With the Tigers winter caravan now on the road, hoping to sell fans on the '10 team, the local press is finally getting to speak with the team brain trust. How brainy they may be remains to be determined.
If you read Kurt's post about Phil Coke (and I'm sure you did, right?), you'd know Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski recently told the media the newly acquired lefty was a candidate for the 5th spot in the rotation.
When asked about Coke during the caravan's stop in Toledo, Tigers manager Jim Leyland wan't parroting the company line.
Via Tom Gage at the Detroit News:
"Personally, I'm looking at him as more of a bullpen guy."
This is coming from a manager who insisted on giving Clete Thomas 183 plate appearances in the 3 hole, so I'm not really surprised.
Guys, do us all a favor, and get your stories straight before camp...please?
Update: Jason Beck has the full quote from Leyland. It puts things a little more in perspective, but not much.
"Personally, I'm looking at him more as a bullpen guy," Leyland said. "I think we're going to have enough issues when you talk about Galarraga bouncing back and Bonderman bouncing back and Nate Robertson bouncing back and Dontrelle Willis bouncing back. There's only so many innings.
"Am I ruling it out? No, I'm not. But you can only give so many innings to so many guys in Spring Training, and the one thing you want to make sure is that you're getting the guys ready that you know need to be ready."
Even though the Tigers are already penciling Jeremy Bonderman into the rotation, expecting any of the above mentioned pitchers to bounce back to their former effectiveness is a tall order.