Taking a break from the Johnny Damon Watch to bring you news and notes from the past few days that I've glossed over:
- Infielder Felipe Lopez fired agent Scott Boras this week, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports. How will that affect the Tigers' decisions this week, if at all? The Tigers need a left-handed hitter.
If they were to make a run at Lopez, second base rookie Scott Sizemore could be eased into the position more carefully and his ankle/leg break given all the time it needs to recover completely. There would be insurance, as well, in case Brandon Inge's recovery from his knee surgery his any bumps, or his bat goes cold (I know what you're thinking) during the season.
With Lopez, you don't even have to worry about signing a two-year deal because you could just as easily move him to starting at third base next season when Inge's contract is done. If Tigers owner Mike Ilitch has a few million dollars burning a hole in his pocket, he doesn't just have to deal with Boras any more.
- Speaking of third base, Take 75 North writer Matt Wallace has been exploring the system depth at different positions lately. Today, he wrote about the lack of depth at third base (still). As Wallace writes and I agree with, the Tigers' top third-base prospect is likely not even in the organization yet. He expects (stats), in his second year in the United States, will be competing with 2009 third-round pick Wade Gaynor (stats) to see who moves up to Low-A West Michigan this season. Martinez at least carries some excitement because he is just a 19-year-old. If he develops his tools right as he ages, he could have a nice ceiling. But that's always an "if."
- Jeremy Bonderman has a lot of new ink, which Roger DeWitt (aka Hueytaxi) documents so well on his Flickr feed. This concerns Samara at Roar of the Tigers. Bonderman thinks he's Inge all of a sudden.
- Bonderman, by the way, is in the best shape of his life. Or something like that. MLB.com's Jason Beck spoke to a couple of people this week after Justin Verlander's comments on the MLB Network on the same topic.
"We play catch together most of the time, and he's got a lot of life on the ball," Verlander said last week. "And that's something that I hadn't seen over the last year or so. I'm really excited about where he's headed."
He isn't the only one.
"He feels great," Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "He feels healthy. His ball's alive and everything we've heard about him, which has been great, Justin was telling me firsthand."
- And what the hell kind of wild animal is attacking Joel Zumaya's face? Get it off, get it off! Somebody! Anybody! Kill it!
- Speaking of guys who sometimes display questionable choices in facial hair, BYB "Always an Editor" Ian Casselberry started writing for MLive's Tigers blog in late January. If you haven't followed him, you can check out his piece on Game 163 -- admittedly I didn't. I am NOT about to think about that one again -- or Mike Ilitch as
Jim CramerCosmo Kramer.
- And finally -- a late addition I almost forgot -- USA Today wrote about catcher Alex Avila (hat-tip Ahtrap), who ranked No. 43 on its 100 Names You Need To Know list.