Ausmus: Three under consideration for Opening Day start

Brad Ausmus was surprised it took this long into Spring Training for him to be asked about an Opening Day starter. It was less surprising that there’s no answer yet.

“It could be a tough decision,” Ausmus said. “You really have three legitimate Opening Day starter type pitchers on the roster. You have a Cy Young/MVP winner who’s coming off surgery but as of right now looks to be on track. You have the reigning Cy Young winner. And you have an ERA champ. So you could make an argument for any of the three, really.

“To say I hadn’t thought about it would be a lie. To say I hadn’t discussed it with coaches would be a lie. I have, but we haven’t made a final decision yet.”

It should not be assumed, he warned, that Max Scherzer’s season makes him the automatic choice to start the March 31 opener.

“It’s possible it could be Max. We just don’t know at this point,” he said.

The one safe assumption Ausmus provided is that all three candidates — Scherer, Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez — would pitch in the opening series against Kansas City if everyone’s healthy. That at least means that Verlander won’t be held back until later to give him extra prep time.

Besides the pomp and circumstance of Opening Day, the one tangible difference for that day’s starter is that he’ll be the one pitcher to make two starts in that opening homestand. He’ll still get an extra day’s rest thanks to the April 1 off-day, though a rainout (or, heaven forbid, a snowout) on Opening Day would erase that rest day.

After that opening week, the Tigers are off for three of the next eight days amidst a five-game West Coast trip to face the Dodgers and Padres. That could lead to Drew Smyly or Rick Porcello being pushed back, Ausmus said.


the link of miguel cabrera bunting in ST is actually one of the biggest deals so far re: ausmus, for me. one particular gripe I had regarding leyland was that he didn’t expect everyone on his roster to be able to lay down a bunt. now i know some people/situations you traditionally do not want them bunting. but for some nutty reason i’ve always wanted everyone on the team to be able to lay a bunt down if the are asked to. here’s to hoping and dreaming for more of that kind of coaching.

When Carrasquel replaced Leyland as manager of Caracas ( who was replacing Gates Brown), he was asked why Tony Armas did not bunt . He answered: “the only way he would bunt is if you give him a tambourine”. Bunt in spanish is said “tocar” ( also meaning playing )
And that was well before sabermetrics

Sports Center this morning had several consecutive segments on the Tigers, all complimentary. The best quip from them is a comment by Miggy that he promises to steal at least 5 bases this year. That in response to the reporter’s comment that evryone exoects anotehr banner year both average- and powerwise. Whoa Nelly!!

That’s “everyone expects another banner year”. Sorry for the fat fingers.

Hey look Dombrowski made the top 10 offseason transactions list TWICE this winter …it’s a damn shame the ‘Fister-Hot Garbage’ trade is like getting posterized.
Especially since Lombardozzi and Kroll were already Tigers (Don Kelly and Darin Downs).

I look at it as Lombardozzi replacing an aging Ramon Santiago and Kelly as a spare outfielder. Don’t know why Lombo is drawing negative reactions aside from being in the Fister trade. I’ve liked his work with the Nats.

Don’t get me wrong I hope and dream for him being an important contributor to this org for years to come. Yes, Santiago is gone but the problem is Santiago was/is a backup SS -> Lombardozzi has played no (ok 2 innings or something) SS at the MLB level. He’s listed as a OF/2B at BR. Furthermore, I understand Lombo “negativity” due to the loss of Fister being mixed up with folks discussing his MLB stats. At the MLB level he has been less than successful: 2013 OPS .616 and career .639, 3SB in 2013 and 6 for his career, 3.0 SO/BB ratio for his career and a -0.2 dWar (BR) in 2013 and for his career.
Tell me the work Lombo did to impress you! Is he a grinder like Dirks? Is he clutch like Alex Avila? Does he do a good job of playing small ball? …things one can’t see with a standard look at the stats……

aw crap those 3SB n 2013 and 6 for his career — those are CS; my bad! His SB in 2013 was 4 and 9 for his career. Maybe CoPa will allow the ball to find a place to land — his BABIP for his career is like .292.

“Tell me the work Lombo did to impress you! Is he a grinder like Dirks? Is he clutch like Alex Avila? Does he do a good job of playing small ball? …things one can’t see with a standard look at the stats……”
Yes. That’s it.

It wouldn’t bother me if JV wasn’t starting on Opening Day. I just hope they take their time, and don’t try to rush him at all. The important thing is that he’ll be healthy for the entire season.

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