Stohr Delivers Healthy Returns For Tigers





LAKELAND, Fla.—For Tigers righthander Tyler Stohr, spring training this season is far different from a year ago.

Last spring Stohr was trying to prove he could bounce back from the Tommy John surgery that had derailed him in 2010.

Fast forward to this spring: Stohr now is on the 40-man roster, and the sixth-round pick in the 2008 draft out of North Florida is viewed as a potential relief option in Detroit, perhaps as soon as this summer.

 "I threw in the first game in minor league camp last year, and that was the first competition I'd faced since April of the year before," Stohr said. "I went out there not knowing the first hitters I was facing, not really knowing how I'm going to feel, and the velocity was there.

"That was the big step. My arm felt good, my velocity was there, so I kind of felt like I was back."

One key to his return was proving that he was healthy, and he did that by posting a 3.45 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 31 innings for high Class A Lakeland. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder was promoted to Double-A Erie in July but struggled before getting a tip from teammate Luis Marte.

"I went up (to Marte) and said, 'Dude, how do you throw your slider? I've got to change something because it just doesn't feel right when I'm throwing it,' " Stohr said. "And he gave me some pointers for a new grip, and I went out and threw it that night and it was back."

Aside from one rough outing, Stohr finished strong with Erie. He allowed just 10 hits and three runs in his last 17 innings with the SeaWolves, striking out 18 and walking six.

"(I'm learning) how (major leaguers) go about their business and the way things are up here as opposed to minor league camp," he said. "I learn more from sitting back and watching and keeping my mouth shut than going out and doing my own thing."

TIGER TALES

• Righthander Brandon Hamilton, a supplemental first-round pick of the Tigers in 2007, has returned to the organization. Hamilton, 23, did not pitch for the past two seasons while dealing with personal issues.

• Righthander Jordan Pratt, a 16th-round pick of the Tigers in 2010 out of Arkansas, retired. Pratt was hit by a line drive while pitching for Lakeland last season.