Happy reporting day, whatever that's worth

Reporting day has come and gone with very little fanfare. Guys who have been here for days come in to work out. A couple guys walk in to drop off their stuff. Jim Leyland and the coaches report in for afternoon meetings. Other than that, the big day is largely symbolic. The quote of the day on that one came from Jordan Tata:

"They’re not all pulling up in a big bus," Tata said.

Leyland did, however, talk for a few minutes after he came in. Among the topics:

  • He hasn’t thought about the Opening Day starter, but his initial guess would be that Justin Verlander would be the guy. No surprise there.
  • Whatever the rotation order, he expects to slot Kenny Rogers in between Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman with the other two left-handers (Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson) working back-to-back.
  • Other than deciding whether Gary Sheffield or Miguel Cabrera hit third or fifth, the lineup is pretty simple.
  • Brandon Inge will probably work at every position in camp except first base (and pitcher). However, they’re still working on trading him, and Leyland called that a "strong possibility."
  • Expect a lot of talk in the coming days about Leyland wanting his players to beware of expectations. He wants to set the tone that they’re here to work, that there are no shortcuts, and that they can’t spend spring training thinking about what a great team they have.

The only other news of note came from Gary Sheffield, who is swinging the bat now and has "no doubt" he’ll be ready for opening day, and most likely the start of spring training games in less than two weeks. (Games are that close? Wow.) The only constriction for him right now is throwing, and that’s by design. He wants to ease his way in as far as throwing, and though he thinks he could make a throw from the outfield if he had to, he’s only throwing from about 60 feet for now.

5 Comments

I can’t wait for the season to get started. Good news about Sheffield, that is a real relief. We just have to hope that the team can stay relatively healthy this year. What a disappointment last year was.

Lots of great teams playing in Detroit right now. We have the Wings, Pistons and hopefully the Tigers will live up to their potential.

GO TIGERS

Reporting day makes me think of those scenes in “Major League” when they all showed up. “Dorn? I thought we didn’t have any high priced talent.” “Dorn’s just high priced.”

I’d been meaning to ask about Sheffield the past few days, as we hadn’t heard anything. Good news there. He played just enough outfield last season to get injured, so no rush on that one, Sheff.

Great to have baseball going on down there. Three more weeks and I’ll be there myself.

–Rich

I obviously have to agree GK & Rich. This is very exciting. I actually got chills yesterday when I watched that little clip with 07′ highlights from the season.

Definitely good news about Sheff.

You also get the feeling from JL’s comments that Inge will be gone by the start of the season. As I have said many times, he was always My Tigers, but would love to see Raburn make the roster out of camp – he has definitely earned it. Although, if Wilson stays on the DL (Jason – did Wilson report as well?) and Inge isn’t traded, both will be on the bench, along with Thames & Santiago.

In any event, I am excited and wish I could make the trip to see them.

Defense. Should be very good this year. Perhaps not as strong on the corners but Renteria will really solidify the SS position. Carlos was at times excellent and at times very shaky. no question his range had been diminished by the wear and tear on his knees. I think he will be quite good at 1B. Perhaps even excellent. If Cabrera can handle the routine plays at 3B and not throw anything into right center field like Inge did on hurry up plays-then we can live with the loss of range there.

Another plus—Dontrelle Willis. He is an extremely good fielder and will help out off the mound enough to impact any game he pitches.

Astros could use Brandon—Inge for Valverde?

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