Tuesday happenings

JUPITER, Fla. — Here are some quick pregame notes that came out before the Tigers-Cardinals game at Roger Dean Stadium:

* Joel Zumaya (shoulder) played catch in Lakeland, Fla., today. Manager Jim Leyland said he’s more than likely going to go ahead and pitch him an inning during an intrasquad game on Saturday — which will also see Jeremy Bonderman pitch. 
* Backup catcher Matt Treanor was originally scheduled to make the trip to Jupiter, Fla., but Leyland scratched him because of lingering issues with his offseason sports hernia surgery. The Tigers’ manager said he isn’t sure how long he’ll be out, but for now, it’s just for precautionary reasons, and it doesn’t seem to be that serious at the moment. Besides, he has no idea what’s on those medical reports anyway. “I’m not a doctor,” Leyland began to joke. “I know I’ve got a heart, it has a beat,
and that’s about it. But other than that, I don’t know anything about that. … We’re going to take it slow [with Treanor].”
* Leyland stressed he isn’t tipping his hat, and that Zach Miner — Tuesday’s starter — still has as good of a chance as anybody to land that No. 5 spot in the starting rotation. But the skipper did have something interesting to say about the 26-year-old right-hander before his outing: “I think he needs to maybe prepare himself for relief. I’m not talking necessarily about right now. … We know he can start — we think he can start and do a decent job. He hasn’t shown for sure that he can relieve as effective as he should. So he needs to do that. … In his case, I think there will always be a situation where somebody may be looking for a little bit more of an edge from the starter, so he needs to learn how to make the adjustments to pitch out of the bullpen.”
* Tigers left-hander Fu-Te Ni is back from pitching with Chinese Taipei — which lost its only two games — and is scheduled to pitch on Tuesday. Ni gave up a run in 1 1/3 innings in the Classic.
* Leyland and Tony La Russa have always enjoyed a great friendship — ever since La Russa brought him to the big leagues as his third-base coach with the White Sox, in fact. Before the game, the Cardinals’ manager had a little fun with Leyland, sending him a lineup with Cardinals greats likes Ozzie Smith, Mark McGwire, Jim Edmonds and Stan Musial, with Bob Gibson pitching. “It was pretty good,” Leyland joked. “If those guys don’t hit today, I know the world’s coming to an end.”
* Score update: It’s the bottom of the third right now, with the Cardinals leading, 2-1. Chris Duncan hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, and Marcus Thames hit a solo shot in the top of the second for Detroit.

– Alden Gonzalez

2 Comments

Wow it doesn’t appear that Miner, Willis or Roberston wants to pitch. They have all been pretty bad. And yes I know it is just spring training, but at some point????? And it also appears that nobody is hitting right now either. Pretty disappointing spring training so far.

Jim Leyland has always wanted Miner in the pen so why not say so? The man doesn’t change his mind very often, if I may understate the case. And after JL made blanket statements about too many walks and high pitch counts, I’d guess Zach was more concerned with getting the ball put into play.
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I don’t know of any other teams that have their 3, 4, and 5 hitters in the WBC. We’re not going to win many games with them gone, as that’s most of the offense.
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–Rich

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