Meet the 2021 Toledo Mud Hens opening day players

Amanda Levine, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio
·7 min read

May 3—Blade sports writer Amanda Levine breaks down the 2021 Toledo Mud Hens roster ahead of opening day May 4 against the Nashville Sounds at Fifth Third Field.

MATT MANNING

—Position: Starting pitcher (right)

—Age: 23

—Acquired: First-round pick (No. 9 overall) in 2016

—What to know: MLB's No. 21 and Detroit's No. 3 prospect, Manning will make his Triple-A debut this summer. In 2019, he was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Year after an 11-5 record and a 2.56 earned-run average.

DREW HUTCHINSON

—Position: Starting pitcher (right)

—Age: 30

—Acquired: Signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers in February

—What to know: Hutchinson last pitched in the majors for the 2018 Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies. In 2020, he pitched for an independent league and finished with a 4.09 ERA over 22 innings.

WILY PERALTA

—Position: Starting pitcher (right)

—Age: 31

—Acquired: Signed with Detroit as a free agent in February

—What to know: Peralta spent eight seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals. In 2019, he recorded two saves with a 5.80 ERA and struck out 24 opposing batters.

ERASMO RAMIREZ

—Position: Starting pitcher (right)

—Age: 30

—Acquired: Signed as a free agent in January

—What to know: Ramirez played nine years in the majors with the Mariners, Rays, Mets, and Red Sox. In 2020 with New York, he allowed one run over 14 1/3 innings. At the Tigers spring training, he allowed one run on a home run over 13 1/3 innings.

LOGAN SHORE

—Position: Starting pitcher (right)

—Age: 26

—Acquired: Traded to Detroit from Oakland in 2018 as a part of the Mike Fiers deal.

—What to know: Shore pitched to a 3.43 ERA over 97 innings for Double- A Erie. He was drafted out of the University of Florida, where he was the 2016 SEC Pitcher of the Year.

RONY GARCIA

—Position: Starting pitcher (right)

—Age: 23

—Acquired: Selected by Detroit in 2019 Rule 5 draft.

—What to know: Garcia made his major league debut with the Tigers in the 2020 abbreviated season. Last year, he was prone to the long ball, allowing seven home runs over 21 innings.

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NOLAN BLACKWOOD

—Position: Relief pitcher (right)

—Age: 26

—Acquired: Traded to Detroit from Oakland in 2018 as a part of the Mike Fiers deal.

—What to know: Blackwood was at Toledo's alternate site for the 2020 season. In 2019, he recorded four saves (out of six opportunities) for Double-A Erie.

BEAU BURROWS

—Position: Relief pitcher (right)

—Age: 24

—Acquired: Selected in the first round (No. 22) of the 2015 draft

—What to know: The right-handed pitcher is one of Detroit's top 30 prospects. In 2017, Burrows was named to the Futures Game roster, an all-star game of MLB's top prospects.

DREW CARLTON

—Position: Relief pitcher (right)

—Age: 25

—Acquired: Selected in the 32nd round of the 2017 draft

—What to know: Across three minor league seasons, Carlton has spent most of his time as a closer. In 2019, he recorded 19 saves out of 20 chances for Double-A Erie.

JASON FOLEY

—Position: Relief pitcher (right)

—Age: 25

—Acquired: Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2016

—What to know: Detroit's 30th best prospect, Foley has a career 3.29 ERA over 87 2/3 innings. He spent last summer at the Tigers alternate site.

KYLE FUNKHOUSER

—Position: Relief pitcher (right)

—Age: 27

—Acquired: Selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft

—What to know: Funkhouser made his major league debut last season with Detroit. In 13 appearances he allowed 14 runs.

JOE JIMENEZ

—Position: Relief pitcher (right)

—Age: 26

—Acquired: Signed as an amateur free agent in 2013.

—What to know: A one-time MLB all-star, Jimenez was the Tigers closer before his struggles last season. He made one appearance in Detroit this season.

MIGUEL DEL POZO

—Position: Relief pitcher (left)

—Age: 28

—Acquired: Signed as a free agent in January

—What to know: Del Pozo played in the Dominican Winter League during the offseason. In the winter league, he gave up one run over six innings.

IAN KROL

—Position: Relief pitcher (left)

—Age: 29

—Acquired: Signed as a free agent in December 2020

—What to know: Krol spent the 2019 season with two Triple- A teams: Louisville Bats and Rochester Red Wings. He allowed 13 runs over 20 2/3 innings.

ROBBIE ROSS

—Position: Relief pitcher (left)

—Age: 31

—Acquired: Signed as a free agent in January

—What to know: Ross last reached the majors in 2017 with the Boston Red Sox. Since then, he's played for Triple-A Charlotte and two independent league teams.

LOCKE ST. JOHN

—Position: Relief pitcher

—Age: 28

—Acquired: Signed as a free agent in January

—What to know: Detroit drafted St. John, before the Rangers claimed him the 2017 Rule 5 Draft. In 2019, he made his major league debut with Texas.

JAKE ROGERS

—Position: Catcher

—Age: 26

—Acquired: Traded by Houston to Detroit in 2017 as part of Justin Verlander deal.

—What to know: Rogers was a Johnny Bench Awawrd finalist when he was at Tulane. He's the Tigers No. 14 prospect and played mostly with Toledo in 2019.

DUSTIN GARNEAU

—Position: Catcher

—Age: 33

—Acquired: Signed with Detroit as a free agent in December

—What to know: Garneau spent six seasons at the major league level with five teams. Three of those seasons were with the Colorado Rockies.

ERIC HAASE

—Position: Catcher

—Age: 28

—Acquired: Traded by Cleveland to Detroit in 2020 for cash

—What to know: A Detroit native, Haase played parts of three years with Cleveland. He made his major league debut in 2018 and played in nine games.

RENATO NUNEZ

—Position: Infield

—Age: 27

—Acquired: Signed as a free agent in February

—What to know: Nunez has already played seven games for the Tigers this season. His four hits were all for extra bases: two doubles and two home runs.

KODY CLEMENS

—Position: Infield

—Age: 24

—Acquired: Selected in the third round of the 2018 draft

—What to know: Detroit's No. 16 prospect and son of former major leaguer Roger, Clemens won 2018 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year award as a junior.

ZACK SHORT

—Position: Infield

—Age: 25

—Acquired: Traded by the Chicago Cubs to Detroit in 2020 for Cameron Maybin

—What to know: Short climbed through the Cubs farm system, before he was traded to Detroit. He's the organization's No. 24 prospect and was a teammate of Foley's in college.

ISAAC PAREDES

—Position: Infield

—Age: 22

—Acquired: Traded by the Cubs to Detroit in 2017 as part of the deal for Alex Avila and Justin Wilson.

—What to know: Paredes made his major league debut last season. The Tigers' No. 4 prospect hit .220 with six RBIs in 2020.

BRADY POLICELLI

—Position: Infield

—Age: 25

—Acquired: Selected in the 13th round of the 2016 draft

—What to know: Policelli reached as high as High-A in 2019. He's listed as an infielder, but played some time behind the plate in college and also has experience in the outfield.

ADERLIN RODRIGUEZ

—Position: Infield

—Age: 29

—Acquired: Signed a minor-league contract in January

—What to know: Rodriguez has played 11 years in the minors and is in pursuit of his major league debut. He last played in the minors for the El Paso Chihuahuas, a Triple- A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

DANIEL PINERO

—Position: Infield

—Age: 26

—Acquired: Selected in the ninth round of the 2016 draft

—What to know: Pinero was drafted a total of three times, twice by the Tigers. He spent the 2019 season with Double-A Erie and has played all infield positions.

CHRISTIN STEWART

—Position: Outfield

—Age: 27

—Acquired: Selected in the first round (No. 34) of the 2015 draft

—What to know: A former top prospect for Detroit, Stewart had three home runs for the 2020 Tigers. He last appeared in Toledo in 2019, batting .289 across 22 games.

DEREK HILL

—Position: Outfield

—Age: 25

—Acquired: Selected in the first round (No. 23) of the 2014 draft

—What to know: Hill played in 15 games for the Tigers last season after only playing as high as Double-A. He had one hit with Detroit and scored three runs.

DAZ CAMERON

—Position: Outfield

—Age: 24

—Acquired: Traded by Houston to Detroit in 2017 as part of Justin Verlander deal

—What to know: Cameron, son of former major leaguer Mike, made his Tigers debut last summer. In 2020, he had three extra-base hits in 59 plate appearances.