ST Game Thread: Cardinals at Tigers

PREGAME: We have ourselves the first FS Detroit televised game of the spring today. I thought we’d mark to the return of Rod and Mario with a game thread for those who are able to watch along (I won’t be one of those).

Zach Miner starts for the Tigers today and he will be followed by Brandon Lyon, Bobby Seay, Freddy Dolsi, and Ryan Perry.

Game Time 1:05 from Joker Marchant Stadium. The game will be replayed on FS Detroit at 7:30.

Also, it sounds like cuts are coming today, but none are major. Jon Kibler, Rudy Darrow, and Jeff Kunkel were in the first round.


  1. Mark

    March 16, 2009 at 4:52 am

    Hey Billfer, would you be willing to do an interview for my website to talk about the Tigers? If you are, please get back to me.

  2. Tbone

    March 16, 2009 at 9:39 am

    What new Rod-ism will emerge in 2009? I’m sure he’ll be testing out his new material today.

  3. Brian P

    March 16, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I’m about ready to condemn Miner to the bullpen based on this one inning alone.

  4. Kevin in Austin (now Dallas)

    March 16, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I think that Miner is giving us a brief look at what every 5th day will be this year.

  5. Chris in Dallas

    March 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Yeah, looks like Zach is getting lit. Incidentally, I had forgotten that the Cardinals picked up Khalil Greene.

  6. Kathy

    March 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Just got home. Glad I missed the 1st inning.

  7. Kathy

    March 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Finally, to be able to see real baseball.

  8. Jonathon

    March 16, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Nobody but Porcello seems to want that 5th spot. It could get even scarier if Bonderman doesn’t get healthy this year.

  9. Brian P

    March 16, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    *yawn* Can we fast-forward to Ryan Perry, please?

  10. Kathy

    March 16, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Well, Timo is certainly putting on a show!

  11. Tim D

    March 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I saw this on the AZ website and thought I would pass it along:

    James Skelton: Skelton entered camp as the favorite to nab this spot (25th man), because as a Rule 5 Draft selection, he would have to be offered back to the Tigers. Though slightly built for a catcher, Skelton has impressed behind the plate with his soft hands and strong arm. Against the Dodgers last week, he threw out a runner from his knees. He has played some second base this spring and done a decent job there. He will likely get a look at third and possibly in the outfield as the spring progresses. At the plate, he has not swung the bat well (2-for-17), but as the scouting reports said about him, he’s shown a good feel for the strike zone, walking four times while fanning twice. The organization was very high on Skelton when it took him in the Rule 5 Draft, and he’ll be given every opportunity to make the team.

  12. Chris Y.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    After watching Perry, I can’t imagine he’s far away from being on the club. That fastball is absolutely devastating. Hard, over-the-top, with good sink. Oh, and at 97-99 mph.

    I hate to say this, but Perry’s control of his fastball is far better right now than I think it ever has been for Zumaya.

    If he has any kind of average off-speed pitch (I don’t think I saw him throw one), he’s got a great shot at being a power closer.

    Btw, Lyon looked pretty good too with a nice mix of stuff.

  13. Chris Y.

    March 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Rhymes with the winner!

    He flashed serious glove in the top of the inning. He may have had Ankiel at first.

  14. David

    March 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Hah caught the ending

    It was a nice bottom of the 9th comeback

    I’m gunna rewaaatch it at 7:30

    Mott and Perry were both nasty (Did you know Mott is from Port Huron MI?), me thinks Perry should be with da team

    Saw Sheff WALK AGAIN, what a jokester

    Rhymes glove play was downright sick Polanco never woulda been close, I’m like there’s no way he gets this and BOOM he got it and almost nabbed him at first

    Nice to hear Rodrigo and Luigi, Mariod, Rodrio w/e back on the tele…

    Where was INGE =( missed him

  15. Kevin in Austin (now Dallas)

    March 16, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Did I see that right, that Rhymes is 5-6 155?

  16. Ken in Vegas

    March 16, 2009 at 6:37 pm


  17. Andre in Chi

    March 16, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    …and the award for biggest payoff for shortest post goes to…

    Ken from Vegas! Come on up Ken!

  18. David

    March 16, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    whooo whoooo whad he win Andre? Tell him what he won…

    Sheffield perhaps 😉

    on another note To answer Kevie in the Lone Star State

    5 foot 9 155lbs His rating for contact and speed is hella high… for not hearing much about him

    looked da%mn good today

    Choose the best answer

    By filling in the blank

    (kill, hill, nil, still, bill, krill, pill, ill, dill, fill, quill)__________ rhymes with Will

    So Will could kill the Cardinils without any pill (or injection ;)), he had a olde english D above his bill, he almost took a hit away from a Redbird and still won the game to make the opposing pitcher look ill.

    Somebody beat that

  19. sam

    March 17, 2009 at 4:43 am


  20. scotsw

    March 17, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Lots to like in that game yesterday, but Miner’s outing wasn’t real inspiring. Still, given his body of work in a Tigers uniform, I’d put him behind Bonderman and Porcello, and ahead of Willis and Robertson on my list of SP preferences.

    But let’s think outside the box here… If Bonderman isn’t ready to go until late April (not a crazy assumption), who gets his starts in the meantime? I’m presuming the other 4 spots go to Verlander, Galarraga, Jackson and Porcello. If the Tigers know it’s going to be a short-timer assignment, I’m guessing it’s between Miner and Lambert (who is on the 40-man roster). Robertson seems to be a lost arm, and Willis can’t be trusted yet. Lambert’s no great shakes, but it’s an option the Tigers can afford to burn.

    But I suppose we have weeks to go yet…

  21. Chris in Dallas

    March 17, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Don’t know if anyone watched the Venezuela/Puerto Rico game last night, but the entire broadcast seemed dedicated to what a hard time Maggs has been having with the fans at the WBC. Hopefully his play won’t be affected starting April 6.

  22. Ken in Vegas

    March 17, 2009 at 11:27 am

    That’s a real shame what’s been happening to Magglio. I can’t believe that Venezuela can’t keep politics and sports separate from one another, but I also just don’t understand the culture. Magglio has struggled so far at the plate, and I can’t help but wonder if we’re going to see another year of regression from him this year. It’s probably more likely that he regresses than advances, but by how much?

    BTW, I haven’t been able to catch much spring training action this year, as I’ve been 100% focused on Michigan basketball, but how is Sheffield looking? Anything that the stats don’t tell? Does he at least appear healthy? We really need him to produce this year.

  23. Chris in Dallas

    March 17, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Judging by the limited number of AB’s I’ve seen from Magglio in the WBC, I think he’ll be fine going forward. He’s looked like he always looks. It’s just a shame that his own countrymen have seemingly turned on him for his support of Chavez. I don’t recall there being outrage at Curt Schilling for supporting Bush, who was equally as unpopular a leader if not moreso. But, like you said it’s a different culture so I won’t pretend like I know what I’m talking about.

    Anyhoo, his success at the plate will probably be defined by his luck on swinging at the first pitch. 2008: .295/.284/.400, 2007: .496/.491/.835. His career average is .355/.361/.586 so if he gets closer to that, he should have another quality year.

  24. Mark in Chicago

    March 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    A lot of you have probably seen this, but Jason Stark in his column on ESPN:

    But Robertson has scouts shaking their heads over his “minus” stuff. “I really think it’s over,” said an AL scout. “He pitches like he’s 40 years old. No life whatsoever. His stuff has gone backward across the board.”

    Not encouraging stuff. At the same time, Gammo called Sheffield a potential “comback player of the year” based on how he’s looked in the spring.

  25. David

    March 17, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    40 year old comeback player of the year?

    My arse

    He would have done well to COMEBACK to first a little sooner before getting thrown out from right field yesterday!!!!!!!

    Guy blows chunks hard and is a racist bum. Tigs woulda won quite a few more games last year if Thames or Raburn or Hessman or Skelton or insert milb player here or heck maybe even Dtrain would have gotten his ABs

    The fact that they still plan on starting him at DH is baffling to say the least.

    the only thing he produces is walks and once in a blue moon a hr plus a ton of ground outs, double plays, caught stealings, strikeouts( both looking and violently swinging), popups to short, oh yes and fights with Daniel Cabrera

    You watch the guy swing, he is soooo off balance, and doing that crazy bat waggle as well =(

    It is just plain infuriating watching him be given a chance time after time when we have quite a few young cheapies or guys like Hessman/Thames who could easily outproduce him for like 1/10th or 1/20th the cost

  26. Chris in Dallas

    March 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Hey don’t diss the fight with Daniel Cabrera. That little skirmish resulted in a) a HR that was a 10.0 on the F*#& You Scale and b) a 3 month tear where Sheffield would post a .303/.410/.560 batting line along with 21 HR. If he’s healthy enough to recapture those 3 months, look out.

  27. Mark in Chicago

    March 17, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Sheffield was discussed as a potential darkhorse MVP candidate in 2007 prior to his injury. I think that’s stretching it a bit, but it is accurate to say he was having a very good season. If he’s healthy, I think he can be productive. At 39-40 your body doesn’t recover as fast as it used to, but Sheff’s had a year and a half. Maybe he doesn’t recover at all, but if he does, I agree with Chris in D that he’s capable of being a middle-of-the-order hitter.

  28. Chris in Dallas

    March 17, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Dammit – I knew the Tigers gave up too much in the Cabrera trade…

    (Picture unrelated)

  29. David

    March 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm


    Sheffield 0-3 with a walk

    Timo Perez 2-5 😉

    Fine Chris wanna take those #s into account?

    How about the .675 OPS in April and the .545 in August and .580 in September

    He had a total OPS of .840

    That was 2 years ago as a DH

    Last year his was .726

    Now I am not saying OPS is a be all end all stat, but you used it so I’ll counter

    Heck lets look at the last few years, where he got at least 400 abs

    2003 age 34 OPS 1.023
    2004 age 35 OPS .927
    2005 age 36 OPS .891
    2006 age 37 OPS .805 (doesn’t qualify due to 151 at bats)
    2007 age 38 OPS .840
    2008 age 39 OPS .726
    2009 age 40 OPS ???

    That doesn’t look at all like a trend to you?
    PLUS HE IS OLD and most likely still hurt

    I’m not a huge fan of Thames but when it would come to those 2 I’d take him in a heartbeat

    Lets say Thames puts up his career average of .800 it still would most likely be much better than what a 40 year old Shef could muster

    Or heck you could put Guillen at DH and put a guy like Timo Perez (mini Poly but much faster) in the OF

    That way Guillen most likely stays healthy and puts up 100+ RBIS and you get some offense/speed/D out of left field

    Or put Ordonez at DH

    If Shef plays and gets over 400 Abs and puts up an OPS higher than 800 and scores and drives in at least 90 I’ll be the first to say I’m wrong

    But I’d bet $$$ (and I rarely bet) that nothing close to that will happen

    Just watch the guy, he isn’t at all what he used to be, not even close

    + guys who are even good DHs put up OPS usually in the ballpark of .900 not .800

  30. Chris in Dallas

    March 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    I’m not saying that Sheffield hasn’t looked brutal for most of his Detroit tenure – he has. It’s a combination of his pushing 40 and not being healthy since mid-’07. You can’t do anything about 40, but if his health is back he’ll be better than Thames would be.

    His OPS has been trending downwards (he is aging), but his OPS+ still plants him above the league average for most of the last 6 years (162, 141, 137, 107, 120, 90). The 107 was the injured year in New York, and he just flat sucked in ’08.

    Funny you bring up Timo Perez, as Neyer blogged about him this afternoon. Looks like the skipper thinks he’s the best pinch hitter on the club, except that the team rarely pinch hits…

    Anyhoo, a lot will have to go right for the Tigers to bust 90 wins, and Sheffield’s production is one of those many wild cards. I give him a 40/60 shot of doing something along the lines of .285/.380/.500. Keep in mind it is a contract year for the guy. If he still wants to play in 2010, he may step it up a notch. We shall see.

  31. David

    March 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Saw that article already…

    There is NO chance he posts up anything close to that line you put up unless he started injecting himself with brotard doses of Deca and Dbol, even then I doubt it.

    You’re right he is just one of the many factors (and pitching being more important).

    Contract year or not, he WAS TRYING HARD last year and the year before. I’m not talking about his effort. He is just
    1) TOO OLD and has regressed significantly ( lost what he had)
    2) STUPID and resistant to changing his approach (ie going to RF a bit, not trying to kill the ball every time)

    You might as well say Inge will lead the AL in batting average, Verlander will win 30 games and Cabrera will get 200+ RBI

    The best, I repeat THE BEST he does is post near a .760 OPS…

    If he gets over 400AB I would have him pegged at around a .690-.730

  32. Kathy

    March 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    He was fabulous in ’07 for us. Hope he can be that way again!!!!

  33. Kathy

    March 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Oh, btw, I’m watching Puerto Rico vs USA right now and was shocked to see how much weight Pudge has put on…… least 25 pounds.

  34. Chris in Dallas

    March 18, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Dude, PECOTA has Inge hitting .438 this year. Where have you been? 🙂

  35. David

    March 19, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Haha if only if only

    I’m hoping he hits north of .250 with pop, without swinging at too many balls and turns in a web gem daily – I’d be happy with that, and I think the Tiger brass would as well 🙂

    Plus he is no Cobb 😉