VerHagen blew a Tigers lead in Tuesday's 2-2 tie with the Yankees in Grapefruit League play. He yielded two runs on two hits and a walk over 1.1 innings while striking out three batters in the outing.

VerHagen's box-score line obscures how dominant he was in the seventh inning, when he struck out the Yankees' new Murderers' Row of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez in succession. The right-hander wasn't able to carry that momentum into the eighth inning and retired just one of the four batters he faced in the frame, but his showing earlier in the contest is a prime example of why the Tigers are earmarking him for a prominent setup role this season. Given the control issues closer Shane Greene has exhibited throughout his career, it's not difficult to see him losing the ninth-inning gig at some point and opening the door for VerHagen or another hard-throwing reliever to step in.

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