Whether it's the cold or just the desire to get ahead, a number of players have already reported for spring training. Some of the Tigers staff live in Florida during the off-season, so to say they've reported early is both true and at the same time not. On Tuesday Detroit Tigers reporter Jason Beck stated Justin Verlander has a place in Lakeland so he's already somewhat home, and is merely being proactive in getting some practice in. At the same time's Verlander has himself said he's trying not to push it too hard to avoid re-injuring himself.
Tuesday evening on 97.1 the Ticket's weekly TigerTalk, Rick Porcello paid a visit via phone and gave an overview of some of the staff who are present and accounted for. "Yeah I think Anibal's [Sanchez] been down here pretty much the whole year, I think he's in Orlando [Florida] so he's been working out, and obviously Justin's [Verlander] been down here," he said. "Drew Smyly got down a couple days ago so pretty much the whole starting staff besides Max [Scherzer] has been down here working out. You know we've been getting here early and getting our work done so it's been fun."
Other pitching staff members who've reported early include Bruce Rondon, Bryan Holaday, Phil Coke [along with his wife and new baby of course], pitching coach Jeff Jones, and hitting coach Wally Joyner. Porcello has already been down in Florida for a while. "I got down here in Lakeland around Feb. 1 and been going to the ballpark, and it's just great to be down here and getting ready for baseball season."
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus also settled into his first day on the job and interestingly, isn't nervous, as reported by Jason Beck. Except, he's nervous that he isn't. "It makes me nervous that I'm not nervous. I don't know why. Just driving here, I spent more than half my Spring Trainings in this area. It's very familiar to me, driving down 4, staying in the place that I stayed for three years that I played. It's all very familiar to me. It's not odd."
Meanwhile, Miguel Cabrera and Andy Dirks were spotted on Monday, although Cabrera was reportedly getting work in as early as Jan 5. This comes as no surprise to anyone anywhere that the best hitter in baseball is on the field this early and working hard. It would be concerning if he wasn't.
Extras of the Day: Justin Verlander isn't sure what to call the new skipper because he's apparently only had one manager in his major league career, Ian Kinsler now occupies Prince Fielder's old clubhouse spot as reported by George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press, and Andy Dirks will soon be donning a new hair style.