Leyland: Decision on rotation coming soon

Lost in the battles for the final bullpen spots and the second base job is the fact that the Tigers haven’t decided yet who will start the second game of the season or the last game in Baltimore before the home opener. Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello already have their assignments, but Phil Coke and Brad Penny do not. One of them is expected to make those two starts, and the other will either be held back or work out of the bullpen for the first week of the season.

“Somebody’s going to be skipped a turn,” Jim Leyland said this morning. “That’s going to be worked out shortly.”
It’s a short-term decision made necessary by having two off-days in the first week. Once the Tigers get back to Detroit, they have a long stretch of games without an off-day, and the five starters will slot in turn. But the decision could have a big impact on the road trip and what kind of momentum they take home with them.
Coke (who starts today) and Penny (who starts Thursday against the Twins) have been starting back-to-back this spring, so you can’t make out anything from the pitching order. Penny would have to take an extra day of rest to fall in line for the March 2 game at Yankee Stadium. Coke would have two extra days, so he might throw an extra side session or something.

5 Comments

Well, Rich, you wanted more excitement and now you’ve got it. Sure do wish Victor was playing today.

Pretty exciting if you are a cardinal fan ! Unfortunately! The tigers ab’s after the first inning were pretty unfortunate again. Carpenter there 22 in the 1st then 5 the next? Phil seemed to e fighting it today and it was again unfortunate that Miggy made the error and wasn’t able to overcome it. Wilke looks pretty good despite the homer to Pujols. He might be the long man huh?

Carpenter threw I mean!

Nobody wants to hear this, but the weather down here is bordering on downright hot. It will be a shock to head back north.
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I’m sorry, but this team isn’t playing very well. Mistakes are being made in the field. Boesch botched one in left (Brennan Botch?) and I know he’s been playing RF, but this is the big leagues. The other day, Clete Thomas threw a strike to the cutoff man who unfortunately was totally out of position. This is not crisp baseball and opening day is two weeks away. Baserunning is sloppy and hitting is poor. I’ve seen 7 games now and I’m not impressed. At some point, we go away from “it’s just spring training” to “this is how we roll.”
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Will Rhymes, with his family in loud attendance, got three hits today and made a nifty play at second. Clete Thomas is pounding lefthand pitching and Boesch got a nice double off a lefty. Cabrera seems to be in his hitting groove.
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Hopefully I’ll see one good game of baseball tomorrow when the Twins come in.
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–Rich

you just know Coke wants to pitch that 2nd game in Yankee Stadium…in an interview during Tigerfest, he revealed that he’s got a bit of a grudge against his old employer, the Bombers. Since the park seems to favor lefty power hitters, maybe Coke is the right choice. Regardless, just seeing how Coke reacts on the mound in that situation would be entertaining enough, regardless of outcome.

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