Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Spring Training Update: Tuesday Feb 22
Just Days after announcing the pitchers who will start the first two games of Spring Training, Leyland announced the starting pitchers for the regular season opener and the home opener.
It’s no surprise that Justin Verlander will start the season opener on Thursday March 31, at Yankee Stadium in New York. The start will be Verlander’s 4th season opening start, the most since Jack Morris started 11 in a row from 1980-1990. Meanwhile, the starter for the Tigers home opener at Comerica Park will be Max Scherzer on April 8.
This spring training, there has been lots of optimism regarding the Tigers, Miguel Cabrera excluded, and in addition to Leyland announcing that Verlander will be the Opening Day starter, Leyland also said that he expects that Verlander will be a 20-game winner,“on a consistent basis”. Verlander has been close, winning 17 and 19 games once and 18 games a season twice already in his 6 major league seasons.
With the signing of contracts by 6 players on Monday, the Tigers now have 31 of the 40 players under contract for the 2011 season. At the time of this posting, I am still trying to figure out the final 9 players on the 40-man roster unsigned for 2011. By my records Detroit as 12 players unsigned, but according to an article published today in the Detroit News, Tom Gage says the Tigers have 9 unsigned- so I have missed the signing of 3 players. As soon as I have it, figured out, I will be updating things here on Tiger Tizzy.
Speaking of Tom Gage, at the bottom of this article, Gage lists 10 things that “Tigers nation” should be keeping an eye on for 2011. Interestingly enough, Tiger Tizzy has already addressed issues #2, 3, 4 and 9.
Stay tuned, as I am currently finishing my Starting Pitchers, OF/DH and Bench reviews, as well as taking a quick look at the role Jim Leyland and GM Dave Dombrowski will end up playing in the success or relative failure of the 2011 Detroit Tigers.
Also good news on how Carlos Guillen is looking as he comes back from micro-fracture surgery. Word all during the off season was that Guillen was on track. Then, just days before spring training started, Jim Leyland told reporters that he “didn’t think Guillen will be ready”. Of course red-flags went up all across Tigers-nation that Guillen’s injury history would end up coming back to hurt the Tigers for 2011.
Now that camp is underway, Leyland is backing off of those pre-Tigers Winter Caravan comments, as evidenced by this comment on Sunday afternoon; “I’m pinching myself. I don’t want to get crazy, but he has looked really good”. The Tigers aren’t yet ready to hand the starting job at 2nd to Guillen just yet, because there is still a lot of work to do to have Carlos ready for the 162-game grind, but it certainly eases MY mind that Guillen seems to be headed in the right direction health-wise.
Just coming across the wire as I was working on this post, news came from Florida that Tigers Slugger Miguel Cabrera has an arraignment date of Wednesday March 16, 2011 in Circuit Court in Fort Pierce, Florida. In the meantime, camp continues without the slugger, for the rest of your Detroit Tigers