The Tigers sent a bunch of players down to the minors. None of them were too surprising except for one standout. Brent Clevlan really had a great spring. He was 10 for 31 with two doubles and three homeruns. While I didn’t expect him to play for the Tigers this year, I think we really have a solid prospect who I’m hoping to see as a regular some time in 2007. He makes Craig Monroe expendable for certain.
It’s just unfortunate that the Tigers have several “okay” corner outfielders that are in the way of Clevlan. Monroe’s decent but not great. Thames is just as good and it’ll be interesting to see if he gets a chance under new management. Speaking of Thames, he’s also had a great spring. 13 for 39 and he and Curtis Granderson lead the team with four homeruns. With Monroe on the shelf with a bad shoulder, my guess is the starting outfielders will be Thames, Granderson and Ordonez with Logan being the fourth. I’m not sure if they’ll keep a fifth because Dmitri Young is also supposed to get some time out in left field.
Also worth noting is Matt Mantei was released. Nothing earth shattering here as Mantei has never been able to stay healthy.
Carlos Pena’s fate hasn’t been decided yet either. He’s having a rough spring, although Shelton hasn’t really lit it up either. But Young’s only gotten seven at bats so far, so I have a feeling they’re waiting to see whether he’ll be ready for opening day or not.
And none of the Tigers starters have shined this spring. The fifth starter job is still up for grabs, but more troublesome is Jeremy Bonderman’s rough spring. I know spring doesn’t count, but you’d hope that he’d be doing okay especially with all of the split squad games and the dilution of talent because of the WBC. Kenny Rogers has been just as bad.
Justin Verlander gets the start this afternoon against the Dodgers so hopefully we’ll see him throw a decent game. We’re getting to the point where teams are narrowing things down so the Tigers will be facing teams that will more clearly reflect what they’ll go up against during the season. Also you should start to see the starters throw five innings. The seasons two weeks away, and now’s the time to get ready.
I might have been premature in my Marcus Thames/Craig Monroe arguement. Monroe played in his first game today as a DH and homered in his first at bat.