On Robbie Weinhardt and pitching opportunities

I went to the ballpark this morning fully planning to write about the Tigers’ stingy pitching numbers this spring and when they go from pitchers being ahead of hitters in Spring Training to some pitching staffs being ahead of other pitching staffs. I should have known better as soon as I saw Albert Pujols on the Cardinals travel roster.
Funny thing, though, is that I still ended up writing about the pitching, each step along the way until finding one of the few Tigers bright spots of the entire game.
Phil Coke said he felt good until his fourth and final inning, but realistically, he was pitching damage control for much of his day before losing it in the fourth with back-to-back walks. He made no secret of wanting another shot at Albert Pujols after retiring him twice already, but back-to-back walks to load the bases and force in a run took that opportunity away from him.
“I feel like if you leave me out there, I could’ve gotten Pujols again,” Coke said. “But that’s just me. That’s my competitive nature. His at-bats were the ones I physically felt best in. He’s a very dangerous hitter, but I was locked in.”
His walks put Adam Wilk in almost a no-win situation when he entered the fourth inning with the bases loaded and Pujols up, but it’s a test for a reliever. Two innings later, Daniel Schlereth’s four straight walks put a big blemish on his spring pitching line, but it created an opportunity the Tigers no doubt valued for testing ground-ball specialist Robbie Weinhardt. 
Weinhardt didn’t get the ground-ball double play, but a strikeout and a ground ball allowed him to escape the jam without giving up an inherited runner. But he obviously never would’ve gotten that opportunity to prove himself without Schlereth’s control issues.
That’s how Spring Training outings can work out for players, whether they’re ready or not. One guy’s rough afternoon is another pitcher’s opportunity. And through it all, there always seems to be a story. It just might not be the story you planned on writing this morning.

5 Comments

Rich, let me say poor baby so sorry it it warm and the sun is shining!!! Haha! Hope you survive. Actually it is supposed to be 62 here in southeast Michigan today!
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Ya know it is really hard to get a clear picture of what is going on down there, so I have been interested to read your reports each day, even if I don’t particularly enjoy what you are saying. Pitching has been keeping us in some games, but that is about it. What I got out of yesterday, Phil was having a hard time with the lefties and I forgot about Weinhardt, he did well. I think that will Rhymes should be the second baseman. Worth cannot hit even though he has more versatility and is the better fielder, and Sizemore has a lot to be desired with his fielding, but his bat has more power. But while his bat might have more power potential, is it a low average bat? I think that Will might be the happy medium? What do you all think?
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Cabrera is locked in and I am not concerned about his bat at all.
Jacson made a nice play in the outfield, Boesch did not. They said on television that it would of been a hard ball for him to get to, but he played it into a double with his play.
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Look forward to your next report.
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Happy St Patricks Day!

I agree with Rich’s assessment. This team just has not jelled. Something is missing. I’m nervous about our bullpen. Yesterday’s game was awful. I’ve made up my mind who I want at second and who I don’t want in the OF.
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Minnesota game today. Let’s hope they can pull themselves together.

yes, these young relievers need to get put into tight spots during spring training because that’s going to be their job when the games count. i’m not sure who Leyland trusts to hold a lead other than Benoit and Valverde. with Perry, Schlereth, Weinhardt and others you just don’t know what type of performance you’re going to get. Leyland needs to find at least one other guy who can consistently get the job done. maybe they look to a veteran option outside the organization before closing up camp.

I think Weinhardt is doing very well and should be considered for a spot. Doesn’t seem to be mentioned any where.

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