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 Spring Training 
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just a heads up, if you want to see the Tigers play before April, come on down to Florida during March for Spring Training..you can check out the schedule on their official site..

Go Tigers


January 24th, 2008, 9:26 pm
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Can we stay at your place?

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January 24th, 2008, 10:55 pm
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I just stole an article from the detroittigers.com. It is from the USA Today. It is a fairly comprehensive pre- spring training breakdown of the Tigers.

Quote:
Tigers plan on getting down to Series business


ORGANIZATIONAL REPORTS


By Mel Antonen, USA TODAY
The Detroit Tigers figure the time is now. This winter they dipped into their farm system so they can go into 2008 with a souped-up offense and a stronger, healthier rotation.

After watching the postseason on TV, the Tigers, who finished second to the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central, are taking aim at returning to the World Series.

"We were in a position where we traded a lot of young talent," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski says. "But, in this situation, it is where we are. It made sense. We got young players that will be with us for an extended period of time."

The Tigers, who were in the World Series in 2006, added third baseman Miguel Cabrera, 24, a four-time All-Star, and shortstop Edgar Renteria, who hit .332 last season for the Atlanta Braves. They added left-handed batter Jacque Jones to the outfield in a trade with the Chicago Cubs and lefty Dontrelle Willis, 26, to their rotation in the blockbuster with the Florida Marlins that also brought them Cabrera.

"We aren't thinking about the World Series, but we know we have a good team that's going to be fun to watch," Tigers manager Jim Leyland says. "We are going to be competitive in a tough division."

As spring training approaches, the Tigers roster is virtually set. The lineup, with Cabrera, Gary Sheffield and American League batting champion Magglio Ordonez, looks to be explosive. The defense is strong, and the rotation appears to be healthy.

The only questions are in the bullpen and what the Tigers are going to do about third basemen Brandon Inge, who is without a position with the acquisition of Cabrera. The Tigers say they are happy with their relievers, even though on their winter tour, fans constantly asked about the state of the bullpen.

"When we look at who else is out there at this point and who has really been available within a realistic situation, we don't look at a situation where we really see anybody out there that's a significant upgrade for us," Dombrowski told a group of Tigers fans in Ypsilanti, Mich. "Will we look at it? Sure. But we feel comfortable going into spring training with what we have."

The closer is Todd Jones, 39, who relies on guile over velocity to get hitters out. The eighth-inning setup pitcher is Fernando Rodney, who struggled with shoulder and forearm problems, and the lefty constants are Bobby Seay and Tim Byrdak, but other than that, there's competition in the pen.

Right-hander Joel Zumaya is out until at least midseason because of shoulder surgery. The Tigers hope righties Zach Miner and Jason Grilli can show improvement. And they like right-handed prospects Francisco Cruceta and Yorman Bazardo. Inge, 30, who had been the Tigers' full-time third baseman for three seasons, wants to be traded. He has told the Tigers he'd be interested in returning to catching, where he played for them from 2001 to 2004, if it meant he could go to another team and play full time.

"We are exploring the possibilities," Tigers assistant GM AL Avila says.

If Inge, who hit .253 and .236 the last two seasons, isn't traded, Avila said the Tigers could use him as a super-utility player who could play third, catcher and left and center field.

If he is still with the Tigers, he will report early to Lakeland, Fla., with the pitchers and catchers. With his defensive skill as a catcher, combined with his hitting, the Tigers say, he could be an All-Star catcher.

"He could even play shortstop because he's a good athlete," Avila says.

Jacque Jones, who played for the Minnesota Twins in the 2002 American League Championship Series, will be a boost "because he's a left-handed batter and he can play all three outfield positions," Leyland says.

The core of young pitchers in the rotation is going to be around awhile. Verlander, 24, who was 18-6 and had 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings last season, doesn't become free agent-eligible until after 2011. Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson and Willis are signed through 2010. The team is interested in signing Willis to a long-term contract as well.

Willis was 10-15 with a 5.17 ERA, but, Avila said, even though Willis' velocity was down, "We feel he's 100% and that he will bounce back with a good defense behind him."

Bonderman, 25, made 28 starts, his fewest in his five seasons with the Tigers, and finished with a 5.01 ERA. He had a 3.48 ERA before the All-Star break, 7.38 after. Avila says Bonderman pitched with elbow soreness that he shouldn't have tried to work through.

"We hope he's learned from that, and we think he's going to be healthy," Avila says.

Elbow problems and a blood clot in his shoulder limited Rogers, who won 17 games in 2006, to 11 starts last season. And even though he's 43, the Tigers think he'll be fine after a full spring training.

Leyland is looking forward to getting started. He has been thinking about lineups but isn't sure where Cabrera will hit.

"It will be third, fourth or fifth," Leyland says. "He's such a good hitter, I don't think I can go wrong no matter where I put him."

—-

Tigers prospect report: Cupboard not bare after trades

The Tigers' refortified team at the big-league level has cost them plenty of big-name prospects, but they say their organization will be fine.

"We feel good about our system," Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila says. "We are not bare. We have good players. But we are going to replace players with the draft and international signings."

The Tigers traded six players, including outfielder Cameron Maybin and left-hander Andrew Miller, arguably the team's top two prospects, to the Florida Marlins in a December deal that brought them lefty Dontrelle Willis and third baseman Miguel Cabrera.

The Tigers also have traded away pitching prospects Jair Jurrjens (to the Atlanta Braves in the Edgar Renteria trade this offseason), Eulogio De La Cruz and Dallas Trahern (both in the Willis-Cabrera deal) and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez (in the Renteria deal).

Avila said the Tigers didn't want to part with Maybin and Miller but it was easier to do so with a young center fielder (Curtis Granderson, 26) and a pitcher such as Rick Porcello, a 2007 first-round draft pick.

The Tigers' system is stocked with pitchers, infielders and outfielders. The biggest weakness in catching.

A look at some of their top prospects:

•RHP Rick Porcello: The Tigers say Porcello, 19, is a potential No. 1 starter, and at 6-5 and 200 pounds, he reminds scouts of Josh Beckett.

Porcello has a fastball in the high-90s, with a plus-curve and plus-changeup. He has good control and command and a sound delivery. "He's a perfect 10," Avila says.

The Tigers expect he will start at either high-A Lakeland (Fla.) or low-A West Michigan.

•1B Jeff Larish: Larish, 25, who hit .264 in 25 games during the Arizona Fall League, is a left-handed batting, power-hitting prospect whose rise to the big leagues will be determined by his bat. He is an average defensive player whom the Tigers think could hit 25 home runs a season in the majors.

The Tigers roster is hard to crack this season, but the team isn't ruling out Larish as a major leaguer this season. He hit .267 with 28 home runs and 101 RBI with a .515 slugging percentage at Class AA Erie (Pa.) in 2007.

•RHP Brandon Hamilton: At 19, Hamilton, a supplemental first-round pick in 2007, is 6-3 and 200 pounds with a mid-90s fastball and a 12-6 curve and a changeup, all above-average pitches.

He is not as advanced as Porcello, but the Tigers like his build, mechanics and delivery. He pitched seven games in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League last season and will likely start at Lakeland this season.

•SS Cale Iorg: Iorg, the 22-year-old son of former major league infielder Garth Iorg, is what the Tigers call a "true shortstop," in that he has all the instincts for the position.

The Tigers like his hands, range and arm and say he has good bat control, gap-to-gap power (an asset for playing at spacious Comerica Park).

He has a build (6-2, 190 pounds) that makes scouts think he will develop power.

He will likely start at Lakeland this season and might have the potential to be an all-star in the majors in the next few years.

•SS Danny Worth: Worth, 22, is a solid defensive shortstop who will be invited to big-league camp this spring training. He will likely play at Erie this season.

He hit .429 in five games for the SeaWolves last season after spending most of the year in Lakeland, where he hit .251.

•OF Clete Thomas: Thomas, 24, a left-handed batter, hit .280 with eight home runs and 53 RBI in 137 games at Erie last season.

He was 18-for-29 in steals, and the Tigers say he needs to work on cutting down on his strikeouts (he had 110 in 2007). But his speed helps him cover a lot of ground.

•OF Matt Joyce: Joyce, 23, a left-handed batter, has a future as a right fielder.

Joyce hit .257 with 17 home runs and 70 RBI in 130 games at Erie last season, though he struck out 127 times. He's an outstanding defensive player with a strong arm that could get stronger.

•RHP Freddy Dolsi: Dolsi, 24, was 5-3 with a 3.48 ERA in 48 games at Lakeland last season. He is listed at 6 feet and only 160 pounds, but he has a great arm, with a fastball in the high 90s and a strong curveball.

•RHP Jeff Gerbe: Gerbe, 23, pitched most of last season at low-A West Michigan (Comstock Park, Mich.), where he went 2-2 with a 2.34 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 12 walks in 73 innings. He has a fastball in the mid-90s.

•OF Brent Clevlen: Clevlen, 24, is a top-notch prospect who took a step backward last season when he hit .220 with seven home runs in 90 games at Toledo.

But the Tigers are confident in this player with five-tool potential and say he'll move upward when he develops consistent hitting.

—-

2007 minor league wrap-up

•Class AAA: Toledo (Ohio) Mud Hens, 82-61, first place in the International League West, lost in the first round of the playoffs

•Class AA: Erie (Pa.) SeaWolves, 81-59, first place in the Eastern League South, lost in the first round of the playoffs

•High-A: Lakeland (Fla.) Flying Tigers, 53-87, sixth place in the Florida State League West

•Low-A: West Michigan (Comstock Park) Whitecaps, 83-57, second-half winner of the Midwest League East, league champions

•Short-season: Oneonta (N.Y.) Tigers, 44-32, first place in the New York-Penn League Stedler, lost in the first round of the playoffs

•Rookie: Gulf Coast (Lakeland, Fla.) Tigers, 28-32, fifth place in the Gulf Coast League North

—-

Where the Tigers stand at each position:

Catcher

Ivan Rodriguez ranks third on the all-time games caught list (2,061) behind Bob Boone (2,225) and Carlton Fisk (2,226). He's still going strong at 35, but the Tigers lack depth, with Vance Wilson recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery. Brandon Inge is a former catcher and could be moved back.

First base

Carlos Guillen, the team's shortstop in 2007, moves as the Tigers try to take the strain off of his legs. He has played 44 games during his career at first base. He was an All-Star last year, with career highs in home runs (21) and RBI (102).

Second base

Placido Polanco is an offensive spark plug who is coming off a season in which he hit .341, third best in the AL. He is also a strong defensive player: He hasn't made an error since July 1, 2006, a streak of 181 consecutive games and 888 total chances.

Third base

Miguel Cabrera, acquired in a trade from the Florida Marlins during the winter meetings, is a superstar who is the only Marlins player to make four All-Star teams. In 2007, he became the third-fastest player in history to reach the 500 mark in RBI. He has a .313 career average.

Shortstop

A day after the World Series, the Tigers got Edgar Renteria in a trade with the Atlanta Braves. Renteria is a Gold Glove-caliber defensive player and a five-time National League All-Star. He hit .332 last season with 30 doubles and 12 home runs. The trade unites him with Jim Leyland, his manager when he played for the Marlins.

Left field

The platoon will be Jacque Jones, 32, who came in a trade from the Chicago Cubs, and Marcus Thames, who has a combined 44 homers the last two seasons for the Tigers. Jones, a left-handed batter, will play vs. right-handed pitchers and Thames vs. lefties.

Center field

Curtis Granderson, a left-handed batter, became the third player in history to have at least 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a single season, joining Wildfire Schulte, who did it in 1911, and Willie Mays. Granderson led the American League with 23 triples, and the Tigers would like to see him cut down on his strikeouts. He struck out 141 times in 2007, compared with 174 strikeouts in 2006.

Right field

Magglio Ordonez, the defending American League batting champion (.363), will be in his fourth season with the Tigers.

Designated hitter

Gary Sheffield, 38, is coming back from shoulder injuries that slowed him the final 10 weeks of last season. He's one of the most-feared hitters and is compiling Hall of Fame-type numbers. He needs 20 home runs to reach 500 for his career.

Starters

The rotation newcomer is LH Dontrelle Willis, 26, who has pitched 200-plus innings in three of his five major-league seasons. He is coming off a subpar season in which he struggled with control. He joins RHPs Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman and LHPs Nate Robertson and Kenny Rogers. Verlander led the staff with 18 wins, 201⅓ innings and 183 strikeouts last season. Bonderman's ERA soared to 5.01, and Robertson was 9-13 with a 4.76 ERA. At 43, Rogers is coming back from a season in which he pitched in only 11 games because of blood clot problems in his left shoulder and inflammation in his elbow.

Bullpen

The big question in the relief corps is RHP Joel Zumaya, who had shoulder surgery in October and is expected to be sidelined until midseason. RH Fernando Rodney, limited to 48 games because of shoulder tendinitis last season, is set to pitch the eighth inning, with the rest of the spots to be figured out in spring training.

Closer

RHP Todd Jones, 39, has 75 saves in the last two seasons for the Tigers. He will start the season as the closer and then eventually help groom Zumaya for the job.

—-

Tigers' top salaries

Jeremy Bonderman and recently acquired Dontrelle Willis will join the $10 million-plus club in 2009 as they enter the third and second years of contract extensions, respectively.

Player, Salary

Magglio Ordonez, $15M

Gary Sheffield, $14M

Ivan Rodriguez, $13M

Carlos Guillen, $12M

Edgar Renteria, $9M

Arbitration eligibles

The Tigers took care of their eligible players in myriad ways: Nate Robertson signed a three-year, $21.5 million deal; Miguel Cabrera signed a one-year, $11.3 million deal; and Marcus Thames and Bobby Seay signed deals worth $1.275 million and $780,000, respectively.

Division power rankings

Whether the Minnesota Twins trade Johan Santana saga will go a long way toward defining the upper and middle portions of the division.

AL Central rank, League

1. Cleveland Indians, 2nd

2. Detroit Tigers, 5th

3. Minnesota Twins, 7th

4. Chicago White Sox, 11th

5. Kansas City Royals, 12th


January 28th, 2008, 2:31 pm
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I'm worried about Cabrera only being locked up for this year.

I hope he gets a big deal towards the end of the season.

Also, how are the Indians ranked 2nd in the league? The Tigers should own them this season.

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January 28th, 2008, 11:07 pm
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with yet another dissapointing lions season it sure is nice to be excited for the tigers. Kinda hard to get use too but I think we all can manage. Heres to 2008! 8)

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January 29th, 2008, 2:43 am
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slybri19 wrote:
Can we stay at your place?


would you rather stay on Dale Mabry :) , just down from RJS?..but you have to put up with Yankee fans..I have tickets to two games right now against the Blue Jays..I am going to take some sick time for other games..cough cough...


February 21st, 2008, 11:01 pm
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it says Matt joyce has a future as a right fielder. Hopefully its not the same Guard/ Tackle we had here. LOL


February 26th, 2008, 3:12 pm
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I went to the game today..kinda nice to get back to Lakeland to see the Tigers..next game, Friday against the Blue Jays


February 27th, 2008, 8:07 pm
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Went to the game today and it was hot.. got to see Porcello in action for the first time..Nate was the only one that got in trouble.


February 29th, 2008, 9:53 pm
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ChazMaster wrote:
Went to the game today and it was hot.. got to see Porcello in action for the first time..Nate was the only one that got in trouble.


How's the middle relief looking this year? That's MY only worry this season.

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February 29th, 2008, 10:40 pm
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they are rotating pitchers every 2 innings.. I really have not seen any problems at this time.. I missed the last 2 games, so I can't make a call on those..

They are letting starters play either 3 or 4 innings, so when the middle guys come up, they are playing against AAA and AA guys..as spring training goes on, starters will play more innings, so we will get a better picture of middle guys then..


March 1st, 2008, 10:10 pm
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Chaz any new info?

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March 7th, 2008, 8:38 pm
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I am heading out the door for the Tigers/Jays game in Dunedin, Fl. I will report on the game hopefully later on today..I will try to update news..stay tune


March 8th, 2008, 12:21 pm
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it was a wind fest yesterday for the game..I figure if a guy hit a pop up, it be gone over the fence.. Hessman has been playing a lot at first and jacked one out yesterday..only problem with him is he is really tall. I am still scared of Bondo in those first two innings..JV, Porcello, and even Grilli has looked good. When the Tigers are on the road, not all the guys go and I see a lot of AAA/AA guys..Cabrera made a nice stop yesterday and even the Red Sox fan behind me was impressed! Over all, I think they are doing ok, but most guys only play 4 innings or less..


March 9th, 2008, 12:05 pm
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