Results tagged ‘ Curtis Granderson ’

Ordonez sits, Granderson bats 5th

Manager Jim Leyland followed through with his plans to get in as many left-handed bats as he could against Fausto Carmona. That means Jeff Larish getting a day at first base, Miguel Cabrera a day at designated hitter, and Magglio Ordonez a day out of the lineup. Josh Anderson will lead off for the second time this week, with Curtis Granderson hitting fifth.

“Carmona, that’s a tough ticket whyen you’re going good, let alone when you’re struggling,” Leyland said.

Adam Everett is also sitting in favor of Ramon Santiago, but it isn’t for his health. He said Luis Valbuena’s hard but clean side got him in his left ankle, the one he sprained in Spring Training, but it didn’t do much damage. If he didn’t have the ankle taped because of the sprain, it would’ve easily been worse.

Don’t be surprised to see the Tigers on the run again if they get guys on base, especially Anderson, Thomas and Granderson. Victor Martinez is back behind the plate, where he has thrown out one out of 10 would-be basestealers so far this season.

TIGERS

  1. Anderson, LF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Thomas, RF
  4. Cabrera, DH
  5. Granderson, CF
  6. Larish, 1B
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Edwin Jackson

INDIANS

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Victor Martinez, C
  4. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
  5. Mark DeRosa, 3B
  6. David Dellucci, DH
  7. Ryan Garko, 1B
  8. Ben Francisco, LF
  9. Luis Valbuena, 2B

P: Fausto Carmona

By the way, it’s really windy and cooling off in Cleveland. The flags suggest the breeze is either coming from left or blowing left ro right.

Highlight plays and Gold Gloves

To me, one of the factors that adds to the impact of Curtis Granderson’s incredible catch Friday night was the player it came against. Grady Sizemore has probably had more highlight catches over the course of his career, certainly more memorable catches at the fence or near the track. In fact, one of his highlight catches last year or two years ago was a diving catch going back in the gap that robbed Granderson in Cleveland.

So when somebody mentioned Sizemore to Granderson, his thoughts went to that catch pretty quickly.

“He’s robbed me of a few, too, here in this ballpark,” Granderson said after the game. “That’s the only place we seem to do it. Our ballpark’s so big, you can’t play deep enough, and if we do, we can’t hit it to center field. He’s definitely taken away a lot of balls against our team, and against me in particular. I get the chance to even it out, sure enough. He’s probably going to be trying to get me tomorrow.”

When you think about the ballpark comments, it’s a great point. Most of Granderson’s highlight catches in his career have been sliding or diving grabs in front of him. The one memorable grab at the fence from him in my mind is the catch he made to rob then-Red Sox player Wily Mo Pena on July 8, 2007. You can watch the replay here under the top play link and realize how far he had to run to get to the fence.

It raises an intriguing question that has come up before: How big of a role do highlight plays factor in Gold Glove awards? These are the plays coaches around the league see and hear about the next day in their respective clubhouses, and coaches make the vote. Granderson was arguably been underrated as an outfielder, though his stats took a little bit of a dip last year.

Well, already this season you have the incredible throw to the plate Granderson made on the fly last month, and now this. If Granderson can put up the stats — he put a LOT of emphasis on his defense this spring — will highlight plays become a factor that gets him serious Gold Glove consideration?

Another night, another rarity

Curtis Granderson’s ninth-inning home run made him just the second Tiger ever to homer off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Bobby Higginson was the other, hitting him for a game-tying shot in the ninth inning on July 6, 1999 at Tiger Stadium. It was one of just two home runs Rivera allowed all season.

Granderson’s at-bat against Rivera was the 167th for the Tigers against him in his career, and just their 24th hit.

Granderson on Letterman

letterman.jpgCurtis Granderson will make an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman Thursday night. He’ll be among the members of Team USA reading answers for the Top Ten list that night. I guess they taped it already, and he’s somewhere in the middle of the list, for whatever that’s worth.

Another injury for Team USA outfield

Colorado’s Brad Hawpe had to pull out of the World Baseball Classic with an injured left hand. No replacement was immediately announced, but suffice it to say, Granderson’s role on Team USA seems to be getting bigger.

Granderson is expected to play for the Tigers in Sunday’s game against the Pirates at Bradenton, weather permitting, before heading to Clearwater Sunday night for a Team USA. They’ll work out in Clearwater for most of next week and play a few Spring Training games before heading to Toronto next weekend for the opening round.

Granderson likely in CF for Classic

News today out of Indians camp is that Grady Sizemore has pulled out of the World Baseball Classic with a groin pull. Shane Victorino has replaced him on the Team USA roster. The move should probably mean a lot more playing time in center for Granderson in the Classic, though Victorino also plays center.

As I finish this, Granderson just made a lunging catch in right-center field to take a potential hit away from Rod Barajas and end the first inning for Armando Galarraga.

Mailbag: Lyon, Zumaya, Bonderman, Inge, Cabrera

Still rummaging through the leftover mailbag questions, but also mixed in a few new ones that came in. If you have a question, or a tangent, or maybe even a rambling, click the link here to send an email.

With the signing of Brandon Lyon to a one-year contract, where does that leave Joel Zumaya? Is he still in line for the closers role?
- Gareth R., Okemos, Mich.

This will sound like a non-answer, but it’s really the Tigers’ approach: Zumaya isn’t in line for any particular role until he’s healthy and pitching again, which is the Tigers’ priority with him right now. After two years of injuries, that’s really how they have to proceed. Once he gets back on the mound in games and gets comfortable, then the Tigers will think about where he fits in this bullpen. Barring a desperate need, like injuries to Lyon and Rodney, he will not be the closer starting out.

I was at TigerFest this weekend and Jeremy Bonderman wasn’t there. I have been to TigerFest for the past six years and he has never missed one. Is he expected to be healthy this season, is he okay? I am predicting him to have a great season.
- Martina E., East Lansing

No worries, he’s fine. Bonderman is working out at the Tigers’ spring training complex in Lakeland. The Tigers had him stay down there and focus on his rehab rather than go to TigerFest, which is the same approach they took with Zumaya.

I have read that Brandon Inge has added “15 pounds of muscle”. Could this adversely affect his fielding agility?
- Janice N., Farmington Hills

Hard to tell until he actually gets out on the field this spring. There are a lot of players at 200 pounds and above who have been and are very good third basemen, though many of them are also taller than six feet. One of Inge’s strongest points defensively has always been his first step, a big part of his range, but as you said, the added weight is apparently muscle. If he can go from catching every day to playing third base again down the stretch last year and not miss a beat, I’m not particularly worried.

When the Tigers originally traded for Miguel Cabrera, one of the biggest concerns the Tigers had with him was his weight. During last offseason he worked hard and lost about 20 pounds, but after he moved to first base last season, I heard nothing about his weight. Is Miguel still working on cutting out some fat, or has the new position made the Tigers content with having him play at a high weight?
- Karlek J., Northville

Cabrera looked like someone in good shape when he was in town for the winter caravan this past week. More important, two people who have personally watched Cabrera work out this winter — Carlos Guillen worked out with him in many days, while strength and conditioning coach Javair Gillett visited them in Venezuela — say he went at it hard and is in very good shape.

The focus on Cabrera is not on losing a bunch more weight. He did that already. He’s never going to be as slender as other players because of his body frame, and you don’t want to sap his power. The focus is on his quickness and his strength at a good playing weight for first base.

I heard the Tigers might move Granderson down in the lineup. Do you see that as a possibility, and if so, who do you see leading off?
- John B., Allendale, Mich.

Maybe someday Granderson will hit more towards the middle of the order, which is what you might have heard. But barring a bunch of injuries further down the order, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. With the lineup as it is, Granderson is the one natural leadoff guy on the roster.

Whatever happened to Francisco Cruceta? He was built up as the answer and then was late reporting to camp because of visa problems. He then had a brief stint with the Tigers, who traded Jason Grilli to make room for him. Last I heard he went to Toledo and disappeared from the radar.
- Dave C., Chatham, Ontario

UPDATE @ 12am: Cruceta signed a contract with the Samsung Lions of the Korean Baseball Organization, where he will be teammates with former Royals pitcher Runelvys Hernandez. Cruceta was a Minor League free agent at the end of last season, since he wasn’t on the Tigers 40-man roster.

Could you help me understand why the Tigers don’t seem to be showing any interest in Manny Ramirez? He seems worth any deal they could negotiate.
- Eric S., Grosse Pointe

Considering Ramirez doesn’t appear anywhere close to signing with any club, a lot of teams would beg to differ. In the Tigers’ case, they don’t have the room to add him to the payroll, and even if they did, their approach to the offseason was that they have enough offense and needed to focus on defense and pitching.

Many view Ramirez as a designated hitter waiting to happen. My sense over the last couple years is that in the future, the Tigers might rather not have a full-time DH, and instead rotate some guys in and out of there — including Cabrera maybe — to ease some wear and tear on players.

13 Tigers on World Baseball Classic rosters

Before you read the list, keep in mind two things: These are 45-man provisional rosters, not the final 28-man rosters that will be announced next month, so a few of these guys might not make the cut. Plus, some of these players weren’t going to spring training with the big league club, so they won’t cut into the camp population. With that in mind, here’s the list, sorted by country:

Curtis Granderson, OF, USA
Justin Verlander, P, USA
Miguel Cabrera, IF, Venezuela
Armando Galarraga, P, Venezuela
Carlos Guillen, OF, Venezuela
Magglio Ordonez, OF, Venezuela
Placido Polanco, 2B, Dominican Rep.
Fernando Rodney, P, Dominican Rep.
Fu-Te Ni, P, Chinese Taipei
Cale Iorg, IF, Canada
Max St. Pierre, C, Canada
Andrew Graham, C, Australia
Brendan Wise, P, Australia

Granderson accepts invite to WBC

Curtis Granderson received and accepted an invitation Thursday to join Team USA for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He’ll be in the outfield alongside current known commitments Grady Sizemore and Ryan Braun. The prospect of Sizemore and Granderson as teammates is an interesting one, given their similar talents.

Granderson’s long desire to play internationally was a part of his presentation when he joined a delegation of Major League and U.S. Olympic officials in November for a meeting with the International Olympic Committee to propose restoring baseball to the Olympic Games. One of his favorite baseball cards in his childhood collection, he said, was a Mark McGwire Team USA card from the 1984 Summer Olympics, the first for baseball as an Olympic sport.

Granderson joins what could be a sizeable list of Tigers players taking part in the World Baseball Classic. Carlos Guillen confirmed in November that he plans to participate again for Team Venezuela. Tiger teammates Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera are expected to do the same. All of them were on an early list of invited players at the end of November. Second baseman Placido Polanco could also take part for the Dominican Republic, though he said near season’s end that he was inclined not to participate this time around.

UPDATE: Add Armando Galarraga to the above list. He was not on the original list for Venezuela, but he was later invited and promptly accepted. Also, Brad Hawpe is the fourth and final outfielder invited to play for Team USA. If he accepts, he’ll take some playing time, though how that four-man, three-spot mix will work remains to be seen.

Saturday: Tigers vs. White Sox

Curtis Granderson is 0-for-6 lifetime against White Sox left-hander John Danks, but he’s leading off Saturday nonetheless. At this point, manager Jim Leyland said, Granderson is the everyday leadoff hitter, regardless of the opposing starter. His improvement against left-handed pitching has been notable.

Danks does mean, however, that Marcus Thames is back in the lineup after having the last three games off. Matt Joyce sits.

TIGERS (52-50)

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Guillen, 3B
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Sheffield, DH
  7. Thames, LF
  8. Renteria, SS
  9. Inge, C

WHITE SOX (58-43)

  1. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  2. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  3. Carlos Quentin, LF
  4. Jermaine Dye, RF
  5. Jim Thome, DH
  6. Nick Swisher, 1B
  7. Alexei Ramirez, 2B
  8. Dewayne Wise, CF (former Toledo Mud Hen)
  9. Josh Fields, 3B

Somebody asked whether Carlos Guillen’s wife was still in the hospital. The good news from Carlos is that she was able to go home today.

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