The Tigers played their second to last spring game yesterday and they lost a close to the Braves 3-1. You wonder how intensely these guys were playing through with the opener just a few days away and that kind of showed at the plate with just five hits. The only extra baggers were doubles by Curtis Granderson and Ramon Santago and Josh Anderson scored the lone run in the seventh inning.
Zach Miner had three shutout frames before he was touched up for three runs in the fourth inning. The big blow was a two run homer by former Tiger Omar Infante. After that, things looked pretty good because none of the four relievers gave up a run. Juan Rincon closed the game out and he finished his spring season without giving up an earned run while Brandon Lyon’s shutout frame got his ERA down to 5.25.
Nate Robertson has made some comments about being dropped into the pen
. I’ve always been a big Nate Robertson fan (it’s a southpaw thing) but I also understand how poor of a year he had (although he had some help from the pen) last year. My suggestion to Nate would be to force the Tigers hand by pitching your guts out every time you come out on the mound and leave them no choice but to put you back in the rotation. I know it’s easy to get frustrated when the news drops but I still think Robertson can be a big key to a winning Tiger team.
A lot is being made about the Tigers having an all right handed rotation. While it’s going to be limiting, that puts even more pressure on the lefty’s coming out of the pen because they’ll probably be the first one’s called on. Of course if you’re into the history thing, in 1984, the Tigers didn’t have a single start that went to a left hander and there were only three relievers used all year that were southpaws (of course one of those was Willie Hernandez). So it can be done.
Mike Hessman and Brent Clevlen both cleared waivers so they’ll be playing for Toledo. That Mud Hens squad, if left relatively intact, should make some noise this year. I was hoping to get down to see them on April 18th when they play at Columbus, but that’s the new Huntington Park’s opener and it was sold out.
The final spring game is this afternoon. I probably won’t be home, but I’ll try to watch the archive of it online. Then there’s a day off to travel to Toronto for opening day. Real baseball is just two days away.