Brad Penny is going to pitch inside

The Tigers and Twins have enough history over the last few years that they have quite a rivalry going. Nothing that could happen in Spring Training is going to change that. It’s mid-March in Lakeland, the Twins have a travel roster, and the Tigers have plenty of things to figure out on their own to get ready for the season.

Brad Penny hasn’t even been a part of this rivalry, having never pitched in the AL Central. Still, it was tough to ignore just a little bit of competitiveness between Penny, who was trying to establish the inside part of the plate, and the Twins, who had two Major League hitters take pitches on the arm.
Young was hit up his left arm by a Penny pitch in the third inning and barely got to first base when he was replaced by a pinch-runner. No lengthy consultation with the trainer or anything. Young himself had a surprised look on his way into the dugout. With most teams, veteran hitters who make a long road trip in the Grapefruit League usually get to play most of the game, if not all nine innings, to justify the trip.
Alexi Casilla seemed a little riskier when he took a pitch around his right elbow. He also seemed quite motivated to steal second base, taking a big lead when Penny looked over and then taking off on his first pitch. Alex Avila’s throw in the dirt hit him on his left leg and bounced away, allowing him to take third and eventually score on Ben Revere’s triple.
When asked about taking Casilla out of the game, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters he was “disappointed.” 
From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
“Both of them could have continued playing if it was during the season,” Gardenhire said. “I was a little disappointed we got drilled there, so whatever.”
Penny said he was working on the inside part of the plate now to get his control going.
“I’m just trying to move their feet,” Penny said. “If I hit them, I hit them. I don’t want to miss over the plate.”
Don’t make too much of this particular deal. After all, we’ve seen pitchers retaliate for hit batters by hitting someone on the other team, even in spring training. Remember the Red Sox-Tigers fracas from a few years ago in Lakeland? Or Nate Cornejo hitting Ricky Ledee intentionally years ago in Clearwater, drawing a suspension for both himself and manager Alan Trammell?
Neither Gardenhire nor Twins pitchers and hitters those that route. And neither Young nor Castilla made any motion in Penny’s direction after being hit.

18 Comments

Seriously Gardenhire, really! It is spring training, Penny has little to no history with your team, you really think he was trying to injure your players on purpose? Lost just a little bit of respect for you!

I was also disappointed, but it was directed at the minor league club that Gardenhire brought to Lakeland. That said, their young outfielders made a couple of excellent catches, but there was no Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer or Span, and Kubel, Young and Casilla didn’t play enough to warrant making the trip.
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Today marked the end of our 2011 spring training trip and we arrived in the parking lot blasting out Dennis Leary’s “Traditional Irish Drinking Song.” If you’re familiar with it, you know it’s anything but traditional. There was another 9000+ crowd on hand and I don’t think it’s possible to have better weather. The green jerseys looked really good.
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We saw 8 Tigers games of which we won two. All in all, it wasn’t very good baseball, other than the pitching, but it was still fun. I came away with some clear ideas on who should be front runners to make the club at this point in time. I did see the more aggressive baserunning and I hope that continues.
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–Rich

Rich: “I came away with some clear ideas on who should be front runners to make the club at this point in time.” Awwwww! Come on, can’t you tell us? LOL You know we respect your opinions. Of course I suppose you could change your mind in the next 10 days of Spring training. With the Tiger line-up heavily right-handed, I tend to hope for some left-handers to show they belong. Boesch, Dirks, Rhymes, C Thomas? That would leave out Wells and Sizemore but I like them too. So count me as one who would never criticize your choices if they don’t pan out. This blog is one of the bright spots in my life right now while I care for a wife who was just placed on oxygen 24/7 and a grandson who is the center of a custody battle. Thanks to all of you for helping distract me from these other problems.

What happened after a Phillies pitcher injured Granderson?

On a side note about Brad Penny, spouse was looking at an US Weekly magazine and Brad Penny was in it, apparently engaged to a dancer from that show Dancing with the Stars!! Just a fun fact!

Very unimpressive day at the ballpark for the Tgers today. Pitching pretty darn good, but the hitters?????? Well same old same old!

Yes, you’re right. I hope the “regulars” are saving their hits for the regular season. But look at 3 of the players I mentioned earlier- Boesch, Sizemore, Dirks. Three hits in a row and the Tigers pull out a 2-1 win. Granted it was against an unknown pitcher who will probably not see opening day in a major league park but you have to wonder if those hits didn’t frazzle the SOC’s thinking about who to take north for the season. It’s becoming more and more obvious that this may be the last year for Guillen and Ordonez and we still have to see how Raburn handles a full time job. I just hope the players who don’t make the cut this year aren’t lost because of that option rule.

Illinoifan, sorry to hear of your family issues so let me try and distract you some more. I’ve been traveling much of the last two days.
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Position-wise, I like Rhymes over Sizemore and Thomas over Boesch. I suspect JL wants that true number two hitter in Rhymes, pending Guillen’s return, and I also think he’ll want late inninig defensive replacements for the outfield. Boesch is showing signs of life offensively, but his defense is woeful and his game awareness leaves a lot to be desired too. Clete gives you a solid defender with a very good arm and is no slouch at the plate either if it comes into play. Kelly is obviously a lock. On the pitching side, I’m looking at bullpen guys with ML experience, such as Ni. I won’t rule out a late pickup either.
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While I’ve had disagreements with JL over the years, I usually agree with his team selections coming out of spring training. I think this year will be no exception.
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And you nailed it when you said I may change my mind. There is a week and a half left and many of those games are televised. I’m fortunate this spring to see a lot of the games.
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By the way, I have no problem with Raburn being the starting leftfielder. The dude can hit and isn’t nearly as bad defensively as some make him out to be. He can hold down the position just fine. That’s another reason for Rhymes; I’d like to have Raburn hitting behind Martinez, then Peralta and Inge can be the bottom of the order snipers.
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–Rich

I have spent the past week watching live action in Florida and while the hitting has been weak a lot of the time, the pitching has been strong. On the positive side, Verlander has looked great compared to last spring, Rayburn has had a very good spring, the back end of the bullpen looks ready, Avila has had a lot of solid at bats, and most importantly Cabrera has looked great at the plate the last week.
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Here is my take on the roster competition: I go with Wells for one spot in the outfield. The Tigers are right hand hitting heavy in their starting lineup, but only the switch hitting Ramon can hit from the right side off the bench. When Victor catches against left hander?s, I would DH Maggs and put Wells in right. I have a feeling Boesch gets a spot, but I would give it to Thomas because he is a more complete player coming off the bench. I feel that Boesch needs to play every day to improve his plate discipline and defense. He will not get that opportunity at the start of the season. Send him down to keep playing every day to be more prepared if an injury strikes.
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I go with Sizemore at second base. I saw him play before the ankle injury and think his upside as a hitter is much better than Rhymes. Ramon is a better hitter from the left side and with Sizemore you can work a bit of a platoon. I really like what Worth brings with the glove, but given the struggles for offense, it is tough to go with Danny?s bat.
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There are three open bullpen spots: I look at Schlereth beating out Fu-Te Ni for the lefty specialist since he has the bigger arm. Weinhardt gets a spot as the ground ball double play guy. Wilk beats out Villarreal and Gonzalez as the long reliever/spot starter out of the pen.
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I am ready for the season to start and the real games to begin.
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Mark

Great to be able to watch this game down here in Baja.
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Clete making the team makes some sense. His LHB, his experience, his all around play, and his ability to play CF.
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However, I don’t know if they will take two LHB and I would bet dollars to donuts that Boesch makes the team. They may have to go with Wells. His RHB off the bench actually may factir into things and his defense is needed for late innings.
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Dirks will be forced to pay his dues IMO. It almost seems as though there could be atrade happening here. You can’t hold Thomas or Wells and now Dirks back forever. And then there’s Strieby to consider as his bat is being blocked by MCab and he really can’t play anywhere else.
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Great game by Verlander. I’m not sure what we are witnessing here but this guy seems to have no limits to his potential.
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I’d take Sizemore over Will. I think he has a MLB bat. I think Will’s heart is big but he maxes out as a .265 hitter with average defense.
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I remember the hype we had with Perry when he came up–he seems pretty average out of the bullpen. He is not that dominating pitcher we all once were expecting.

Does anyone know why Maggs was scratched at the last minute? He is someone we need to get it going, so if he was scratched something must be wrong?

believe the tigers will keep a lefty bench: thomas, boesch, kelly, santiago barring a late acquisition or injury. don’t see leyland pinch-hitting for the everyday lineup much other than sizemore and avila. thomas and santiago would be late inning defensive replacements. boesch with a game changing bat off the bench in the late innings and a few starts a week. the issue with in-game switching Martinez from DH to C is overblown. won’t be a problem other than in very long extra inning games when the bench has emptied. tigers will eventually realize that they’re a better team with Martinez getting majority of time at C and someone else at DH.

They will realise they had a better DH when Carlos next limps from the field for good in a Tig uni some time in May.

It’s 2:14 am in the morning and watching today’ game on MLB tv. Ninth inning and the camera shows the Skipper putting an unlit cig in his mouth.

We sure need the hitting to pick up. Jhonny Peralta is struggling, Martinez I am not too worried about but we can’t have the botom of the order rivaling the Inge/Laird/Everett scenario developing again.
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I think Inge will lose a few of his fans this year. He is a very good fielder but he is a tad over-rated by the Detroit media and fans. His hitting is essentially non-productive with spells of weakness that sometimes look as though it will never end. He, JP and AA have to produce. Without that, the pennant chances are reduced dramatically.
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Santiago, notwithstanding his SHB, seems as though he may have reached the end of his days in Detroit. Worth can do a better job of filling that role IMO. At least you can improve your D with him as a late inning replacement. And yes, he just might steal the 2B job unless Sizemore figures things out really quickly.
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A lttle trivia—remember Phil Regan—bombed in 1965 with the Tigers and then followed up after a trade to the Dodgers with one of the most phenomenal years you could expect a reliever to have.

Where did the blog go?

Oh-Oh,
What has happened to the Blog Site?

This website is screwed up what happened??

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