March 3rd, 2008

Bonderman's changeup

Hate to bring it up again, but that was the story to come out of what was a long, long spring training game. Bonderman said he threw about a half-dozen changeups with some pretty good results. He had Jonny Gomes way out in front of one, fouling it off before he grounded out to third. He threw one that hung up to Jason Bartlett, who lined it for a double, but that was one of two hits Bonderman gave up in three innings.

Bonderman says the difference this spring from all the other ones is that he has the grip and the mechanics pretty much down on his changeup this time. He’s going to throw it with some regularity this spring to figure out when it works best, in what counts. He’d like to progress to where he can throw 15 or so in a regular game. That’s going to require being willing to live with some bad results as he moves it along and sticking with it, maintaining some confidence. We’ll see if it works out this time.

Tigres v. Rays

Is Tampa Bay really 22 games better than they were last year, as some have predicted? I have no idea, but I have to admit, they at least look better in new uniforms. I didn’t like them at all when they came out with them over the winter, but they’re fairly nice in person.

Anyway, here’s the lineup:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Guillen, 1B
  5. Cabrera, 3B
  6. Timo Perez, LF
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Rodriguez, C
  9. Matt Joyce, RF

For the Rays:

  1. Akinori Iwamura, 2B
  2. Carl Crawford, LF
  3. Carlos Pena, 1B
  4. B.J. Upton, CF
  5. Jonny Gomes, DH
  6. Willy Aybar, 3B
  7. Jason Bartlett, SS
  8. Dioner Navarro, C
  9. Justin Ruggiano, RF

In case you were wondering, Leyland said today that he has no plans to catch Inge with any regularity this spring. He’ll start in center field on Wednesday at home against the Phillies when the Tigers have a split-squad game, but as Leyland put it, "I’m not going to force someone to catch who does not want to catch." At this point, the most likely option for the Tigers if Vance Wilson isn’t ready to open the season — and that’s looking more and more possible — is to keep Dane Sardinha on the club.

Sorry for no post from Winter Haven yesterday, by the way, but the wireless internet was a bad situation … kind of like most of that ballpark.

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