Anderson to start in LF, Guillen will DH

rogerscentre.jpgTORONTO — Just came back from the Tigers clubhouse, where manager Jim Leyland gave out his lineup for Opening Night. Josh Anderson will start in LF and bat 9th. Carlos Guillen will DH and bat fifth. That leaves Marcus Thames out of the lineup for the opener, but he’ll be playing soon enough.

“I went with the speed and defense,” Leyland said.

By the time the Tigers leave town, there’s a good chance everybody on the positional roster will have played in this four-game series, and probably three different players will DH, according to Leyland. Thames will play at least twice. Guillen will DH one other game, resting his knees a bit from the turf. Magglio Ordonez will DH one game. Santiago will likely play two games, resting Adam Everett and Placido Polanco for a game apiece.

Here’s the lineup:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, DH
  6. Laird, C
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Everett, SS
  9. Anderson, LF

25 Comments

makes sense to rest Guillen from the turf. i am wondering what the tigers see in Anderson that the Braves didn’t. Braves seem to make sound talent judgments and for them to give up on Anderson when they have a gaping hole in CF gives me pause about how helpful Anderson will be to the Tigers. For those who have seen him play, which former Tiger does he remind you of?

He reminds me of the Minnesota Twins. I guess you could make a case for Pettis, without the fielding wizardry.
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Actually, Anderson was beat out by Jordan Schaeffer, who the Braves are very high on. And Josh was out of options, so off he went.
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“I went with the speed and defense,” Leyland said. Gotta love this.
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–Rich

Flexibility, speed, defense and youth to go with the retained slugging power is a breath of fresh air. The youth, comebacks, closer role and relative inexperience of our pitchers will be the great unknown.
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Time for stupid predictions on the season. Angels by a mile in the east, back to the old two horse race in the east with the Yankees prevailing and Boston the wildcard with Central another dogfight between the Twins, Indians and Tigers. If our management continues being proactive making changes on performance, we will win the pennant.

I’m going to crawl out onto the skinniest limb of the tree and make my prediction for 2009, and it’s going to be considerably more positive than it would have been two short weeks ago. The club has shown, through their roster decisions, that they’re committed to improvement.
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First some history. In January of 2008, while the “learned experts of baseball” all proclaimed the Tigers as World Champions, I was quietly planning a vacation trip that would take me entirely out of the country during September/October. This should tell you what I thought of the Tigers’ chances last season. I saw a team that had not improved their pitching, was defensively suspect, and was relying on bashing their way to the postseason. Well, a team hits their way in only once in a blue moon, and when I looked up at the January sky, I only saw an orb sporting the same old shade of yellow. Having said that, I certainly expected more than 74 wins.
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This year is different. They have addressed their needs. This is a better team. This is, in fact, a TEAM. So onto some individual predictions:
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Ryan Perry will end up as the closer in his first year, ala Mike Henneman in 1987.
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Miguel Cabrera will get 150+ RBIs. They’re called “ribeyes” or “steaks” and M-Cab appears to see them literally that way. Short of Manny Ramirez, I don’t know of anyone more likely to get that run home.
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Josh Anderson will sneak his way into the lineup on sheer speed alone.
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Fernando Rodney will be gone before the season is over.
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Joel Zumaya will return, make a big splash, close some games with lots of excitement, then become injured again.
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Brandon Inge will hit .260.
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Magglio Ordonez will start slow, go on a small tear, fade, then even out to about .290.
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Mike Porcello will win Rookie of the Year.
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Edwin Jackson will become very popular in Detroit.
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Placido Polanco will miss time after being hit by a pitch.
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Curtis Granderson will be dropped in the order and quietly have a very good year.
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Ramon Santiago will be the glue that holds it all together.
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Adam Everett will be an unsung hero, and his jerseys will start to spring up in the stands.
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Marcus Thames will get 250 ABs.
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This is running long, so I’ll stop here with the individual stuff.
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Overall prediction: 82-80, give or take. Enough to remain in the race all year long. The AL Central can’t be predicted, it’s truly unpredictable. The Tigers will fall short because a) it’s still basically the same bunch who always manages to lose close games to Chicago, b) has too much trouble with Minnesota, and c) still take Kansas City too lightly.
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HOWEVER, there is one interesting tidbit regarding the Chicago-Detroit history. In 2005, the White Sox came out of nowhere to win. The Tigers did the same in 2006. In 2006, Chicago followed up with a good year, finally falling out of the race late. In 2007, the Tigers did the same. In 2007, Chicago fell apart, winning 72 games. In 2008, the Tigers did the same, with 74 wins. In 2008, Chicago won it again. In 2009, the Tigers……..?
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–Rich

It appears as though the AL Central is a wide open race. Every team has some big IF’s. The Twins will be starting without Mauer and Baker. The Indians don’t have CC anymore and Wood is a bit fragile. The Sox are relying on Contreras and Colon to hold up the bottom of the rotation, a newcomer at 2nd, and a journeyman in CF. We all know who the Tigers have on the DL. And KC, well, they seem to be trying hard to improve. Does there even seem to be a concensus among the experts about who is the favorite?

It appears as though the AL Central is a wide open race. Every team has some big IF’s. The Twins will be starting without Mauer and Baker. The Indians don’t have CC anymore and Wood is a bit fragile. The Sox are relying on Contreras and Colon to hold up the bottom of the rotation, a newcomer at 2nd, and a journeyman in CF. We all know who the Tigers have on the DL. And KC, well, they seem to be trying hard to improve. Does there even seem to be a concensus among the experts about who is the favorite?

Just watched the MLB network predictions show and the Tigers are not picked very favorably finishing 4th or 5th by most analysts. Mitch Williams did pick them to win the division though if that makes anyone feel better.

The Tigers have as many if not more if’s as any team in the Central. Too many things have to go right to win the division but I think they’ll make it interesting and definitely be alot more fun to watch this year.

Sporting News has the Tigers coming in last, SI picks them for 4th. Both pubs pick the Twins to take the division. Interestingly enough, both also “feature” Brandon Inge as the player on the Tigers to watch. So ironic…….
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Rich- I like your predictions. I see the young guys being the spark that ignites this team. Miggy, Larish, Porcello, Perry and Grandy will all have terrific years and take some of the pressure of the veterans to do it all. I think two weeks into the season we will see what this team is all about.
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Play Ball!
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-Tracey

Hi Tiger fans, it’s great to read every post and it certainly has been an eventful spring. Optimism abounds and I too have caught the bug. I see us at 90-72. Certainly would have liked a healthy Bonderman but hopefully he will come around and give us some quality starts this year. I really think that the keys to this year are a rebound from Verlander and an answer to the closer role. Rich, you may be correct with Perry being the answer. I don’t like the closer by committee idea. It may be simply Leyland’s way of slowly acclimating Ryan to that role. Let’s GO TIGERS!!!

–ED

I like most of your predictions Rich.
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Not sure of your thinking on Placido missing time after getting hit by a pitch though. Predictions on injuries should not be allowed:-) There will probably be some however:-(
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Also, if Marcus can only muster 250 ABs, why would they have bothered keeping him? If he stays healthy, I hope he proves worthy of 300-400. Unless of course you are predicting him being traded, with Carlos, Magglio, and Miguel ending up sharing the DH time. This would of course open up more playing time for Anderson and Larish.
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Jason that looks like a very interesting lineup for tomorrow. With the better balance between LHBs and RHBs, JL has a lot more options open to him this year. It looks like a team that would fit in the NL…..yikes, perish the thought.

Prediction: 90-72 might be good enough.

Marty, I had a vision of Polly getting nailed by a pitch. :-) No, I just see that he’s really crowding the plate and pitchers are trying to drive him back. It’s an injury waiting to happen. Just hope it won’t be a serious one.
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I predicted 250 ABs for Marcus based on history. They’ve never stuck with him before and I don’t expect it this year either. It will end up with the lefties getting most of the PT.
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90-72 could very well do the trick. The experts pick Cleveland based on their offense, so here we go again. Chicago has some rotation problems. We’ve learned to never count out the Twins.
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–Rich

Here we are- Opening Day 2009!!! Good thing we are in Toronto, or this one would be a snow out!
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Completely unrelated- I supported the Sheffield release- but that coupled with Kenny and Todd Jones’ retirement- the only Tiger older than me now is Jim Leyland. (sigh)
Good for the Tigers, bad for the fantasy in my head that I’m still young enough to be a professional athlete.
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Enjoy the game everyone- busy night tonight with the Tigers and the NCAA Finals.

-Tracey

Agree with most of your preditions Rich, except I predict that they will go 84-78, and that Polonco will get hit by a pitch (twice), but no injury time.
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One statement you made is on KC, I don’t know if they take them lightly or not, but it always appears the they have our number…and we play them too many times.
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The good thing that I see is that the team seems more ‘relaxed’. At least I hope that was a good thing.
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On the conspiracy side of things, I was organizing my season tickets last night, and noticed that had Guillen, Cabrara, Granderson, Verlander, Ordonez, Polanco, Inge, and Galarraga pics on the tickets. But no Sheffield or Robertson….hmmmm…did the ticket boss have some inside info?? ;)
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Waz

Rich I like some of your predictions excluding the one about Polanco and I hope (I am the continual optimist) that they win a few more games than you are predicting. I just hope this year they make it interesting anyway.
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I am so excited that it is finally here snow storm and all.
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Hoping that the weather on Friday is a little better than they are predicting right now. I can handle it a little colder (48) but rain??? Although I guess even if I can handle it we will have to see if the team can.
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GO TIGERS!
GO SPARTANS!!!

Opening Day is here! too bad no one told the weather, thank goodness they open the season in Toronto in the dome, in toledo we have snow and I know the further north it gets worse. April Fools! Looking forward to the season, and am hoping for a whooping on the Blue Jays, since my husband is a Jay’s fan. I am hopeful for a good season, but compared to last year I’d be happy with mediocre to move us up a bit! Doesn’t mean though that I won’t be rooting like crazy and watching as many games as possible.

Go Tigers!!! Inge – please surprise me at the bat. Guillen, keep me happy with good hitting and defense in your new spot. Mags, I don’t expect much in the field, so please have another good year with the bat. Miggy, just do what you do. Polly, same, do as you do. Curtis, ready for you to do even more, I feel you have it in you and am looking for more stolen bases this year. Marcus, prove you are at least an every day hitter at the dh position. And pitchers, please do something! I can’t comment on the new guys, I don’t follow enough baseball from other teams to know yet what we have.

This was posted on March 29th. I’ve got the starters winning around 75 games (not counting Robertson) . I think this club is going to contend. I can see them winning 90 games. It’s probably wise not to count on Zumaya and accept anything positive as a bonus. A good season from Bonderman can make the difference between night and day for this club. A lot can change in a week! Best of luck to the the team and I hope every Tiger fan enjoys the heck out of their season this year.
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Spring Impressions (March 29):
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Inge-pleasant surprise and will help his pitchers to build confidence with their stuff
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Polanco-steady as she goes
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Sheffield-Time to come back from holidays and contribute
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Ordonez-Lost another step
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Guillen-Gentleman who deserves and will get a good season
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MCab-Will hit .300 this year and lead the league in RBIs
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Curtis-Has to learn to bunt, especially drag bunts against LHP. Has to learn to keep the 1st basemen honest as they lay back and wait for him to hit it to them. Oh yeah, and steal some bases too.
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Everett-hope he is as good as Eddie Brinkman was. Kinda reminds me of him.
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Laird-Has already made me forget about Pudge. Solid.
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Larish-His value will increase as the year progresses.
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Rodney-Needs something to ignite his limbic system
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Lyon-A critical key to Tigers’ success. Fingers crossed and jury out.
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Perry-A surprise cake with dramatic potential
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Rincon-Believe it or not, a good influence in the bullpen.
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Verlander- 20 Wins needed
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G-man- 14 needed
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Nate- 10 would be helpful but not probable
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Jackson-15 or 16 is do-able
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Bondo-A change-peice and a half a season will be more than we can expect. 10 wins?
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Miner/Porcello- I think these guys could combine for 15 wins
(at the expense of Nate)
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Knapp-Will be a significant improvement over CH
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JL-Hopes everyone forgets his “phenomenal, terrific” assessment of Willis early in the spring. Has the guts to sit Sheffield if he starts to impede the offense.
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DD-Is not afraid to bolster the bullpen through the trade market.

Well, my predictions last year went down in a ball of flames, so I’m hesitant to say anything at all.
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I think the Tigers’ pitching will be better than most people think and that the Tigers will be in it until the end in the Central. I hope they win the division, but I don’t think they’ll get farther than that.
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The Angels are the obvious choice in the West and I like the Red Sox in the East with the Rays getting the Wild Card. The Yankees will fall short again. Rivera is a year older and as much as they paid for it, I’m not impressed by the starting rotation.
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In the National League, I think the Phillies take the East, the Cubs take the Central and the Dodgers take the West, with the Mets getting the Wild Card.
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Mark your calendars: Cubs over Red Sox in five games. Jake Peavy wins game five for the Cubs. Then we don’t have to hear about curses for a while…
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matt

Well, my predictions last year went down in a ball of flames, so I’m hesitant to say anything at all.
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I think the Tigers’ pitching will be better than most “experts” think and that the Tigers will be in it until the end in the Central. I hope they win the division, but I don’t think they’ll get farther than that.
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The Angels take the West and I like the Red Sox in the East with the Rays getting the Wild Card. The Yankees will fall short again. Rivera is a year older and as much as they paid for it, I’m not impressed by the starting rotation.
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In the National League, I think the Phillies take the East, the Cubs take the Central and the Dodgers take the West, with the Mets getting the Wild Card.
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Mark your calendars: Cubs over Red Sox in five games. Jake Peavy wins game five for the Cubs. Then we don’t have to hear about curses for a while…
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matt

Well, my predictions last year went down in a ball of flames, so I’m hesitant to say anything at all.
.
I think the Tigers’ pitching will be better than most people think and that the Tigers will be in it until the end in the Central. I hope they win the division, but I don’t think they’ll get farther than that.
.
The Angels are the obvious choice in the West and I like the Red Sox in the East with the Rays getting the Wild Card. The Yankees will fall short again. Rivera is a year older and as much as they paid for it, I’m not impressed by the starting rotation.
.
In the National League, I think the Phillies take the East, the Cubs take the Central and the Dodgers take the West, with the Mets getting the Wild Card.
.
Mark your calendars: Cubs over Red Sox in five games. Jake Peavy wins game five for the Cubs. Then we don’t have to hear about curses for a while…
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matt

Sorry about the triple post. My browser hung and I thought it hadn’t gone through. sigh.
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matt

was the rotation ever announced?
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is it verlander, jackson, miner, porcello, and galarraga on friday?

Fasten your seat belts, the ride is about to begin.

Happy to see Guillen is at DH. I hope he stays injury free, I missed him at the end of last year.

I enjoy reading the predictions. I don’t have predictions, I have a happy list. I’m happy CH is gone, Porcello gets to pitch in the big parks, MCab is a Tiger, Guillen & Granderson are healthy, Sheff got picked up (didn’t want him here, but still wish him well) and that I can call the Tigers my hometown team. Go Tigers!!!!!!

While it may seem out of place when opening the season with wintry conditions, indoors, and at night, let’s go ahead and hear from Ernie anyway.
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For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come,
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.
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–Rich

This rotation is mediocre, at best. Verlander is off to the start I predicted. The whole league now knows that this guy has never grasped the art of pitching, nor does he have the mental makeup to win big. And, geeeeez…. what in the world do they actually think they have in Jackson?? My prediction is he’ll go about 11-13 with an era of around 5.00. The only 2 that can be counted on I think are Gallaraga(inferior stuff, but knows HOW to pitch. And the kid bringing up the rear.

Tiger fans, don’t be deluded into thinking that this rotation is anything to get excited about. It ain’t !!!

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