Monday: Tigers vs. Jays

The Tigers are fielding what looks awfully close to an everyday lineup, with one possible exception: Jays have lefty Brett Cecil on the mound, but Tigers have Ramon Santiago starting at second base. That might just be a reaction to Brandon Inge still being out, or maybe it isn’t.

Leyland hinted at it after batting practice: “Depending on what goes on, you could be looking at my Opening Day lineup.”

For what it’s worth, there’s no news on Inge this morning. He was in the clubhouse and went to get treatment on his sore groin. As Tom Gage of the Detroit News pointed out, he is not on the lineup card, but that’s usually common with injured players.

I’ve written this already, but it bears repeating for those waiting for roster moves: If Inge opens the season on the DL, and the Tigers use Drew Smyly’s roster spot to carry an extra position player until they need Smyly on April 12, then Detroit does not have to cut another player.

Interesting quote yesterday from Drew Smyly when asked if this start becomes lower-pressure now that he knows he’s in the rotation:

“Maybe [there's] almost more pressure, just to make sure you do well,” he said, “but I don’t know. You just go out there and continue to throw, I guess.”

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Brennan Boesch, RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, LF
  6. Ryan Raburn, DH
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Alex Avila, C
  9. Ramon Santiago, 2B

P: Drew Smyly

BLUE JAYS

  1. Rajai Davis, CF
  2. Omar Vizquel, SS
  3. Ben Francisco, RF
  4. Adam Lind, 1B
  5. Eric Thames, LF
  6. Jeff Mathis, C
  7. Luis Valbuena, 2B
  8. Marcus Knecht, DH
  9. Kevin Ahrens, 3B

P: Brett Cecil

11 Comments

I was able to watch the game Sat against ATL and saw some highlights yesterday. In my limited views of Spring Training, here are some observations (hopefully not complete obvios ones):
1) Tigers have a lot of young Catching talent. These are VERY important trade chips and if these kids develop throughout the system the Tigers will be in good shape at the deadline to make an important deal.
2) Tigers have a lot of young pitching, especially left handed. MUch like the Catchers, these will be important chips for trades. Oliver or Crosby would be potentially a big incentive at the deadline.
3) Bullpen seems to be in better shape than given credit for.
4) A great development in SPring Training has been AJax drawing walks. If he gets on base, the Tigers are down right lethal.
Some worries –
1) Phil Coke. He is an important guy and for some reason seems to be getting a little burried. Hope it is because he pitched when I didn’t see him.
2) Turner. Yes he was hurt. Yes, he is only 20. But when I saw him pitch I was not dazzled. I actually thought Crosby threw better. Hope he develops in AAA.
3) Do we have too many utility players? There are not a lot of ABs available in this lineup. Kelly, Dirks and Santiago will need to play from time to time to keep sharp.

Can’t wait until the season starts. Go Tigers!

From what I saw yesterday, Ramon needs the reps at 2ndbase. It may be as simple as that, why’s he’s in there.
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I definitely think the thing to do is DL Inge. That provides a little more evaluation time for others and he’d then get a little rehab stint in Toledo, right? I wouldn’t wish an injury on anyone but this may be the best thing that could have happened.
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The competition that continues to intrigue me is Thomas/Dirks. I know a lot of people like Andy’s bat but Clete is a top notch big league defensive outfielder and has sound fundamentals. I don’t think they can go wrong with either guy. I’ll get some disagreement on that.

DIrks/Thomas – I still believe it is best to put Dirks in Toledo and let him play everyday. ANd if there is a need for a starting OF this year, bring him up. Clete would be fine on the bench, subbing for Delmon late in games and gettting a start here or there. Dirks has a brighter future, but there are just not enough oppportunities for him now.

Clete has amazing defensive skills, I have seen him catch numerous balls diving straight back, Jim Edmond’s style. Plus, he has a canon for an arm. He strikes out too much right now, but he can be a tough out when he is hitting well.

Boesch’s neck must be OK.

Forgot to mention Austin Jackson. What I saw while down there and continue to see on TV is that he’s just swinging a lot more. Combined with the retired leg kick, he’s getting it done at the plate. He just needs to put the ball in play to be successful, and hacking away is the best way to do that. If he keeps that approach, he’ll be fine as our leadoff guy.
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It’s funny how national and other market announcers are so afraid of Prince Fielder, even though Victor is the better hitter behind Cabrera.

Release Inge, DFA Thomas when Smyly is called up, and be done with it. That gives you clearly the best players on the roster.

wouldn’t say “clearly” but i agree it is what needs to be done

Depending on what goes on, you could be looking at my Opening Day lineup.”
It is the right one.I was expecting Raburn and Boesch switched but Leyland finally is aware of the fact Boesch is better against LHPs than RHPs. And Raburn going back to earth made it easy. Avila is down because he still needs to take his rhythm and usually against LHPs he wont be there

Smyly doing ok so far, brennan still a beast at the plate

my gawd these boys just DESTROYED that Cecil boy’s ERA

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