Welcome to Spring Training 2016

“Old, poorly managed, and have no depth.”

Sigh. That date went even worse than expected.

Oh wait…that was the Kevin in Dallas summation of the Tiger franchise. He is in Dallas, after all, so perhaps there is something Dallassian in the view, but, maybe that is really where we have gotten ourselves to? What do we think?

At any rate, while the turtle clears its throat, it’s time to start cranking up the ol’ DTW post machine. Special thanks to the stalwarts (an underused word, by the way) who kept the comment section going over the cold dark months, StorminNormin, jud, Tony de Florida (Lakeland, per chance?), JimEggersUSMC, Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi, Angus, and all the others. Time to scare up some more of the old names and a score of new ones.

With the first game of Spring Training just around the corner, it’s time to start taking a look at what we think this 2016 team will look like. I will, unless Kevin beats me to it, put up separate posts where we can take a look at the lineup and the pitching, which looks like it already has a big issue, as Anibal Sanchez seems to have gotten an early start this year on the annual injury thing. Any other suggestions you might want to shout out from the dugout are welcome.

59 thoughts on “Welcome to Spring Training 2016”

  1. So, I mentioned to the missus that the term stalwart was used to describe some of us: her quick quip,” I think it means old, fat, pain in the ass”…. I denied every charge except the last one… and she wants me to stress that she is talking about me and me alone…. see how many games I take her to this season….

  2. Jim,
    One of my sons in law is a former Marine. He is a wonderful husband, father and friend. When I was in the Army I always admired your guys in the Corps. I always marveled that you were brave and always in better shape than us Army guys, especially us logisticians. Hopefully you are not brave enough to keep having that kind of discussion with your wife! I have been happily married for 55 years but when it comes to getting into a heavy discussion with my wife, I tend to chicken out or at least try to out flank her.

  3. If Sanchez is lost for the best part of the season,(possible but not likely) could we see the return of Big Pasta? It might be better to bring him back for one year rather than force one of our youngsters into the majors before he is ready. Pasta did win 13 last year in spite of a 5+ ERA and crappy pen. No one else was close and with a better pen, he could be a stop gap measure until someone else develops. Lord knows he should be cheap.

    First scrimmage tomorrow!

    1. publicly DET mngmt is saying they’re not concerned, but after Sanchez’ last season (productivity and injuries) i’m sure they are concerned.

      …apparently they were one of several teams that were watching Lincecum (still available FA) throw

  4. Friends….Tigers v. Yankees game will be televised on the MLB Channel, Wednesday, 02MAR16, at 1200CST.

  5. Holiday with a Grand Salami today!..what do you do with him if he has a great spring. He was pretty productive in his role last year with the team as a back up

    1. Unless Salty is on the DL, Holaday goes to Toledo. They got him for his left handed bat who they hope will be better than Alex Avila (tough job). By the way, Salty went 2 for 3 with a homer today. All meaningless thus far.

      1. Holaday won’t be in Toledo; he is out of options, if he doesn’t make the team (which he probably won’t) he’ll be someone else’s backup. Spring Training is his time to audition.

  6. I watched Tigers/Yankees on FSD (using YES feed). I was thrilled to see real grass and sunshine. Mike Pelfrey pitched 3 perfect innings. VerHagen. Hardy, Valdez not so perfect. Ian, Holaday hit homers and JD just missed one. Moya hit a homer in the 9th for the 9-8 lead, but the Yanks won it in the 9th on a dropped fly ball! All meaningless but still fun and good to see!
    On the cute side, one of our pitchers, Rueben Alaniz forgot his uniform and pitched using a coaches jersey (Roof #85). He pitched a perfect 9th inning.

  7. some good signs today in DET – ATL game (sure ATL is not a very good team), but DET offense is solid (up 8-1 currently), Greene supposedly looked pretty good (possibly threw in the 94 mph range, but allegedly hit 97).

    …but hey, its spring ball… and one can’t read too much or too little into what happens at ST.

    getting out healthy is the key

    1. Hopefully he will make a quick recovery. I have never been a Gose fan. If he doesn’t heal quickly, perhaps Avila will offer Jackson a one year deal although he turned a one year down with the Angels.

  8. The right pitchers pitched well yesterday and today…..any news of good pitcing is good news!

  9. Asmus says he is very impressed with Casty…….how easily is Asmus impressed from a guy at the bottom of the pecking order!

    1. i believe Ausmus was “publicly” pointing out how focused and engaged Castellanos was on ‘every pitch’ in the field and how important that it is for a MLB player to do that “all year” … likely an attempt to ‘motivatate’ (positively) Castellanos through the media… pretty much standard coach-speak or child psychology 101.

      …it’s a more subtle way of pointing out a possible reason why Castellanos was such a sub-standard fielder the past two years – and i guess we’ll see if/how Castellanos responds

        1. Makes sense if Victor can fill in at first. I object to what the writer said about Miggy’s fielding. Compared to Casty last year, he looks like Mechado!

          Thanks for pointing out that Holaday is out of options. I do hope he finds a home.

  10. http://www.freep.com/story/spo...../81315094/

    expect the debate to continue on the significance of (defensive) advanced metrics – and also expect the lower rated players to continue to try to minimize these ‘stats’, while the highly rated players (and their agents) will continue to try and highlight the significance

    me, i believe there is considerable merit to the WAR, Saber-metrics and advanced metrics stats/analysis… but by the same token they are not the ‘be all/end all’ gospel stats the ‘true believers’ make them out to be

  11. WAR rating comparison:

    Trout 2012 = 10.8 WAR – games 139
    Ruth 1920 = 11.8 WAR – games 142

    Trout – .326 BA; 30 HR; 83 RBI; .399 OBP; 129 R; 139 K’s; 67 BB’s; .963 OPS
    Ruth – .376 BA; 54 HR; 135 RBI; .532 OBP; 158 R; 80 K’s; 150 BB’s; 1.39 OPS

    Ruth’s 54 HR’s were ‘more than every other team’s HR total’ except for PHI who hit a team total of 64 HR’s… DET hit 30 team HR’s that year and CLE (WS winner) hit 35.

    I must confess i don’t fully understand the math, but I do get the significance of defense, SB’s and other stats, but how is Ruth’s ’20 WAR rating only 1.0 higher than Trout’s ’12 rating? Two great players, two great seasons, but shouldn’t there be more of a WAR disparity?

    Another interesting perspective of Ruth’s significance in MLB – in 1916 Ruth “pitched” 323 IN, had 40 starts, threw 9 shutouts, 1.75 ERA, and gave up 0 HR’s and posted a 23-12 W/L

    1. Your sample is exactly whats wrong with WAR…..it doesn’t come close, in a lot of cases to tell the full story!…whats the old saying…”stats tell you exactly what YOU want people to know”!

  12. Holaday with 2 HR’s today. He is really making a case for the big league club. 3 HR already this ST. Can anyone say “REEEEED POP” aka Chris Shelton?

  13. Sanchez can’t play now because he has a cough!!!!…hey Annibel why not try soccer its full of whinnie crybabies that get hurt all the time…….you might fit right in. In the meantime take your Flinstone vitamins…
    …Spring training looking good from several pitching angles. Hope it keeps up!

  14. Three games on FS-D this week! JV goes tomorrow. Victor looked healthy in one game I saw. Go Tigers!

  15. There is little traffic on the bog these days, so I thought I give my opinions on 2 recent events in MLB. The first is on Harper’s comments on emotion. The other is on the retirement of Adam LaRoche.

    First, Harper’s remarks on emotion: Back in October I did a rant on the big deal the TV folks were making on the bat flip Bautista did after hitting a home run in the playoffs. I have a sure fire way to prevent a player doing a bat flip, strike him out! Then you can do a fist pump or something. Yes, I love to see these players show some emotion. It makes me think they care.

    On Adam LaRoche retiring because his son was banned from the locker room. First, some credit to one of the ESPN commentators who said if Adam had hit 330, hit 30 home runs and drove in over 100, it might not have been an issue. To me, the family members of major league players (applies to all pro sports) should be given the very same access as any fan who buys a ticket. In any work place you may love to have your kids around, but how about your co-workers? You are not there to have quality time with your family, you are earning a living. Also, I’m not sure I’d want to expose my kids to the antics and language that goes on in a pro locker room. The sad thing is that MLB doesn’t end this practice across the board.

    1. Well put… my question is: Doesn’t a 14 year old need to be in school or even home schooled? Another thought: I was 17-18 when I was hanging out in a Minor League Clubhouse… heard and saw things that… well you know the rule, right what you see here etc… so, is a Baseball Clubhouse a suitable place for a 14 year old to hang out?

  16. Hi Friends…almost two weeks to go until Opening Day in Miami…a few observations and questions:

    a. Looks like V-Mart will sit out the games with Natl League Marlins and Pirates? Can his legs carry him the entire season?

    b. Verlander says some of his pitches remain too high. Just ask Bryce Harper about them. Two more spring starts to get this fixed?

    c. Daniel Norris has lower back pain. Will he work this out? Meanwhile Phelfry is having a good spring.

    d. Will Cameron Maybin start the season on the DL? Meanwhile Tigers are trying Collins and Romane in CF to support Gose.

    e. What to do about the strong bat of Matt Holaday while McCann and Salta…eieio also have fine bats during the spring.

    Just got tickets for the 3-game weekend Astro series in April. Should be fun!

  17. Hey OTFiM!

    a. No, let’s home that he sits 1-2 per week.
    b. I feel good about JV.
    c. Norris is young and takes amazing care of himself. He’ll be fine.
    d. Yes, I think he will, but he’s not much better than our AAAA guys.
    e. Let’s hope we can platoon to an average OPS catcher. Would be a HUGE RC+ for that spot in the lineup.

    This was fun: http://www.blessyouboys.com/20.....ees-tigers

  18. I’m watching the Cuba vs Ray game on ESPN. While watching, it appears the Jays are conducting a batting clinic against the Tigers. I’m concerned about Norris and it may be best not to bring him up yet. I’m also concerned about Victor, doesn’t seem like we’re getting the full picture. Lots of questions before we think that the Tigers can compete for a playoff spot.

  19. So in the first 5 days of the MLB season the Tigers play twice. I hate it when they do that.

  20. …being a ‘northern team’, and all teams having a lighter first week schedule likely plays a factor – as well as if DET was playing at home on opening weekend, the high on sunday 4/3 in DET is 39, low of 28…fortunately DET doesn’t open at home until 4/8 (though, likely going to be chilly then too).

    baseball in the (<50) cold has never been enjoyable (playing or attending) for me…though a chilly October game (which means playoffs) is a bit more tolerable because of the context

    1. Yep, Tigers play the Astros 15-17APR16 in Houston. I will be there for those games. Meanwhile, like Northern teams, the Astros may have their roof open for these games…I hope so!

  21. I’ve never understood (except for THE MONEY!) why we even play in early April and October. Gee I answered my own question! If I were the Commissar of Major League Baseball, no new ball park could be built without a retractable dome. Even Detroit can get unbearably hot and humid in the summer.

  22. I’ll be interested to see if Sanchez can hold the Jays to single digit runs on Tuesday. He looked good against the Phillies in his firs outing, now for a real test. The Jays seem to hit a bit better than Philly.

  23. Well DET opens on Friday, and many/most of the so-called experts aren’t giving DET much of a chance (of winning the AL Central or even making the playoffs), to which I say “thank you”… seeing as for the past 5 seasons ‘the expectations were quite high’, and although they won the division 4 yrs in a row, they couldn’t break the post-’84 drought.

    April looks like a pretty tough schedule, so it could be telling; 26 games – 14 away, 12 home. Games:

    1 TAM (away)
    1 ATL (away)
    2 MIA (away)
    3 NYY (home)
    2 PIT (home)
    2 PIT (away)
    3 HOU (away)
    3 KC (away)
    3 CLE (home)
    4 OAK (home)
    2 MIN (away)

    I predict a 14-12 April

  24. It had to happen, Brian Holaday has been traded. Whatever the Tigers got is better than nothing. In any case, Salty is here for two reasons: his left handed switch hitting bat and (I think more important) to mentor James McCann who is developing into a superb catcher. Brian did not play enough for me to be attached to him although in the past few years I kept hoping he would get more playing time in view of Alex Avila’s horrible batting. For Brian, it is a big break. The Rangers do not appear to have a top notch catcher even when Giminez comes off the DL and if Brian can hit like he has in spring training, he may become their starting catcher. It is a chance for him to make a decent career, a chance he wouldn’t have gotten with the Tigers. I wish him well but if he does well against the Tigers, Kevin has a lot to answer for!

  25. Holaday was born in TX, played for TCU and is going to the Rangers… i wish him well… good guy, good attitude…and good bunter.

    the AA pitcher DET rec’d in the trade may (big maybe) turn out to be a MLB pitcher… but the catcher is likely a AAA career guy

  26. Also glad Greene is doing well….will need him healthy and productive!…the whole pitching staff is better, including a pitching coach who I hope is better. I hope the new pitching coach can actually help Asmus coach better than the old one!

    1. agree on all points Jud… this team will rise or fall based on their pitching staff… last year DET’s pitching (starting and relief) were towards the bottom in most pitching stats, which explained DET’s finish in the standings.

  27. JD Martinez went 4 for 4 today w/3 HR’s against NYY (though not MLB regular pitchers)… that’s encouraging, but I would have much rather he had that same day next Friday in DET’s home opener against NYY.

  28. The Tigers start the 2016 season Tuesday night and it should be a better team than last year. Having said that, I can not see them getting into the post season unless everything goes absolutely perfect for the Tigers and the other teams have a bunch of injuries or complete lack of performance from their regulars. I will be hoping that we can eek out a 2nd place finish in our division. I just watched the Royals/Mets game and the Royals look like a lock for the division title. Unless they all under perform or get hurt at one time, they are solid. They are great defensively, run the bases well, can hit and have a manager who may not be as smart as Brad but certainly knows how to utilize all his players. So I am hoping the Tigers can come in 2nd. If they are better than expected they will have a chance at a wild card. As the season starts, the Indians have their best player Brantley on the DL. The Royals have no one of consequence hurt and the Twins and White Sox have NO ONE on the DL. The Tigers have a bunch of key players who are either hurt or questionable.
    But it is a long season and misfortune can hit anyone.

    1. i notice Soria gave up 3 runs, 3 hits and 2 BB’s in 2/3 inning of relief last night (against Mets)… it’s early…and its just one outing… but probably a good sign that DET made a good call by not signing Soria to another FA contract

      1. It may be a real weakness for KC if their 8th inning guy doesn’t perform. I’ll bet that Yost keeps him on a short leash. I agree, Big Al did make a good call by not signing him.

  29. If KC would have had the injuries the Tigers had they would have finished last also..so anything can happen!…

    I am pumped..can’t believe we don’t play opening day!!!. Thats just not right!..So tuesday wednesday…see you then, boys!

    1. If you noticed, the Tigers have very few national TV broadcasts this year. That is because of their last place finish. I am also excited to see how they perform this year. If they really do well, I’ll be watching to see if Brad has learned anything from his first two years and how long Big Al will stay with him if he starts gumming up the works.

  30. http://www.freep.com/story/spo...../82616908/

    Gibby to throw out DET’s ‘1st pitch’ on Friday (weather permitting). I’m a little surprised to read Gibby was a career .268 hitter, thought he’d have been north of .280

    I hope nothing but the best for Gibby and his battle w/Parkinsons. That 3-run HR off Gossage in the ’84 WS (to seal it) is probably my top moment/memory in DET history…as I recall, Vin Scully called the Nat’l TV game

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