Pitchers and Catchers

Happy Pitchers and Catchers everyone.

A few things that I’m looking for in spring training:

1) 2B, whose job it is anyway?  By all accounts, Carlos Guillen is our 2B, but he won’t be ready until mid April.  So Willy Rhymes and Scott Sizemore will be splitting duties in the interim.  What happens if one of them plays lights out this spring?  Does Guillen still have the job when he gets back?  Or could he be on the trading block?

2) Who will be our everyday left-fielder?  Right now, it’s a competition between Raburn and Boesch.  But if both play well, what’s wrong with giving Raburn some ABs at 2B?  I think we can all agree that 1st half of 2010 Boesch + Raburn at 2B would be a significant boost to our lineup.  I’m guessing that we start the season with a Raburn/Boesch platoon in left, with Raburn spelling other positions when Boesch starts.  I feel strongly about getting Raburn 550+ ABs this year.

To further this discussion, assuming Boesch is more than a 4A player, we are really in a good position to deal with our aging vets.  I think we all expect Maggs and Martinez to get injured at some point in the season (hopefully for not too long), so having the likes of Guillen and Boesch to fill those at bats doesn’t sound too bad.  And where does Don Kelly fit in?

3) Does Coke have the stamina to be a starter?  He only threw 25+ pitches in a game three times last year.  If you’ll recall, he started the final game of 2010, and was promptly chased after 1 2/3.  I love the idea of having a lefty at the back of the rotation, but he’ll need some serious work to get up to 80+ pitches by April.

4) Who else can be an effective starter?  The boys will likely need 30-40 starts from guys not currently contemplated to be in the rotation.  I’m pretty sure we can predict what we’ll get 1-3.  What can Penny bring?  And after Coke, is Oliver ready to fill in?  Interestingly enough, Rotoworld lists Brayan Villarreal as #6 on our depth charts.

5) Is Joaquin Benoit worth $5.5M?  That’s a heck of a lot for a setup man with only 1 great season behind him.  Unfortunately, I don’t see spring training as an effective medium for measuring relief pitchers.  So it will be a while before I’m ready to answer this one.  Remember how good Valverde looked in April/May/June before he forgot where the strike zone was.

6) How does Maggs’ ankle look?  We’ll need on the field reports from those of you headed out to Lakeland.

What else are you looking for during spring training?  What are your thoughts on the LF and 2B carousel?

7 Comments

  1. Vince in MN

    February 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Box scores.

  2. Jeff Molby

    February 15, 2011 at 3:32 am

    what’s wrong with giving Raburn some ABs at 2B?

    I don’t have the numbers to back it up, but isn’t Raburn’s infield glove so bad tha\t it makes his outfield glove look good?

    Does Coke have the stamina to be a starter?

    I don’t think stamina is actually a factor. I think every man in the league is physically capable of throwing 100+ pitches every fifth day with a little bit of preparation.

    The real question is whether or not his pitches are deceptive enough to be effective against righties after they’ve already faced him a couple times that night.

  3. The Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    February 15, 2011 at 9:34 am

    For what it’s worth, last week my 8-year old next door neighbor met Toledo Mud Hen Justin Henry (2B) at the batting cage in Vicksburg. He and his brother (playing AA for Cleveland) were getting ready for Spring Training. Knowing that I was the only true and devoted Tiger Fan in Mississippi, my neighbor got me an autographed ball.

    • textigsfan

      February 16, 2011 at 4:52 am

      In about ten days there will be two of us in MS. But I’ll just be passing thru, going from TX to FL for Spring Training! Wish I could say I’m going to spend the whole month in Tigertown, but I have to work in Clearwater. I’ll still get to see them at least 3-4 times though.

      • The Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

        February 16, 2011 at 9:27 am

        Enjoy your drive! This July I will have been in Mississippi for 30 years coming over to work from Texas in ’81. When growing up, my Dad moved everytime the rent was due and in 1966, when I was 11 years old we moved to Detroit. (My Dad and brother attend game 5 of the ’68 series.) As I result, this year begins my 45th season as a devoted Tiger fan. We plan to make the weekend wrap-around series with the Orioles in Baltimore as this year the Tigers play the Rangers in Arlington duirng mid-week. As we all read and see, things look good for the Tigers this year and I look forward to getting saturated with ads for the Bernstine advantage as our middle relievers control the game. Given Tiger’s depth, my biggest concern is for a strong August and September and not an exhustive coast and struggle to the finish line.

  4. Dre in Chi

    February 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Hey y’all, I’m gonna be around Lakeland this weekend. Anyone know if there’s a way to go see the Tigers practice? I only seem to be able to find details on actual games, but those don’t start until after my trip is over. Thanks!

    • Kevin in Dallas

      February 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      Andre – if you get any good pics I’d love to use them for the game posts.