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Michael Fulmer out 'to prove he can do this again' as Tigers open camp

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Detroit — The sounds of summer are back at Comerica Park, just a little later than normal.

The Tigers returned Friday morning to Comerica Park for the first day of Summer Camp, a long-awaited extension of their Lakeland spring training, which was ended abruptly in late March because of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pitchers and catchers worked out on the field in staggered groups to ensure physical distancing and got loose in the next stage of ramping up for the 60-game regular season, which begins July 23-24.

Miguel Cabrera

Michael Fulmer, who hasn’t pitched since 2018 but was cleared for full activity after recovering from Tommy John surgery, threw pitches off the main mound, and some of the young pitching prospects, including Matt Manning, got some work in as well.

"There's a desire there, not matched by too many guys in this camp, to prove he can do this again," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said of Fulmer after Friday's workout.

It’s a new beginning for baseball and for the Tigers in the pandemic era, with plenty of regulations and guidelines in the wake of the virus.

It’s a new normal.

“How weird was it out there today? It was pretty weird. I think it's even more weird in the clubhouse, where we are wearing masks,” Fulmer said via teleconference. “Everybody's got their little camouflage sack of baseballs that we use, and make sure that we're staying six feet apart.

More: Miguel Cabrera's bat, Michael Fulmer's arm among 10 storylines to follow in Tigers camp 2.0

More: Behind the scenes: How Juan Gonzalez might have shaped Tigers' 2006 World Series run

“There are X’s in the dugout where we can and can’t stand. You have to come down to the field one way and back off the field another way, so it’s going to definitely take some getting used to, but as long as we’re playing baseball, I can follow about anything.”

Along with the pitchers and catchers, some of the position players made cameo appearances in the batting cage, including Miguel Cabrera, who looked slimmed down and ready to continue the groove he was in during the spring training in Lakeland.

Come back to detroitnews.com today for full coverage from the Tigers' first workout.

Rod.Beard@detroitnews.com

Twitter @detnewsRodBeard