Winter caravan notes: Lyon, Rogers, Larish

By now, you probably already know that the Tigers are close to a deal with Brandon Lyon. I would anticipate an agreement to come out at some point on Friday. By now, I think the closer topic has been discussed pretty thoroughly, so you can discuss as you please. As for other notes from the caravan …

  • Still wondering what Kenny Rogers is going to do? So is manager Jim Leyland. He said at the media luncheon Thursday that he received a very nice voicemail from Kenny recently, thanking him and saying how much he enjoyed his time here. However, the message left no answer as to whether he plans to continue playing. “It was a great [message],” Leyland said. “I don’t know what he’s doing.”
  • If you’re wondering whether the Tigers will allow one of their relief prospects from last year’s draft to make the jump to the big leagues out of camp, the answer is yes. Leyland said he has received assurances from Dave Dombrowski that he could if he wants. “If you run into another Verlander or Zumaya, he’s on the team,” Leyland said.
  • I mentioned this is one of the stories tonight about Leyland not wanting to tinker, but Leyland said that Jeff Larish will be battling for the last spot on the roster. That would seemingly suggest that the Tigers will decide whether to keep a corner infielder/left-handed bat or a fifth outfielder.
  • For someone who barely spends any time in the winter weather, Carlos Guillen keeps a very stylish, very expensive winter coat.

4 Comments

//For someone who barely spends any time in the winter weather, Carlos Guillen keeps a very stylish, very expensive winter coat.//

Is it the same one he had in ’07? I think that one had about a gazillion random zippers that probably didn’t do anything practical. It was amazing.

I’d love to see a picture of the coat – one of my favorite Tiger boys!
Is there some deadline for when guys have to decide if they are playing or retiring? I love Kenny, but he should be up front with his bosses and let them make their plans, April will be here before we know it.

As far as Kenny goes, in my personal opinion, that sounds like a guy who is retiring. But to answer your question, Tiger Girl, I think that they can decide to come back anytime in the first 3 or 4 months of the season as long as they are in shape and obviously someone is willing to sign them. ALA Roger Clemens of 2007 who came back in the middle of June or so. But like I said that kinda sounded like a guy who wasn’t really coming back.

Hey Guys,
.
I saw Rich’s positive comments earlier and I’m here to echo them a bit. Spring’s approaching and my hope still spring’s eternal. Here’s what I’m excited about:
– This is largely the same lineup that we thought could be the greatest ever just 12 months ago. We’ve swapped Everett for Renteria (small downgrade) and Laird for Pudge (even swap). To be fair, the guys are a bit older but I see no reason to think that, with health, this could still be a great lineup.
– When you have Miguel Cabrera on your team, things are good. Think about the 2003 roster. We’re six years removed from that roster and we have one of the top bats in the league. We should pinch ourselves every time he hits a home run this year.
– Our pitching has to get better. Rich is right: Verlander, Bonderman, Willis… these guys have great arms. If they can stay healthy and throw strikes…. wow. Gallaraga proved to be solid last year, Nate’s got some potential, Miner could be very good this year, Jackson has a huge upside. Man– we seriously could have a good/bordering on great pitching staff. Sure there are lots of question marks but probably just as much potential.
– The bullpen should be better. Lyons is likely to post similar numbers to Jones from two years ago. Rodney should be better. If Zumaya’s healthy, here’s how the ‘pen shakes out: Lyons (closer), Rodney and Zumaya (set-up), Seay (lefty), Two of the following starters for long relief (Robertson/Willis/Miner/Jackson), and likely one more arm. Perhaps a lefty or perhaps a ressurected Rincon or Williamson. That’s not too shabby. Dolsi gets to develop in the minors. That obviously means that Bloom is going back to Pittsburgh and McBride is exposed to waivers. Rapada will be in the minors waiting to fill-in for Seay if he’s hurt or struggles.
– As we’ve all noted, our defense should be much better. There is some concern at the corner outfield positions but Maggs, while not looking pretty, isn’t as bad as advertised. Guillen could be good… time will tell.
– We still have Marcus Thames. If/when Sheffield gets hurt, we can hope that Marcus has another homer barrage in him.
.
To be fair, there are some concerns with the team:
– We can’t seem to beat the teams in our own division– especially the White Sox and Royals. That has to change.
– The aforementioned “ifs” in the pitching
– As with any aging team, there’s a concern about staying healthy.
– the bottom three in our lineup is Everett, Laird, and Inge. Not exactly a modern day murderer’s row.
Despite these ifs– and many others I haven’t listed– I chose on this Friday to remain optimistic as I think, top to bottom, we’re as good as any team in our division and have the potential to be quite good this year.
.
Have a good one guys.
.
Brent

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