Few Tigers delayed to camp (Damon not included)
The good news for the Tigers on reporting day is that they don’t have another Francisco Cruceta situation on their hands. You remember him from 2008, right? He was the reliever who was stuck in the Dominican all spring with visa problems after he was supposed to be a big solution to the Tigers’ bullpen depth. Instead, Denny Bautista opened the season as Detroit’s setup man.
The bad news for the Tigers is that they have a few guys who are going to be a little late to camp:
- Closer Jose Valverde is expected to get in on Saturday. He’s dealing with a personal situation, according to manager Jim Leyland.
- Catcher Gerald Laird won’t be around until early next week, probably Tuesday. His sister is getting married this weekend.
- Catcher Max St. Pierre is also expected to arrive Saturday. He and his wife are expecting their first child, if she hasn’t already given birth.
Other than that, I think all the pitchers and catchers are in. Leyland joked that he might have coach Gene Lamont don catching gear again if they need an extra body to catch bullpen sessions. Brandon Inge definitely won’t, not with his knees.
As for the Damon thing, I can confirm that there’s an open locker in the corner of the Tigers clubhouse, right in front of Leyland’s office. It belonged to Casper Wells last year, but he’s been moved over to the other side. Still, that doesn’t mean Damon’s going to fill it. Considering it sits next to Cabrera, it could also go to Andres Galarraga. Really, if I were going to put Galarraga in the clubhouse somewhere, that’s where I’d put him.