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Spring Training Thoughts

Camp is open. Hitters reported to camp over the weekend, and now it’s time to get down to business. Here are my thoughts/observations on what’s happened so far.

Tram has said he’s only going to carry eleven pitchers. While the rotation (Johnson, Bonderman, Ledezma, Maroth, and Robertson) is pretty much set, as is the core of the pen (Percival, Urbina, Farnsworth, and Walker), we have two slots open. My initial thought is Gary Knotts will make the team (at least it’s his to lose), letting guys like Rodney. Colyer, and German the chance to duke it out for the final bullpen spot. My bet would go on Colyer, since Tram will want another lefty to work with.

This should be the first year in a while where there’s not a revolving door out in the bullpen. Eleven different relievers logged ten or more relief appearances, and I expect that number to come down.

Magglio Ordonez appears to be ready to go. Probably the only better news would be if Carlos Guillen were ready, but it looks like he’s going to start the season on the sidelines. Expect Ramon Martinez and Jason Smith to fill in at shortstop. They could move Omar Infante over there, but I think he’s better off sticking to second base.

A couple of weeks ago I projected the Tigers lineup and I think this is still good once Guillen comes back. Until he does, I’d expect Infante to move up into the two spot, and whoever fills in for Guillen will bat ninth. Outside of Alex Sanchez, I like this lineup.

Speaking of Alex Sanchez, I’m really, really hoping Curtis Granderson has a nice start at AAA and gets called up to play. I don’t like Sanchez in the lineup, and I really don’t like him leading off (and I know that’s where Tram will put him).

March 3 is the first spring game. I for one and am excited. Baseball is here folks. You can’t ask for much more.

There’s been a lot of good stuff put out on the blogosphere recently. With tax season in full swing, I haven’t had a chance to give these sites/columns a propert plug. Hopefully tonight I’ll be able to get through it all.

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