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Pitchers and Catchers

Well, pitchers and catchers have reported and they have their first workout today.  The first full team workout is on Friday but random news has been filtering out already.  Apparently Miguel Cabrera is in much better shape and that’s a good sign considering his new fielding duties.  The other interesting piece of news is that Brandon Inge wants a shot at the second base job so that leaves three people vying for what’s probably going to be two jobs.  You’ll have the “starter” who will most likely be the better hitter and the odds on favorite for that role is Ryan Raburn.  Of course he’s had problems in the first half and he is also a better fill in than Inge in the outfield so I’d expect him to be a lock on the team.

Ramon Santiago is the late inning defensive specialist who gets the odd start now and then because he’s a switch hitter.  Inge has to supplant one of these two guys and right now, the odds of doing that are kind of slim.  He had a horrible season at the plate last year and if you look at his UZR/150 at third base, it’s gone down every season since his gold glove caliber season in 2006.  That’s not a nice trend because Inge now looks like a good third baseman, not a great third baseman.  Throw in a more demanding second base, and I think the transition is going to be tough so my guess is, he makes the roster, but without an everyday role.

The other interesting piece of news is Tony LaRussa is going to be helping out in camp.  We all know about his friendship with Jim Leyland and it looks like he’s going to be doing a few different things including spending some time with Dave Dombrowski and doing some scouting.

Well, spring training is upon us.  I’ll be going over some of the question marks the Tigers have and we’ll get to see these resolve themselves in camp.  First game is a couple of weeks away.

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