Porcello and moving pictures

The Tigers are going the split squad route today with a home game against the Reds (Dontrelle Willis) and a road tilt against the Indians (Yorman Bazardo). For those with MLB.tv they’ll be able to catch the road game which is set to feature Rick Porcello.

Also of note today, Todd Jones is slated to pitch in the Reds game. Jones of course hasn’t been good this spring and is trying to fix mechanical problems.

If you’re following either game feel free to post your thoughts.

Bullpen woes continue to abound as Fernando Rodney’s throwing session was pushed back two days. I learned that from an overly dire Freep headline: “More bullpen bad news – Zach Miner and Fernando Rodney both suffer setbacks.” Turns out Miner’s setback was that he allowed a homer.

Meanwhile former Tigers farmhand Randor Bierd, who was lost in the Rule 5 draft to the Orioles, has developed some kind of super mystery pitch.

18 Comments

  1. rings

    March 11, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Whew…”moving pictures” sounds a lot better than “moving boxes!” Be careful out there;-)

  2. David G.

    March 11, 2008 at 7:30 am

    What in the world is going on with Cruceta’s visa?

  3. Rick G

    March 11, 2008 at 8:09 am

    So Randor Bierd has a “swing-and-miss” pitch? Wish he would have taught it to Jones and Grilli before the Tigers let him go!

    Didn’t they keep Tony Giarratano on the 40 man roster before releasing him in January instead of this guy and his magical mystery pitch?

  4. ez

    March 11, 2008 at 9:31 am

    My wife is a foreigner and I went through the visa process over the last 36 months. I have a little experience with the process, though we weren’t getting a work visa. However, the type of visa really doesn’t matter. The INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service), never a smooth easy institution to work with, was folded into the ever growing (yet still new) Department Of Homeland Security. I am not getting political; I am only saying that I am not big on useless government bureaucracies. Homeland Security would have its headaches on its own just due to the fact it is a relatively new bureaucracy. But they keep folding more and more departments into it… The Coast Guard, INS, FEMA… and because of this they don’t have the first clue what they are doing. The bigger they grow the less they know. Because of the external threat of foreign nationals they have made the process of getting a visa simply ridiculous. Back in the days of the INS well known stars could get a little preferential treatment. But with Homeland there is no special treatment. All paperwork is processed by different units within the bureaucracy. In my 24 months our “file” was switched from Omaha Nebraska, to a small town in New Hampshire, to a town in California that handled “the Midwest”. All this time they have to communicate with the consulate or embassy where the worker/émigré is from. And if the country is not a big one, like The Dominican Republic, then the Embassy/Consulate may actually be from a different country altogether. For example, to get a work visa in Latvia you need to go to Poland (no joke). Santo Domingo is a fairly big city and one would think the Embassy there is working on Cruceta’s file, but that might not be the case. Cruceta’s file may be routed through, say, Jamaica. My whole point…. The Department Of Homeland Security has no clue what goes on during the process, the intra departments don’t communicate, so no information is available to the Tigers. The process takes months and months longer than it used to. There is a good chance you don’t see Cruceta for weeks. Or he could be here tomorrow.

    Go figure.

  5. Chris in Dallas

    March 11, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Last I heard, Cruceta was supposed to be in the States soon. Like within a week. He isn’t the only ballplayer who’s had this sort of trouble. It seems to happen every Spring. I know Francisco Liriano was delayed this year due to a DUI charge from like 2006. And then there’s the Wil Ledezma saga from last year. Of course he was a dummy and ran his visa through the washing machine.

  6. David G.

    March 11, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Apparently his Visa is NOT “Everywhere he wants it to be”.

  7. Bryan

    March 11, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Speaking of MLBtv, I got the radio package (I no longer live in MI) but the Tigers’ broadcast is never on, just the opponents’. Is there any reason for this? Detroit radio doesn’t cover Spring Training games? Seems like a perfect excuse to do so.

  8. Kurt

    March 11, 2008 at 10:50 am

    It was on this weekend, Bryan. Maybe this just cover those games. It was nice hearing Dan Dickerson for the first time since September.

  9. Birdy

    March 11, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Rich Lederer and Patrick Sullivan debate the AL Central on http://baseballanalysts.com/

  10. Adam

    March 11, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Is it just me, or does Jacque Jones look like a poor man’s Timo Perez?

  11. charlie

    March 11, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    bautista looks like a lock for the opening day lineup at this point. he is just a monster so far today

  12. Brian P

    March 11, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    You beat me to it, Charlie. Another scoreless two innings with four strikeouts. Woah-buddy. I hate to imagine where we would be without this small glimmer of hope. I wish I could actually see him pitching, but the fastball from the stretch appears to be working. Does anyone know if he’s still throwing the knuckle-curve?

    And it looks like loller-coast Jones needed the day off for a bullpen session.

  13. Mark in Chicago

    March 11, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Yeah, Bautista has had a great spring, maybe C. Hernandez figured him out. OK, one spot down, 5 to go.

    Adam, I am sure you didn’t mean the JJ remark as a compliment, but Perez has 3 hits today. The guy defies all logic, is he suddenly a good player? Or just incredibly lucky…..

  14. Mark in Chicago

    March 11, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Just an observation, but Porcello’s mechanics make him look a lot like Tim Hudson (only taller).

  15. Chris in Dallas

    March 11, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Yeah, Bautista’s had a nice Spring so far. Let’s hope it carries over. I notice Willis walked 4 in his outing. That’s a bit of a red flag since he’s been inflating his walk totals the past couple years. OK, it’s only March 11 so I guess it’s more of a pink flag. Good day for guys named Sizemore. I hear Tom Sizemore even homered in his Betty Ford league softball game.

  16. Adam

    March 11, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    Yeah, it wasn’t exactly a compliment. But at this point I’d rather have Timo than watch the swings Jones has been taking.

  17. rings

    March 11, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Willis was supposedly “working on some new pitches” today, so hopefully, his wildness is nothing to be concerned with. Considering he allowed pretty good contact in his first outing and walked some guys today, he still has an ERA under 2, which is encouraging overall.

  18. Mark L

    March 12, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Basically, I’ve felt all along that just one guy among Bautista, Cruceta, Mantei, Bazardo, Tata, Vasquez needs to work out for the bullpen. Looks like one for sure, maybe two. Of course, the problem is now we don’t know what to expect from Jones and Rodney, who looked a little more like a sure thing during offseason. Hopefully we can just outscore teams and get great starting pitching for the first week or two until Cruceta is here and ready, Rodney is full strength, Tata back and Jones gets things figured out. A couple complete games from starters wouldn’t hurt!