The Tigers have signed right-hander Trey Wingenter to a minor league deal, Evan Petzold of The Detroit Free Press reports. The contract contains an invitation to the Tigers’ big league Spring Training camp.
Wingenter’s MLB resume consists of 70 innings with the Padres in 2018-19, and the hard-throwing righty delivered an impressive 33.1% strikeout rate but only a 5.14 ERA. Lack of command was Wingenter’s biggest issue, as his 13% walk rate continued the control problems that popped up during his time in San Diego’s farm system.
Still, Wingenter’s promise as a flame-throwing relief weapon has been put on hold by injuries, as he has almost literally not pitched over the last three years. Wingenter underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2020, and made it back in 2021 for only three innings of rehab work with the Padres’ rookie league affiliate. San Diego non-tendered Wingenter last winter and he caught on with the Reds on a minors contract, but he missed another season due to elbow and back problems.
The 28-year-old finally got back onto the mound for 5 1/3 innings of work in the Dominican Winter League this offseason, posting a 1.69 ERA and six strikeouts (but also six walks) over that small sample size. It was enough to earn Wingenter a look in Detroit’s spring camp, and there’s no risk for the Tigers in taking a flier on a potential power bullpen arm if Wingenter is able to stay healthy.