Tigers pitchers enjoy Vizquel's new fielding drill

Tigers pitchers enjoy Vizquel's new fielding drill

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Not much changed in the Tigers' workout routine from Friday to Saturday, other than the weather. The on-field drills were pretty much the same, including the rag ball drill that has been drawing raves from pitchers.

The drill features new infield coach Omar Vizquel slapping hard-hit comebackers to pitchers to get them used to reacting quickly. The drill uses a softer material than baseballs so that the Tigers don't lose half their staff to bruises if they have slow reactions.

"They seemed to have fun," manager Brad Ausmus said. "Might try to make a little game out of it, friendly competition. Gotta work out the details on that."

One pitcher who has missed out on it is Justin Verlander, whose rehab from core muscle surgery has sidelined him from most on-field drills other than pitching. He's hoping that changes in the next couple days, especially that drill.

"I just don't want to take one in the groin," he said half-jokingly.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.