect Adam Ravenelle is back on his throwing program after a brief elbow scare.
He experienced numbness in his fingers during his outing Saturday, which can be a function of a pinched nerve in the elbow. Two MRIs showed no structural damage.
“Big sigh of relief,” said Ravenelle, the No. 8-ranked Tigers prospect. He’s dealt with nerve impingement before, and the plan is to treat it now with manipulation therapy.