Spring Training day .5 round-up

Dontrelle arrives at Lakeland
credit Roger DeWitt

While today was officially “Pitchers and Catchers report” day, it was just that. Reporting day. The official workouts don’t begin until tomorrow. Still, the players and beat writers are all in town so the stream of news has started to flow.

The links to the stories are below with my comments to follow:

Beck’s Blog: Happy Reporting Day
Det News: Leyland – Strong possibility Inge will get traded
Det News: Tigers catchers Wilson aims for mid-March return

Opening Day starter

It’s the first-ish day of spring training so of course it is time to find out who the Opening Day starter will be. Leyland is leaning towards Justin Verlander which really is who it has to be isn’t? I don’t think there’s much mystery that the rotation will be Verlander-Rogers-Bonderman-Willis-Robertson. Rogers will be sandwiched between the two righties and Willis and Robertson will fill out the 4 and 5 spots.

Inge

I guess the news element here is that Leyland used the phrase “strong possibility” when discussing the likelihood of an Inge trade. Is there something in the works? Is this just trying to get other teams more motivated to deal? Is it nothing more than the manager suggesting that the Tigers are still trying to meet Inge’s wishes? I’d say it’s probably the latter. I still say that if Inge is on board with catching the Tigers should hang on to him with an eye towards him manning the plate in 2009

Injury Updates

Earlier this offseason it sounded as if the Tigers would need Inge to start the season as the primary back-up. But Vance Wilson seems to be progressing well now and could be ready in time for the start of the season. Things could get hairy with the bench, but I’ll take that over having positions in the starting 9 having to be won this spring.

Also, the news is good on the Gary Sheffield front because he is swinging pain free. He’s limited in his throwing for now, but for the designated hitter that is as minimal a concern as there can be.

First hand accounts

The Lakeland Flying Tigers Blog will have folks on site each day so check frequently for new pics, stories, and videos (plus they have a new URL). Also, Dontrelle Willis blogged his arrival day and Curtis Granderson has his first blog entry of the season up at ESPN.

9 Comments

  1. Chris in Nashville

    February 14, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I still think trading Inge would be the best thing for the club. I hope it happens and I hope it’s for some help in the bullpen, not sure how likely that is, but that would be the best case scenario in my humble opinion.

    That would put the great Santiago debate to bed..I think the most effective bench would be Wilson, Santiago, Thames and Raburn….again, in my own humble opinion.

  2. Kathy

    February 14, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Mine, too.

  3. billfer

    February 15, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Chris -

    It wouldn’t quite put it to bed. Then I’d just starting advocating Mike Hollimon over Ramon Santiago :)

    Hollimon is solid defensively and can play both middle infield positions, is a switch hitter, and can surely beat a 60ish OPS+.

  4. Chris in Nashville

    February 15, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Bilfer, did Ramon Santiago steal something from you? :)

  5. billfer

    February 15, 2008 at 10:00 am

    It seems that way doesn’t it? I really have nothing against him, except that he just isn’t very good. He’s Neifi Perez with a better arm and less pop in his bat. I just don’t get why people think he’s the best option.

  6. Lee Panas

    February 15, 2008 at 11:25 am

    I don’t believe Leyland would want to put Raburn at second if Polanco got hurt and had to miss 4 games. I also think he would like to avoid having to use Guillen at short if Renteria had to miss 4 games. I agree Santiago is not very good but I do think they need a utility infielder on the team. I’d like to see if Hollimon could fill that role.

  7. Chris in Nashville

    February 15, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    That is my point….I agree with you Bilfer that he isn’t that great of a player…but he’s solid defensively. Not great, but solid. I just don’t think Leyland is comfortable with putting Raburn or Inge (if he’s still around) at SS or 2B in a critical situaion. If you are truly moving Guillen to 1B and keeping him there, he shouldn’t be in the mix as a backup. Not to mention, moving him to SS and putting Thames at 1B isn’t a very good option either….but my point is, with the Raburn/Santiago/Wilson/Thames bench (assuming Inge is traded), you have Raburn to back up at 3B, all 3 OF positions, 2B and SS in a pinch…you have Santiago as the primary replacement at 2B/SS, Wilson behind the plate, and Thames in the corner OF spots and 1B. That covers the whole field in case of a mid-game injury or ejection. With the “Bilfer Bench”, 2B and SS are big wholes should something happen to Polanco or Renteria. If either go down for an extended period of time, then you would probably make a move to bring up Holliman or one of the other young middle IF we have in the farm system…in my humble opinion.

  8. Kevin in Austin

    February 15, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    Happy P&C all. MLB.tv sent me my auto renewal notice yesterday, I could not be happier about spending $120.

  9. David

    February 15, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Maybe Santiago can come with us on road trips and stay in Toledo when we are at COPA.

    In his limited ABS last year he hit

    .138 with .207 slugging at home

    .395 with .526 slugging on the road

    Always fun to look at splits even if they are limited