News and analysis from my RSS feed and beyond:
- Everyone reports: Justin Verlander will likely be the Tigers’ first starting pitcher when the Grapefruit League season opens Wednesday. This puts him on pace to start the season opener for the Tigers, too. (Beck’s blog). This makes some sense, as I don’t see why anyone but Verlander should be the opening day starter. There was some talk about having him on pace to be the home opening starter, but I don’t think that’s quite as special as being the guy who opens the season. I think the ace should be the guy to take the ball first in April, personally. Of those this is also contingent on what Verlander’s (possible) role is with Team USA at the World Baseball Classic.
- Dontrelle Willis had a nice day throwing against the Tigers’ batters. This is obviously nothing but good news, but it doesn’t really tell us anything to base any predictions on either. Better good than bad, but I’m withholding judgment until he takes the mound several times and shows control in all of them. Fortunately, it sounds like he has that same mind set. (Detroit News, Bless You Boys)
- Second-year pro Rick Porcello received rave reviews from his teammates and coaches, as well. (Tho as Ian pointed out, at this point in spring training, everyone gets rave reviews. They’re all superstars until it counts…) Leyland says you can carry one pitcher whose workload is limited. And maybe it would work. Still I hate to tax the bullpen any more and I remain in the camp who says send him to Erie and let him continue working on things. I don’t doubt he can be successful in the majors now and would love to see him pitch, but added seasoning is always good, too, as long as he isn’t stagnating. (Freep, Detroit Tigers Weblog)
- Catcher Gerald Laird, catcher, thinks he can steal 10-12 bases this season. Catcher. Did I mention catcher? It’s not that it can’t be done by a catcher, but I don’t know, by a catcher named Gerald Laird? (Detroit Catcher News)
- I glanced at a Baseball Prospectives book at the book store today and noticed they really, really don’t like Armando Galarraga’s chances of repeating what he did last season — or even coming close.
- Carlos Guillen is committed to being the Tigers’ left fielder. How committed is he to left field? He told Venezuela he’ll pull out of the World Baseball Classic if he can’t play the position — and start there. I say, good for him. He needs to work on playing the position under real game conditions as much as possible. I’d rather his spring be productive. (MLB.com)
- Former Tiger Jack Morris says he should be a hall of famer. Eh, maybe. I don’t think his case is as weak as the pure numbers people say. I tend to think of the hall of fame as the hall of, you know, fame. And he was pretty famous and thought of pretty highly in his day, and was the ace of some World Series championship teams. Sure, he had great people around him. But he was no slouch. However, he’s not exactly a cut-and-dry case for making it in either. I’d probably vote him yes, but I can understand why others wouldn’t. (Grand Rapids Press/MLive)