It helps when you go up against a 100+ loss team who’s missing one of their best hitters, but the Tigers threw a gem against the Nationals this afternoon in a 3-0 win. Alfredo Figaro got the start in place of Rick Porcello and all he did was throw three shutout innings. Fernando Rodney continued to look sharp with a shutout frame while Casey Fien struck out three and gave up a pair of hits in two shutout innings. Clay Rapada got out of a big bases loaded, no outs jam and he struck out two in his single frame.
Wilkin Ramirez pretty much was the Tigers offense. He went three for four with two RBIs and a run. Brent Clevlen reached base three times with a single and two walks in a game that saw the Tigers put up just seven hits.
Alright, tomorrow is the much anticipated televised game (at least it’s anticipated by me) Zach Miner will get the start at Lakeland tomorrow against the Cardinals.
Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson were once again joined up in a spring game and unlike previous games where both struggled, at least this afternoon the Tigers got some quality innings out of one of the two. Dontrelle Willis got the start and he was the one who got shelled. He gave up three in the first then one in the second before finally getting out of an inning unscathed in the third. Nate Robertson then threw three innings of one hit shutout baseball and he was matched by Eddie Bonine who three shutout innings himself as the Tigers got back into the game.
Speaking of Bonine, he’s quietly put together a solid spring. He’ll still probably start the season with the Hens, but that’ll give Toledo a solid starting pitching option in the early months.
In the meantime, the Rick Porcello train has been at least slowed down. He’ll miss his start tomorrow because he cyt the nail on the index finger of his throwing hand. In his place, Alfredo Figaro will get the nod.
Gerald Laird and Mike Hessman both went yard in the Tigers win. Timo Perez doubled twice and drove in a run while Alexis Gomez went two for three with a run and an RBI. A lot of the damage by the Tigers came off of Jays hurler Mike Maroth.
The Tigers and Nationals square off and the game is on the radio. Monday, I’ve pretty much planned my day around the Tigers first televised game when they take on St. Louis.
The US is getting knocked around although they finally put their first run on the board. They still have a tough task being down 6-1 to Puerto Rico though.
Ouch. The Tigers were knocked around pretty handily by the Mets this afternoon. Edwin Jackson got off to a nice start with three shutout innings, but he gave up a pair in the fourth and couldn’t get a guy out in the fifth before Freddy Dolsi came in and got an assist on a four run fifth inning. From there, the pen was manhandled as well. The lone bright spot was Bobby Seay, who threw a shutout inning. The only other pitcher not to give up a run was Chris Lambert, but even he gave up two hits and a walk in the ninth inning.
It’s also bad when your offensive star of the game is Adam Everett. He went deep with his first homerun of the spring. Unfortunately, it was just one of five Tigers hits. Jeff Larish had the only other extra base hit with a double and he scored while Gary Sheffield reached base twice with a single and a walk. Cale Iorg continued his tough spring and he went 0 for 2 with his fourth error of the spring.
The bid deal tomorrow isn’t even the game the Tigers play against the Blue Jays, it’s all of the pitching action in the morning. Jeremy Bonderman is scheduled to throw a simulated game as is Kyle Bloom. Joel Zumaya was scheduled to throw, but he’s got some tightness up near his shoulder and neck so he won’t throw. Dontrelle Willis and Chris Lambert will log some innings against the Jays, and the Tigers will face a familiar face because Mike Maroth is scheduled to throw for the Jays. Gametime is 1 pm and WXYT is picking up the game. Not sure if I’ll get to catch this one (weekend games are tough with the kid, and he’s testing for his orange belt in karate in the morning) but I plan on turing into the US/Puerto Rico game tomorrow night.
007 Quantum of Solace release I just downloaded all of the plugins for the new MLB.com media player and I’m watching the Mexico/Cuba game. Like the title, all I can say is wow. You get the hi-def picture, and there’s also DVR capabiities although the rewind function is a little quirky. Even with it on full screen mode doesn’t diminish the picture too much. The only I wish is that you could get the feed for the MLB Network. I don’t get that through my regular cable subscription. Although I was able to rewind into the pregame show for the WBC game.
Of course the one team I can’t watch is the Tigers because they’re subject to a black out. Fortunately, all of their games are televised this year.
The Tigers get a day off today, and it looks like it’s good timing because their pitching staff needs some recovery time. Justin Verlander was the latest hurler to get rocked. He lasted just two innings and while the four runs he gave up were bad, it was the four walks that’s pretty troubling. Fortunately, the pen came through and the Tigers escaped with a 7-4 win. Scott Williamson bounced back with two shutout innings while Juan Ricon had another great outing when he allowed just one hit in two shutout frames.
Gary Sheffield brought his big bat to the game. He belted two home runs and drove in three to lead the Tigers. Wilkin Ramirez belted a solo shot and he scored twice while Gerald Laird was a perfect two for two.
The Tigers got a small bite of the injury bug. Marcus Thames and Matt Treanor are both day to day. That’ll give guys like Avila and “pick your minor league outfielder” a chance for some additional playing time.
John Sickels came out with a sleeper/breakout AL Central prospect piece and Tigers farmhand Brandon Douglas was his pick for the Tigers.
Edwin Jackson gets the start tomorrow against the Mets and the Tigers will go up against a familiar face. The Mets will start Freddy Garcia. Unfortunately, no radio coverage for this one. The final game of the first round of the WBC classic is tonight. Cuba takes on Mexico and while both teams have moved on, this is the seeding game. the US playes their next game on Saturday night when they take on Puerto Rico.
In 2007, I wrote a couple of pieces for Tigers Corner, an annual guide to the Tigers put out by Maple Street Press. In 2008, I stepped up my involvement and became the managing editor. In 2009, I once again was a contibutor and managing editor of Tigers Corner until we got the rug pulled out from under us.
While there were some mistakes made on our end, the publisher decided, at the eleventh hour, to pull Tigers Corner out of their lineup. We had a lot of people put in a lot of work on this and the fact that the publication never saw the light of day comes with some sadness. And while we didn’t do everything right on our end, I’m convinced that if the publisher wanted to make the annual happen, he could have. Instead, he decided to just put it on the chopping block.
The good news is, our loss is your gain. The publication was pretty much written so we’ve set up a Tigers Corner website that will essentially be an online guide of what the book would have looked like. You won’t get as many pretty pictures, but you’ll get some top notch, high quality writing by a group of people I had the pleasure of working with. The longterm goal is to then put out a future publication where we have a little more control and this kind of thing doesn’t happen again. In the meantime, enjoy the content.
For those of you new to Tigers Minors, it’s basically the Tigers minor league affiliate to Tigerblog. The past two years, Mike Cassidy has posted updates on the Tiger’s minor league affiliates and while that’s interesting by itself, we had a special treat. Tigers minor league pitcher Andrew Hess blogged about his time with the White Caps and in the Hawaiian Winter League and this year, he’s back. His first post was last night and I look forward to working with Andrew again.
The Tigers are a little thinner after this morning. As Jason Beck writes, Jon Kibler, Rudy Darrow and Jeff Kunkel were all sent to minor league camp. No big surprise, and I hope they all took advantage of their time with the big league guys. I’m a big fan of Kibler because he’s a Sparty and I’m interested in seeing how he pitches this year, most likely at Lakeland.
This time, the Cardinals took care of the Tigers 5-2. Chris Duncan took Zach Miner deep with a two run shot in the first inning and from there on, the Cardinals never yielded the lead. Miner gave up another run in the third in a rough outing in which he lasted just three innings. He was touched up for seven hits but he struck out two without giving up a walk. Four of the hits were extra bases (three doubles and the homerun).
Ryan Perry pitched another shutout inning and we could have 2006 all over again when Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya made the team as a starter and reliever respectively. This time, it’s Rick Porcello and Perry. Perry allowed on hit and while he didn’t strike anyone out, it was a solid inning none the less.
Marcus Thames put the Tigers on the board with a solo shot in the second inning, his second homer of the spring. He and Brent Clevlen both had a pair of hits to pace the Tigers six hit attack (or lack thereof). Ryan Raburn doubled, drove in a run and filled in for Jeff Larish out in rightfield midway through the game.
Tomorrow, the Tigers take on the Yankees in Lakeland. Should be a good one because team aces Justin Verlander and CC Sabathia square off.
I’m listening to the game, and Zach Miner is having a tought time again. So far it’s single, home run, double in the first. 2-0 Cardinals and Miner hasn’t gotten an out yet.
Miner recovered nicely and got the next three batters. It’d be nice if he calmed down and put together a nice outing.
While the Tigers took the 1-0 loss to Florida tonight, the fact that the pitchers didn’t allow a single walk must have brought a smile to his face after the last few days. Rick Porcello continued his early ascent to the Tigers rotation with three shutout innings. He struck out just one and he gave up five hits, but nobody crossed the plate. The outing brought Porcello’s spring ERA down to 2.25. Not too shabby for a kid who could be just wrapping up his sophomore year of college had he gone that route.
The lone run came off of Brandon Lyon and even that was unearned. Freddy Dolsi was particularly impressive with two strikeouts in a perfect inning. Lyon gave up two hits but he also struck out two.
Adam Everett was the lone Tiger with two hits in the shutout loss. Jeff Larish had a tough time and while he singled, he also struck out three times. Clete Thomas also had three strikeouts while Mike Hessman and Ryan Raburn both struck out twice.
Zach Miner gets the start tomorrow. It’s a day game against the Cardinals. The Cardinals have it on the radio so I’ll be able to listen to most of this one.
One of my daily reads is Beyond the Boxscore and one of their features is the Graph of the Day. Yesterday’s gragh took a look at some of the best second basemen and their respective Wins Above Replacement. When I looked at the graph, I immediately thought Lou Whitaker but I wasn’t alone because he was the first player talked about in the comments.
The Yankees took it to the Tigers in 12-3 loss this afternoon and it looks like neither Nate Robertson nor Dontrelle Willis realy want that fifth starter spot. Robertson kicked things off with his best Willis imitation. He gave up three runs on three hits and, more importantly, four walks in just two innings. Willis was then knocked out early after he gave up two runs in his two innings. Unfortunately, those outings look sharp compared to the six runs Scott Williamson gave up in just 2/3 of an inning.
The top performer on the mound was Fernando Rodney. He struck out the side in his single inning of work while Juan Rincon continued to shine with a perfect eighth inning.
Prospect Will Rhymes accounted for most of the Tigers offense with a two run homer in the sixth inning. Jeff Larish had a pair of hits and a run and unfortunately, those two hits were half of what the Tigers picked up as a team. I know the Tigers have a lot of guys in the WBC (I’m watching five of them right now in the USA/Venezuela game) but the team has to pick it up.
Rick Porcello will take another stab at forcing the Tigers hand in a night game against the Marlins. Tomorrow is one of the first days I can think of in a long time where I don’t have anything I REALLY need to do so I was looking forward to catching the game but their not on until the evening, when it’s tough because my son doesn’t go to bed until 8:30. It’s not even on the radio anyway so I’ll probably watch the Orioles/Mets game.
If you’re a fan of the minor leagues like I am, be sure to check out Matt Wallace’s proposed newsletter. He’s looking for stake holders in getting his newsletter going so stop by and say hello (and bring your checkbook).
Two bad innings were all it took to turn this afternoon’s game into a route. Edwin Jackson was humbled and gave up three runs in the first before he calmed down and threw shutout innings in the second and third. Then Rule 5 guy Kyle Bloom was hammered for five runs in the fifth inning. The good came from a pair of prospects although I’m sure the Phillies had checked it in with their reserves. Ryan Perry struck out two in 1 2/3 innings while Alfredo Figaro struck out three and didn’t allow a baserunner in the final two frames.
On the hitting side, the Tigers scored both of their runs via the long ball. Clete Thomas and Scott Sizemore both went deep with solo shots. Ramon Santiago went three for three with two steals while Mike Hessman went two for three with a walk and a strikeout.
I missed most of the WBC action today. I just checked in and I’m watching a decent game between Italy and Venezuela. In fact former Tiger Jason Grilli is throwing right now for Italy and former Tiger Frank Catalanotto put Venezuela on the board with a solo homer. It was nice to see the US take care of business in a well fought game against Canada today.
The Tigers take on the Yankees tomorrow. Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis are supposed to get some innings. It’d be nice to see some solid innings from both of these guys.
It wasn’t a good day for Justin Verlander. He was solid in his first two starts this spring but tonight he was knocked around for four runs on four hits and a walk and just as important, he lasted just 2 1/3 innings. Zach Simons (who I don’t think was originally supposed to pitch) was also beat up for two runs in the eighth inning.
The Tigers managed just six hits in the loss. Alex Avila drove in a pair of runs that cut the lead to 4-3 but the Yankees opened the game up later and won 7-3. Brandon Inge reached base twice with a pair of walks while Placido Polanco doubled and scored a run.
Tomorrow, we’ll get Edwin Jackson on the mound. Joel Zumaya, Kyle Bloom, Ryan Perry and Clay Rapada are all schedule to pitch as well. Jackson has thrown five shutout innings so far in two starts and hopefully his success continues. I’m probably most interested in seeing how Bloom throws. He’s thrown four shutout innings with three strikeouts. I didn’t think he had much of a chance as the Tigers Rule 5 pick but so far, he’s shown he can get it done.
CC Sabathia gets the start for the Yankees tonight as the Tigers head to Tampa for their first night game of the spring. Justin Verlander gets the start for he Tigers and he’s been sharp in his two short starts so far this season. Brandon Lyon, Bobby Seay and Freddy Dolsi will all get some time on the mound as well.
Korea took care of business against Chinese Taipei this morning as Pool A in the WBC continued this morning. No big surprise because it was Korea and Japan who walked out of this bracket the last time around. That means we’ll get to see the two power houses go head to head Saturday night. The United States begin their run Saturday afternoon and they’ll play Canada at Rogers Centre.
I missed this yesterday, but Gerald Laird left the game yesterday with a quad strain. Right now he’s day to day.
Patrick Sullivan at Baseball Analysts had a nice column on the best players at each position who played their entire careers for one team. Not only did Charlie Gehringer make the cut, but he got the most competition from former Tiger Lou Whitaker at second base.
I thought there was a relatively new biography on Gehringer but I couldn’t find it at Amazon.com.
If you’re an ESPN Insider, you can read this. If not, here’s the long and short. Lou Piniella says he might have to add a firstbase/third base infielder before the spring is done. You wonder if the Tigers could move Jeff Larish to the Cubs and get something that might help immediately (maybe another reliever or if not, then at least a prospect that’s younger). I’ve always been a fan of Larish, but there’s no where for him to go and his big league call up wasn’t all that great last year. He’s also getting old as far as prospects go (in fact he’s six months older then Miguel Cabrera, who’s the Tigers starter at first). Finally, you have another first base prospect in Ryan Strieby who’s coming up though the system.
I’m not sure how much progress Larish has made at third base, so I wonder how much that would play into things. I also haven’t checked to see who the Cubs might have that the Tigers would find useful so it’s just a little bit of speculation.
Jeff Larish had a big day at the plate as the Tigers took care of Washington 10-2. Larish hit a pair of homeruns and he also doubled en route to a three run, three RBI day. His second inning solo shot put the Tigers on the board and he also drew a walk. It was a nice game from Larish, who hadn’t done all that much this spring (although he had just four at bats going into the game).
Matt Treanor and Marcus Thames also homered in the game. Treanor’s was a three run shot. In all, seven of the Tigers thirteen hits were for extra bases.
Believe it or not, the Nationals actually led 2-0 in this game. Zach Miner gave up a pair of runs in the top of the second inning in a mediocre start, but the pen looked very sharp. Juan Rincon struck out three in two shutout innings while Scott Williamson gave up a walk and a hit, but he struck out one in his shutout inning. Casey Fien struck out two as he closed out the game.
Tomorrow, the Tigers take on the Yankees in Tampa and it’s the Tigers first night game. Unfortunately, it’s not on television although WXYT is picking it up. Doesn’t look like the Tigers will be MLB.TV until their first televised game on March 16th and that’ll be on FSN Detroit anyway.
The first game of the WBC is in the books and Japan took care of China 4-0. I might watch some of the replay tonight although I find it hard getting into that game. I’ll probably opt for the White Sox/Cubs game.
Good news for Tiger fans. Jeremy Bonderman played catch 8MM move and it looks like his shoulder is doing better. He’ll have another throwing session on Friday, the Tigers will then move him to the mound.
So far, the battle for the fifth spot in the rotation has seen several players fall flat on their faces at the starting line. Dontrelle Willis, Nate Robertson and Zach Miner have all been roughed up so far this spring and the lone standout has been Rick Porcello. Keep in mind though, Porcello has yet to be really tested. Panama has some solid players but it’s not like he was going up against a top tier team like Japan or the US.
Still, Porcello pitched two shutout innings and he struck out three so his progress bears watching. I know he’s probably a fan favorite, but the Tigers would probably rather go with their veterans then rush Porcello. Of course if Jeremy Bonderman can’t bounce back, then all bets are off.
The Story of Us psp Wilkin Ramirez had a nice day at the plate. He went two for five with a triple, and RBI a run and a stolen base. No other Tiger had more then one hit and as a team, the Tigers struck out ten times (Wilkin Ramirez also struck out twice).
Grapefruit league action continues today as the Tigers take on the Nationals. There’s no coverage so I’ll probably listen to the USA team take on the Philles. Zach Miner gets his first start of the season and a slate of relievers follow him. I’m particularly interested in seeing how Scott Williamson does. I’ve always been a fan of his.
Make sure you stop by Baseball Musings. David Pinto is having his annual pledge drive and if you want to help out one of the top notch bloggers out there, try to give whatever you can. His site makes working on mine a lot easier. Make sure you check out his lineup analysis of the Tigers. Looks like the projected linup is almost in line with the optimal lineup so hopefully that sticks.