Detroit News columnist Lynn Henning was on Marquette's ESPN970 this afternoon to speak with Casey Ford of the Sports Pen. The pair discussed the first 10 days or so of Tigers spring training in Lakeland.
Casey was kind enough to send me the audio to share with everyone.
Henning noted that Miguel Cabrera has come into camp in very good shape and could end up making the Tigers' gamble of moving him to third look like a smart move.
"So far I think they're pretty pleased and they should be. He's leaner. He's really lost a lot of weight. He looks absolutely tremendous. Now, the key becomes, how does he handle ground balls that are hit in game situations. Because the speed these balls are hit, your reflexes become a little more intense. ... That's obviously what everybody is looking at. If this situation, this experiment here, is really going to hold up."
Of course, no conversation is complete without talking about Brandon Inge, who is attempting to make the move from third base to second base this year.
"He's naturally a little more athletic. He's just better at being nimble and having better feet than (former Tiger Carlos) Guillen did," Henning said. "This transition for Inge all along would have been a much easier one than it would have been for Guillen, who was what you would call a rhythm kind of ashortstop. He never really quite advanced from that particular point. Inge, I think you can put him at just about any situation, and he quickly adapts.
"I don't think he's going to beat out Raburn, and I don't think he's going to beat out Santiago. His best bet to make the team is if he beats out Danny Worth."
Henning said Boesch is '110 percent' after having surgery last fall and is a key cog in the lineup this year.
"I think that situation they repaired is one of those injuries that leaves you a little stronger than you were going in," Henning said. "Batting out of that second spot is very good, he can run a little bit. He tends to hit the ball very hard through the infield. ... I think if you're looking for one surprise on the plus side out of that order, I think focusing on Boesch to be critical."
Finally, Henning said his best bet for a surprise to make the Tigers' 25 man roster is Drew Smyly, but he pointed out quite a few of the young arms should see time in the big leagues.
"Smyly probably would occupy a first spot among long shots who could make the team," Henning said.
You can listen to the interview below: