Lakeland, Fla. — Building a pitch-count will not be an issue for Matthew Boyd entering the 2019 season.
In what might be his last Grapefruit League start Tuesday, Boyd threw 92 pitches in 4.2 innings against the Pirates in a 3-1 loss in Bradenton.
Boyd allowed two earned runs (three total) and seven hits. He also struck out seven.
Boyd's next turn would come Sunday, but that would be against the Blue Jays. The Tigers open the regular season in Toronto and Boyd could well be the team's No. 2 starter.
So, most likely, Boyd's final appearance of the spring will come on the back fields, against minor-league hitters.
The game in Bradenton also featured the return of right-hander Drew VerHagen. After being shut down for nearly two weeks with nerve inflammation in his shoulder, VerHagen pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two of the four batters he faced.
Left-handed reliever Daniel Stumpf made a four-out appearance. He struck out three.
Outfield prospect Cam Gibson made his second straight start, and for the second straight game, he made a diving catch. This one in right field. He also threw a runner out at the plate.
More roster cuts
Well, Ryan Carpenter couldn't have done much more in his bid to make the Tigers opening day roster this spring.
The left-handed starting pitcher worked 11 scoreless innings and allowed just four hits. Alas, he always was destined to start the season at Triple-A Toledo.
Carpenter was one of four players sent to minor-league camp Tuesday. While he was optioned to Toledo, non-roster veterans catcher Hector Sanchez and infielders Pete Kozma and Harold Castro were reassigned to minor-league camp.
All three, if they stay in the organization, are expected to start the year with the Mud Hens.
There are 32 players left in camp.