Leyland on V-Mart: “We’re backing him off a little bit”

A day after Victor Martinez reportedly winced on a swing Friday against the Mets and left after two at-bats, he was not in the lineup for either Tiger split-squad game and did not take part in batting practice Saturday. He was in the clubhouse at Joker Marchant Stadium all morning, but wasn’t in uniform. However, he was walking around without any noticeable problem, and he had nothing wrapped or iced.

So at this point, other than the swing Friday and the move to get him out of the game, there are no additional signs that anything’s serious. It’s certainly curious, though.

Manager Jim Leyland said in his pregame session that Martinez is fine.

“We’re backing him off a little bit,” Leyland said.

Leyland had said earlier this week that he might have to tell Martinez to take a break. In that sense, it’s not unexpected, but doing it on a split-squad day adds to the curiosity.

As of this morning, Martinez was not on the travel list for Sunday’s game against the Braves at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex, a short drive from his home in the Orlando area.


Knock on wood!

Say it ain’t so:
From MLBTR: “Tigers manager Jim Leyland remains interested in bringing Jose Valverde back as a safety net but the money still isn’t good enough to facilitate a return, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The veteran would serve as insurance against rookie Bruce Rondon, who is slated to take over the role of closer in 2013”

I’ll believe it when I see it. The same rumors were floated about Soriano, and Valverde has the same agent.

It is very interesting to see the affection and loyalty and respect that JL has for Jose. I know relievers often have off years then on years but I do think Papa is in decline. I also could not stand to see the return of (defensive indifference). It always grated me that a MLB pitcher had zero ability to hold a runner on or, in fact, even care.

Wasn’t he supposed to pitch in the WBC and backed out? His arm was “dead” by September last year and has he even shown any MLB team some of his pitches this spring? If he’s got the ‘ol mojo back, OK. But, I won’t believe it til I see it.

“Dirks’ impressive day at the plate comes less than a day after Leyland said the 27-year-old looked “rusty” after striking out twice in three at-bats Friday.”

yes dirks had a good day, i thought Kobernus did too.
JL and others (e.g. Jim Price) aren’t sold on Rondon — he’s been shaky so far. Is bringing back VV a solution? Probably not unless the potato can a) prove he has his sinker back, b) pitch in a role other than closer, c) hold runners on base.
Don Kelly is hitting lefties pretty good tho (e.g. his OPS is over 1.000)
Prolly see Darin Downs pitch tomorrow……and he’s been lights out so far this spring. Might he win the spot over Villareal or Rondon?

Enjoying the baseball on a cold windy day in Lakeland.
Smyly mixed up and spotted his pitches well. Looked good.
Kobernus hitting the fence in LC and legging out a triple with that long easy stride of his.
Miggy’s high pop to RC disappeared beyond the fence in the wind.
I’m convinced Phil Coke can close for this team if need be.
The seats behind the plate today peppered with foul balls for some reason. One of them landed in the lap of Dave Dombrowski, who promptly gave it to a kid.
A pre-teen girl named Chloe absolutely nailed the National Anthem and then God Blessed America during the 7th inning stretch. If we weren’t already standing, we would have given her a standing ovation. This girl has a future with the right vocal instruction.
Starling Marte with a bunt so perfectly placed that Cabrera, Dotel, and Avila looked like they were playing statues. Nobody moved a muscle as Marte sprinted down to 1stbase.
I do get to complain about the weather this time because it’s 37 degrees here. I can get that weather at home!

top 3 guys in innings pitched this ST so far:
1. Lobstein (5.2IP, .375avg, 1.59WHIP),
2. Hill (5.0IP, .417avg, 2.60WHIP),
3. Marte (5.0IP, .235avg, 0.80WHIP)
top 3 WHIPS in ST so far:
1. Smyly (5.0IP, .067avg, 0.20WHIP)
2. Down (4.0IP, .143avg, 0.50WHIP)
3. Verlander (5.0IP, .167avg, 0.60WHIP)

to be fair Sanchez (5.0IP, .333avg, 1.40WHIP), Sanchez and Verlander all tied Hill and Marte with 5 innings pitched

For starters Rondon doesn’t appear to be the answer so far… and its hard to say he is just working on stuff since he pitched all winter in Venezuela he is not rusty like guys who haven’t pitched in three months. Its a real risk in my opinion to think that this guy can be a closer for a WS caliber team. I’m basing this on stats in Venezuela, and what Jim and Dan on the radio are saying. They have pretty much stated that this guy doesn’t appear to be ready.

Secondly after all the saves that Jose had for this team over the last three years and how he performed you’d think that he had sucked the way people have talked about him. He was an integral part of the winning ways around here. And I think that Jim is right I think that people are going to miss this guy when in a month we don’t have a guy that can close games. All closers even the sainted Mariono Rivera has blown many saves, in fact a worse percentage than Jose over the last few years. Now I don’t know if Jose has completely lost it or if he was injured or had a dead arm at the end but it really irks me that nobody will give this dude any credit for how he performed for us.

He is not the reason we lost the world series and didn’t even really compete you can had that honor to Mr. Verlander, Mr. Fielder and to a lesser extent Mr. Cabrera, they stunk. And I still say that Verlander totally skipping the first game of the WS allowed them to feel like they had a chance and if they got past him they had it in the bag. Turned the momentum so to speak.

In Venezuela he worked 19 innings ending in late December.
His stats in Venezuela are misguiding. He was hit hard twice. Once for 5 runs
His was shaky in his first game in Venezuela and almost perfect but for two innings the rest of the way. He was hit hard twice. Once for 5 runs

Is he ready? I dont know
His mentality? He is Bondo without the nerves. He is a bulldog and a team player. Had he been pitching yesterday, Gardner would be out today with soreness

30 plus rookies have done it

Valverde peripherals were bad last year:1.78 SO/BB. I was his supporter while he was with the team but for once they let someone go before it was too late

Dan and Jim also dismissed Aníbal. And they were way wrong

Valverde vs LHB:1.11 SO/BB .257 /.337/.754 21 BB 3 HR
Francisco Rodríguez would be a better option.

it’s early in spring, i’d be surprised if Leyland has made up his mind yet about Rondon. i imagine that most managers could stomach a closer with wavering control as long as he’s not walking everybody and he’s infrequently giving up solid contact. it’s a bit cliched, but Rondon could be one of those guys who is effectively wild.

If he can keep that fastball down he will just fine.

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