September 2nd, 2008

Verdict on simulated game

The final verdict on the simulated game from the Tigers staff was generally positive. Willis started out tentative, Jim Leyland said, but looked more confident as the outing went on. His delivery, Leyland said, was “much more controlled.” His velocity supposedly topped out around 94 mph while hitting regularly at 91.

“I was impressed,” Leyland said. “He threw two or three of the better sliders I saw from him this year.”

Willis threw 72 pitches in his 4-5 innings, according to Leyland, while Garcia threw 52-55. His fastball was in the mid-80s, about the same to slightly down from his velocity at Toledo last week.

“Freddy was exactly what I expected,” Leyland said, “and ahead of schedule.”

The plan for now calls for Garcia to make another simulated outing, probably next Monday when the Tigers return home, before Leyland and club officials decide what to do from there. The fact that he’s still pitching here, rather than heading to instructional ball, is a positive sign about his chances of pitching in a game this year, though Leyland said they wanted to get him back in a clubhouse and let him get a feel for what the Tigers are about before he hits free agency at season’s end.

TIGERS (66-71)

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Sheffield, DH
  6. Thames, RF
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Inge, C
  9. Raburn, 3B

ANGELS (83-53)

  1. Chone Figgins, 3B
  2. Garret Anderson, DH
  3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
  4. Vladimir Guerrero, RF
  5. Torii Hunter, CF
  6. Juan Rivera, LF
  7. Mike Napoli, C
  8. Brandon Wood, SS
  9. Sean Rodriguez, 2B

Simulated game, simulated results

Freddy Garcia and Dontrelle Willis just finished up their simulated game minutes ago. Both threw about 3-4 innings, it seemed. Willis looked like he had the same type leg movement, maybe not so outstretched when he delivers, and maybe not as much twists. He seemed to change speeds a lot. Garcia was throwing just about everything but the kitchen sink, had guys out in front. We’ll see how players react when the clubhouse opens in a few minutes.