Friday's caravan notes: Dombrowski, Knapp, Everett

There wasn’t really much media time for the Tigers on the second and final day of their winter caravan, certainly on their local bus. However, there were a few tidbits that came out of some of the events, including the stop at the Henry Ford.

  • Dave Dombrowski acknowledged the idea that the Tigers haven’t been in the conversation among the AL Central contenders. He kind of likes that. “I think that’s good if people look past us. I think it’s a mistake. And in some ways, I hope they do, because you can sneak up on people.”
  • Dombrowski on the makeup of last year’s lineup compared to what they have now: “We almost had an All-Star at every position. … And it’s apparent it didn’t work. Sometimes you have to change the mix.”
  • The longer the caravan rolls on, the stronger pitching coach Rick Knapp’s comments seemingly become about pounding the strike zone. He gave the pitching staff a vote of confidence Friday, but he also emphasized the point that a repeat of last year’s control woes can’t happen. “There’s no reason for us to lead the league in walks. There’s absolutely no reason for that. We want to come out and set a precedent. But with the stuff our pitchers have, there’s absolutely no reason to lead the league in walks.”
  • If there’s a question and answer session at a Tigers stop, it’s a safe bet the question will come up of who made the biggest impact on a player’s career growing up. Most players say their parents. Adam Everett gives a nod to Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter, who happens to be a family friend. He was also a mentor and instructor for Everett growing up.
  • Given the news on Freddy Garcia’s deal with the Mets, it’s worth noting that the Tigers had minimal contact with Garcia’s agent on a deal as the offseason wore on. The club seemed to decide early on that it would at least pursue different options.
  • Former Tigers minor league reliever Ian Ostlund will be part of spring training with the Cardinals. He signed a minor league contract with St. Louis early in the offseason.
  • I booked my flight for spring training today. That’s neither here nor there — well, it’s out of the weather here and down to some warm sunshine there. But given the winter we’ve had in Michigan, it felt good to do. Hopefully some of you get the chance to make the trip down to Lakeland.

Hope to see some of you at TigerFest on Saturday. It’ll be cold, colder than today, but at least no snow.

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