Too much pitching? Not according to Leyland

With eight or nine potential starting pitchers and a slew of relievers, speculation has percolated on what the Tigers might be able to do on the trade front by the end of Spring Training. Teams always need pitching, and the Tigers could use some offensive help, right?

Right, but there’s another statement that Leyland likes.

“The old adage that you can never have enough pitching will always hold true,” Leyland said Saturday morning.

“We don’t have too much pitching. I like what we’ve got. I’m really happy with what we’ve got. But the old adage still applies.”

That doesn’t mean that Leyland is against any trades. That’s Dave Dombrowski’s department. But clearly, Leyland likes to have as much pitching as he possibly can.

Leyland cited another phrase of his.

“There’s no such thing as a 12th pitcher for me,” he said. “If you’re going to be good, every pitcher is important.”

As evidence, he cited 2006, when Jason Grilli made some key appearances for them, and Zach Miner proved vital as a fill-in starter for Mike Maroth over the summer.

As far as the lefty relief corps, Leyland didn’t argue the point that they can probably only take three southpaws in the bullpen. But he did point out that Phil Coke and Bobby Seay both have a history of effectiveness against right-handed hitters.

More tidbits from Saturday morning:

  • Jose Valverde arrived at camp today and is working out, so all pitchers have reported. Max St. Pierre also reported, leaving Gerald Laird as the lone catcher not in camp yet.
  • Magglio Ordonez quietly came in today, quickly grabbed a bat and headed for the cages. He’s ready to go. Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillen aren’t here yet, but should be in the next few days.
  • On the top of relief pitching, Leyland mentioned a note he received following last year’s tiebreaker loss. “I got a letter from a lady chewing me out for not bringing in Verlander in relief,” he said. That wasn’t going to happen.
  • Leyland said he’ll use Valverde similar to how he used Fernando Rodney, bringing him in just for one-inning saves unless it’s an emergency situation, extra innings or he needs work to stay fresh.

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