Tigers fifth starter Phil Coke?

It’s starting to sound more like a possibility now.

One of the questions that came up during the conference call announcing the Jose Valverde deal is how the rest of what was already shaping up to be a deep Tigers bullpen will slot with a closer now on board. If Zumaya’s healthy, Dave Dombrowski pointed out, he has a history as a setup man. Ryan Perry and Zach Miner slot in for the middle innings, and Dombrowski obviously likes the depth with their left-handers.

Which brought him to Coke.

“I think he’ll get the ball with a change to lengthen out in the spring,” Dombrowski said, “and get a chance to compete for the fifth spot.”

With that, another names enters the rotation competition with Armando Galarraga, Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis and Eddie Bonine. With the Tigers sounding increasingly confident that Jeremy Bonderman will take the fourth spot in the rotation, it’s looking like a handful of pitchers will compete for one rotation spot.

That should pretty much be the field, because the pitching staff looks pretty much set.

“If we did [make another signing], it would not be a pitcher,” Dombrowski said. “We feel very comfortable with our pitching right now. We have four starters who we think are set.”

11 Comments

King Felix, 5 years $80 million. In this era, that is not a ridiculous amount. At only 23 years old, he should be able to command another monster deal if his arm does not fall off. That makes me feel better about signing JV.

Spring training is going to be real interesting seeing so many guys having to genuinely compete for places.
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Arbitration is throwing up some interesting figures with Seay going close to doubling his salary to $2.475m reducing the likelihood of his involvement in a low value trade.
With Pavano getting $7m from the Twins JV’s figure of $9.5m with the Tigs $6.9m counter looks a bargain either way. Turns out Lincecum is after $13m.
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Tigs have yet to cut the roster back to 40.

I forgot about Coke. His job to lose, from my perspective.
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You’re right about spring training, Dave. It was pretty dull in 2008. The “big stars” would play a few innings then lumber down the RF line to the clubhouse. It got more interesting when the kids (like Porcello) got in there. 2009 was better, and this year should be fun to watch.
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Where’d you get those numbers on Verlander?
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–Rich

Yes, I read that too. With prospects, you just never know. How many top prospects have ben used in a trade that are still in the minors? Plenty. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don’t. Hopefully, he will.

Also, I just read that Seay, Laird, and Miner have come to terms. Verlander is the only one still going through arbitration. Other reports say only Laird and Miner have reached agreements.

It came from Detroit News.
Also of interest is Tom Gage quoting DD “We’re really going to dedicate Ryan Raburn to playing outfield full time. That will help his defense.” It sounds like it came from this Blog!!
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It is really starting to feel like the season is just around the corner and we have a team to look forward with. :-)

Ryan Raburn needs to play the OF, cuz he certainly can’t play 3B.

I’m pretty confident between Nate and Armando and Bonine we can fill that 5th spot.

Any ideas who will be cut when it goes to a 40 man roster?

Here is a little article that I found that I thought a few of you might be interested. Actually I thought that myself when the Yankees were so willing to get rid of him.

Yankees coach: Austin Jackson isn’t ready for the majors
Tue Jan 19,2010 11:28 AM ET By Craig Calcaterra
The Yankees’ AAA hitting coach, Butch Wynegar on Austin Jackson:

“He still is raw, still has a lot to learn, but he’s an intelligent kid and a good athlete — and he wants to learn. I basically told the Yankees at the end of the year, if they were thinking about him being their center fielder this coming year (2010), I didn’t know if he was ready yet. But I know he has a bright future. There are just some things he needs to iron out yet and incorporate to be successful.”

That quote follows a pretty extended analysis of Jackson’s swing by a couple of scouts.

I’m never sure what to believe when I hear from scouts. Like a lot of professionals, their specialized jargon tends to create the impression of much greater certainty of a given thing than may be warranted, even if it’s done so unwittingly.

But even if we don’t take everything in the article at face value, this has to be a bit disconcerting for Tigers fans, who are being led by the team to believe that Jackson is going to step right in to fill the hole left by the departure of Curtis Granderson.

I read that article re Jackson, and it goes along with some stuff I’d read earlier this winter. I also looked at some video, but it was limited and not a good sampling. Leyland talks about improving his bat speed, which ties in with that front foot business. It’s a work in progress. I think, since Jackson will be given every opportunity in 2010, that he’ll have an up and down year. Literally, he’ll be up and down between Detroit and Toledo. If the kid can cover ground in the outfield like they say, he’ll be up more than down. Remember Al Kaline didn’t hit a lot his first couple of years, but his outfield play kept him in the lineup. Same thing with Mickey Stanley, to cite a more “recent” example. I think the key here is Clete Thomas. Leyland has to make sure he uses Clete properly this time around. I don’t think many will argue against the fact that Clete has some good skills. Before handing the keys to the kingdom to Jackson, let’s remember that Thomas has the ability to hold down that job too. If used properly.
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–Rich

Rich, Kaline was the youngest batting champ ever in his second season…if AJax can develop that way, I’d be happy with him matching Kaline’s trajectory!
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Clete Thomas is maddening. His swing looks like it could make him a Joe Mauer type player, except he somehow misses the ball far too often. He has the arm of a major leaguer, that’s for sure!

Well I hope you all are rigiht – when this trade happened they made it sound like CF was his he was the starter. This team can not afford to give up too many more at bats with inept hitting. I think the defense of this team could be good. The ability to score any runs remains to be seen
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GK

CF competition will be extremely interesting in a month. Jackson will have to win that spot and Clete Thomas and Caspar Wells will push him. Too bad Wilkin Ramerez isn’t a CF, we could use his speed. Wilkin and Jackson sound like they bring the same athleticism, which this team sorely needs.

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