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Jun 27, 2024 4:01 am

With trade talk swirling, Tigers’ Jack Flaherty opposes Angels

Jack Flaherty

Detroit’s Jack Flaherty will be on the mound facing the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif., but he will be pitching for more than just the Tigers.

Flaherty (5-4, 2.92 ERA) also will be pitching for the major league scouts who are sure to be watching, the 28-year-old right-hander having become a target of playoff-contending teams looking to add pitching.

The Tigers are not out of playoff contention themselves — they are six games off of the third wild-card spot in the American League. However, the trade deadline is just over month away, so Detroit soon will have to determine if it is a buyer or a seller.

Flaherty is on a one-year, $14 million contract, making him a free agent at the end of the season, so interested teams would not be taking on additional salary beyond this year.

Flaherty’s recent work makes him that much more attractive. After going winless in his first eight starts of the season, he is 5-1 with a 1.56 ERA, 45 strikeouts and seven walks in 34 2/3 innings over his past six starts.

The stretch of success was foreseen by Tigers manager A.J. Hinch, who spoke with Flaherty in Las Vegas during the offseason in the hopes of convincing him to sign with Detroit.

“Early on in our relationship with Jack in our organization, he was an open book,” Hinch said. “Asked a lot of questions. Wanted a lot of feedback. Could be coached hard. And could be challenged. I think for him, a bunch of subtle adjustments have led to a giant leap forward from where he was last year.

“None of it is a surprise. It’s something that he and I talked about when I first met him in Vegas, how willing he was to make a bunch of little changes to make a bunch of progress.”

Flaherty took an ugly loss in his only career appearance against the Angels. He gave up 10 runs on nine hits and one walk in 2 1/3 innings on May 4, 2023, while pitching for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Davis Daniel will be called up from Triple-A Salt Lake to make the Thursday start for the Angels.

Daniel, who is 5-4 with a 5.33 ERA in 14 starts for the Bees this year, said he benefitted from his stint with the Angels last season, when he went 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA in three relief appearances.

“Figuring out that your stuff can play at that level is a huge confidence booster,” the 27-year-old right-hander said. “I had some success while I was up there. Being able to take that confidence — knowing they are still hitters and hitting is a hard game — (is important). If you can be in the zone with good stuff, you’ll have success.”

Detroit is coming off a 6-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, a contest that completed the Tigers’ 3-3 homestand.

The Angels beat the visiting Oakland A’s 5-2 on Wednesday to cap a three-game sweep.

–Field Level Media

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