The media was busy on Thursday as the Tigers' caravan made stops around the Detroit area and beyond. From updates on Brandon Inge and Scott Sizemore, to news about Miguel Cabrera, to updates about Justin Verlander's contract status, to getting thoughts from 2009 first-round draftee Jacob Turner, the media was busy.
MLB.com's Jason Beck wrote about the caravan's stops, such as the one at Metro Airport.
Jim Leyland was fascinated as a Delta pilot showed Detroit's manager and some of his players around the cockpit of a Boeing 747 aircraft. Brandon Inge couldn't believe the view looking back toward the terminal. Their tour guide had to work to keep them on schedule because they didn't appear eager to leave. Others asked if they could check out the Delta control tower before they left.
Here's a rundown of some player news and non-news.
Tom Gage of the News reports Inge was cleared to begin baseball activities after surgery for chronic patellar tendinitis in both knees. Gage provides a written image that Tigers fans only wish we had a visual for:
The surgery left Inge -- a high-energy guy, whether playing Dad or third base -- in locking ankle-to-thigh braces for two weeks. "Two weeks of hell, that's for sure," Inge said. "Now that I don't look like Forrest Gump, I obviously feel 10 times better."
Steve Kornacki reported Inge is actually ahead of schedule. Supposedly, Inge was not going to be able to play in spring training games until the final two weeks, but he may be available earlier.
As mentioned in a FanShot, Verlander and the Tigers are not ready to negotiate a long-term contract. Verlander wants to get his one-year deal out of the way first. But he's open to staying in Detroit.
"I think Dave [Dombrowski's] quote is that they want me around for a long time. I want to be here for a long time," Verlander said Thursday afternoon at the Tigers' media luncheon to kick off their annual winter caravan.
Rosey writes the Tigers plan to help Austin Jackson fix some of the perceived flaws in his swing. Jackson is open to whatever changes hitting coach Lloyd McClendon would like to do.
Fans are already afraid of McClendon getting ahold of any young future of the franchise.
Some speculated on Twitter that Don Kelly would be the player removed from the Tigers' 40-man roster. Kelly's quotes to Chris Iott make that seem less likely.
Don Kelly will pack several gloves for his trip south for spring training. He hopes his ability to use them will help him earn a trip north for the start of the regular season. "Right now, I’ve got four," Kelly said Thursday during a Detroit Tigers caravan stop when asked how many gloves he’ll take with him. "So hopefully, I don’t need anymore."
MLive was really active and really kicked butt, for sure. They talked to backup catcher Alex Avila about the possibility of him playing in Triple-A Toledo in 2010 after having a six-week stay in Detroit last August and September.
"I’m not too concerned about that," Avila said. "I’ve just got to be able to go in and do what I do. It will work out eventually.
"One of my goals for spring training is just to be able to be around the guys who are in the position that I want to be someday and hopefully learn a lot from them," he said. "As for the season, just hopefully get better throughout the season and worry about what I can worry about and just go out every day and do the best I can."