February 18th, 2007

Still a little cold outside

The weather finally got the best of the Tigers on Sunday. It wasn’t the cold (the temperatures were actually a little warmer than Saturday) so much as the combination of cold and wind that forced them to throw inside the cages. Jordan Tata said he was tossing the ball with Virgil Vasquez outside in the wind and had trouble getting the ball to him. "I think the wind’s more dangerous than the cold, to be honest with you," Leyland said.

Of course, cold is relative, and by no means are the Tigers trying to relate this to Detroit’s winter weather. But this early in camp, the last thing they want is for somebody to tweak a muscle trying to run after standing around for a while. So they’re playing it safe.

Leyland was hoping to do some situational drills on the field Sunday, but he’ll have to push that back. The warm-up weatherwise supposedly begins Monday.

Other notes from a relatively slow Sunday:

  • Carlos Guillen said he won’t worry about negotiations on a new contract if they drag on into the season. Not surprisingly, he said Detroit is his first choice, but he’s also realistic about the business. "I don’t worry," he said, "because I knew where I started, in Houston (before trades to Seattle and Detroit). You know where you start, but you don’t know where you finish."
  • Interesting observations from Leyland on Omar Infante, who will be getting some outfield work this spring. It took him a while to figure Infante out, he said in the morning, but he likes him a lot. Asked later if he could see Infante as an everyday shortstop next year if the Tigers lose Guillen, Leyland said, "I would say that’s stretching it. I don’t know that, because I haven’t seen him enough. But right now, I would say that would be stretching it."
  • Marcus Thames is in town and is expected to start working right away at first base. Thames told Leyland that he’s been getting the hang of it while working out over the offseason.
  • Leyland said he’ll definitely take 12 pitchers out of camp this spring, leaving 13 spots for position players.
  • Brandon Inge came into camp on Sunday, no longer having to worry about work as an extra catcher, and Leyland said he sees room for Inge to improve on both sides. Defensively, he sounded like somebody who wants his third baseman to try fewer highlight plays. "He’s such a gifted athlete," Leyland said, "but sometimes there’s not a miracle play to be made."