February 10th, 2014

Notes from spring training arrival

Joker Marchant Stadium

No polar vortex here. Though northern parts of Florida have had it rough this winter, the legitimately chilly temperatures supposedly haven’t gotten close to Lakeland yet. Sunny skies greeted the week on Monday, with temperatures in the mid-70s. The early arrivals here are much the same as in past years. Justin Verlander is already here, having an offseason home nearby. Rick Porcello has been working out and throwing. Drew Smyly made the trip early from his offseason home in Dallas, where a harsh winter wasn’t exactly friendly to workouts. Verlander tweeted a photo of himself and Smyly at an Orlando Magic game over the weekend. Anibal Sanchez has been around to throw and work out.

Phil Coke is here, and has been for a while. His family made the trip with him, including his wife and newborn baby (their second, born in Florida around the week of the winter caravan and TigerFest). Look for more on Phil Coke and his rebound attempt this week as we get closer to the first official workout Friday.

Duane Below has been here and throwing. That’s no surprise, since he was regularly one of the first to migrate during previous offseasons.

Max Scherzer supposedly hadn’t arrived yet as of Monday morning, but was supposedly due in shortly. He has an interesting spring ahead: His breakout 2013 season came after a relatively light spring to take it easy on his shoulder, but he said during the winter caravan that he planned on ramping up his routine again this spring to previous levels.

Add in catcher Alex Avila and pitching coach Jeff Jones, who arrived over the weekend, and the Tigers already have a sizable group. Realistically, reporting day is a formality for a lot of these guys. The surprise is when position players come on this early, which apparently Miguel Cabrera has done. The Lakeland Flying Tigers tweeted a photo of Cabrera working out on the field at Joker Marchant Stadium around mid-afternoon Monday.

Cabrera has been reporting to camp earlier and earlier in recent years, starting with his move to third base a couple seasons ago. Still, for him to make it in well before even some pitchers is pretty impressive.

The new manager, Brad Ausmus, will also be an early arrival. He’s due in tomorrow, though he isn’t scheduled to address the media until Wednesday. His main coaches, Jones and Wally Joyner, are already here, and they’ll have meetings to go over the game plan for camp.