Monday: Tigers at Phillies

Cabrera pulls the rare double play of back-to-back road games on opposite coasts of Florida, as do Austin Jackson and Clete Thomas.

Just a reminder that today’s game is on ESPN.


  1. Austin Jackson, DH
  2. Brennan Boesch, RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Don Kelly, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, LF
  6. Alex Avila, C
  7. Clete Thomas, CF
  8. Brandon Inge, 2B
  9. Ramon Santiago, SS

P: Max Scherzer, Octavio Dotel, Collin Balester, Luis Marte, Jose Valverde


  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Shane Victorino, CF
  3. Hunter Pence, RF
  4. Jim Thome, DH
  5. Ty Wigginton, 3B
  6. Laynce Nix, LF
  7. John Mayberry Jr., 1B
  8. Carlos Ruiz, C
  9. Freddy Galvis, 2B

P: Scott Elarton, Raul Valdes, Brian Sanches, David Purcey, Phillippe Aumont



Interesting that Clete Thomas is playing CF. From what I heard heard, he and Dirks have both played very well this spring. I am starting to think they will keep Thomas as an extra OF and send down Dirks. While I think Dirks is better (personal opinion), Dirks would benefit from playing every day in Toledo (he would not get many ABs in Detroit). With Clete out of options, he becomes the backup CF, and late game defensive sub for Young in LF. That is what I am thinkin….

I keep hearing that Dirks would be better served in Toledo because he wouldn’t get any at-bats this season in the big leagues, and that’s simply not true. With Raburn as the starting 2B (Sorry Brandon…) and D. Young as the starting DH – that leaves LF wide open! It’s Dirks for the taking. We need his bat and his speed in our lineup. Plus, he’s had an awesome winter and is currently having an impressive spring. Clete Thomas has had 5 years to break into the big-league club, it’s Dirks’ time now…

Jordan, I agree with all you are saying except one thing, Delmon Young is going to be the LF for the Tigers this year. He is not going to be the full time DH. Again, I think Dirks is a gamer, and would love to see him in LF and Young at DH, but from what I am hearing, that is not going to happen in 2012.
Delmon Young is in a contract year, and will have all kinds of incentive to perform. I hope he has a monster year, helps the Tigers win a World Series and then signs a mammoth contract with a National League team next year.

I have a question for Jason and our blogging family: Over the last 2 years, I’ve noticed several pictures of different Tigers’ pitchers in mid-delivery gripping the ball with the thumb bent back in an almost unreal position. See the photo of Max on today’s game day inset. What pitch is he throwing? I’ve tried to throw that way to my son in the front yard. That grip is tough to replicate and the pitch is hard to control.
That grip has probably been around for years. I’ve only noticed it recently.
Incidentally, I’ve developed a new respect for pitchers as I’ve done more youth league coaching. IMO, being a consistently good pitcher is way harder than being a consistently good hitter. MLB GM’s and owners know that, else they would not pay what they do for the very few Verlanders out there.
AA Mark

Dirks benefits more than Thomas from time in AAA. Dirks defense needs some work. Thomas is the second best outfielder on the team and if that spot is used for late defense, he gets the nod.

Oliver wins the starting nod at this point. His command has been better this spring than anytime I have seen him and he throws hardest. Smyly looks good too, his command needs to improve. Below did pitch better than the numbers looked yesterday. The defense did not help him much. Wilk has been too hard to get the job. Turner is not ready.

Portwinelad, I hope for the same fortune you mentioned with D. Young. A monster year by him in 2012 I believe gets us to the World Series. And, it is indeed a contract year for D. Young. But, even if D. Young is the starting LF, doesn’t that leave DH wide open for a Dirks type then? That could easily get him at least 400 at-bats this season, with Leyland occasionally shuffling Cabrera, Fielder, and Avila into that DH slot to give them a blow. Either way, I believe my argument for keeping Dirks with the big-league team still stands regardless of him having an option remaining. The boy can hit!

Mark, the actual Detroit Tigers team benefits more by having Dirks than C. Thomas. I think that should be the ultimate factor. Late-inning defensive replacements are a factor, but in this instance I believe having Dirks up for 400 at-bats is more of factor with how well he’s been hitting and his potential to hit well throughout the 2012 season.

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