Men in uniforms

by billfer on February 15, 2008 · 4 comments

in 2008 Season,Spring Training

Brandon Inge on first day of Spring Training
credit Roger DeWitt

The first day of official workouts. Now we’re rolling.

Link round up

Catching up with Inge – Detroit Tigers Insider – MLive.com
A TALE OF TWO CATCHERS
Jim Leyland addresses Brandon Inge’s future with Tigers
Leyland isn’t concerned about lineup, is concerned about bullpen
The Official Site of The Detroit Tigers: News: Notes: Porcello gets first taste

Inge on Inge and Leyland on Inge

In an effort to move things along and avoid having everyone answer the same questions over and over again, Jim Leyland and Brandon Inge held a mini-presser. The main message wasn’t anything new. Everybody wants Inge to be traded. It may or may not happen. Inge just wants to start and he won’t be a cancer. Leyland also stated that Vance Wilson’s progress wouldn’t be a factor in Inge being moved.

The most interesting quote though came from the Freep article.

“I went to work on my swing this off-season,” Inge said. “My swing was a little long. Cutting down strikeouts is crucial.”

Glad to hear some self awareness.

Remember when PFP was a big deal?

Rick Porcello and Bobby Seay

In non-Inge news the Tigers have some pitchers in camp as well. The first day of workouts means PFP, which was a circus last year.

Rick Porcello was put into Kenny Rogers pitchers-fielding-practice group, and it probably wasn’t by accident. Porcello marveled at Rogers, then again Porcello was probably marveling at quite a bit. He’s not even a full year removed from high school. Most of his friends are making spring break plans while Porcello went south to work out with a major league club.

The bullpen

Leyland is concerned about the bullpen and realizes how important talent evaluation will be this spring

“We have to do a better job than ever of projecting what a guy is going to do (in the regular season). We have to find out everything we can about their personalities and their understanding of what is going on.”

While normally there is quite a bit of flexibility in making some of these bullpen decisions, the option status of many of the candidates means that at least one player will be cut loose. And nobody wants to see the wrong guy jettisoned.

One of those guys in contention, Francisco Cruceta is a late arrival. He’s having visa issues getting into the country.

 
 

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rings February 16, 2008 at 9:32 am

Here’s a quote from Knobler on the subject:

** FOR HIS PART, Inge said he has changed his approach at the plate, after hitting .223 with just three home runs over the second half last year (and thus making himself difficult to trade). “Cutting down on strikeouts is crucial,” he said. “My stance is a little different, but mostly it’s the approach. I don’t have to try to hit the ball 561 feet.” **

It’s good that he’s finally “getting it” and that he’s willing to take a fresh approach. It’s negative that its taken the loss of his job for him to understand that a few homers from the #9 spot is fine, but its more important to move runners, get on base and do something positive with your offensive opportunities and avoid 150K’s.

I know it “kills him not to play,” but that statement is true of EVERY player from Little League on up. (I’m still not happy about not being on the team!!) But most of us realize right away that our own performance ultimately determines our playing time and status on the team and, hopefully, this is a sign that he’s taking some personal responsibility and stops blaming “circumstances” for taking his job away.

I hope he has a great year as a utility guy for the World Champion Tigers and actually EARNS a starting job for ’09.

On a slightly related topic, with Pudge’s new youthful “look” again this year, it begs two comments:
1. We may be enjoying a “contract year” season from him in ’08
2. What is he on?

Ken from Cincinnati February 16, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Inge clearly considers himself an everyday starter in this league despite his AA batting skills. It really annoys me actually. If he was even one step worse on defense he would probably never see the big leagues again. Inge should really be ecstatic right now. He never has to worry about money again because we exorbitantly overpaid him and he gets to sit the bench on a world series contender, as opposed to sitting the bench on a mediocre team or playing everyday for one of the worst clubs in the league. On another note, I am so unbelievably siked to see pitchers try and get through this lineup. Grandson-triple, Polanco-single, Sheffield-double, Maggs-double, Cabrera-home run. 5-0 still no outs. That’s how every game is going to start. I’m not sure if you guys knew that.

Ronnie DeLaura February 16, 2008 at 6:59 pm

That long in the lead and all those horrible batting seasons and now he thinks he solved everything. I’ll give him a .253 avg for the whole year and I think thats being generous. If he gets traded and start for a team then I would have to say he will bat .238

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