The Detroit Tigers completed their first week of spring training in grand fashion on Sunday, tagging the Miami Marlins for nine runs in a 9-2 victory at Joker Marchant Stadium. It was the Tigers' fifth win of the week if you include their game against Florida Southern last Monday, and they are 4-3 in Grapefruit League action.
The Tigers' potent offense was in midseason form at times during the week, scoring at least eight runs in four different games. They put up 10 runs on the Pittsburgh Pirates in split-squad action on Wednesday, and also blitzed the Atlanta Braves for eight runs the next day. Miguel Cabrera paced the offense with a three-run homer in a win over the Yankees on Friday, and they managed nine runs in a loss to the Yanks earlier in the week.
Even more impressive than the Tigers' offense might have been their starting pitching. Jordan Zimmermann and Daniel Norris both allowed a run in their spring debuts, while Justin Verlander and Mike Pelfrey tossed scoreless outings. Matt Boyd showed off his improved slider in a pair of starts, while Shane Greene and Michael Fulmer held opponents scoreless in relief appearances.
While there is only a week's worth of results to sort through, there were a few performances that stood out. Here are the best and worst stat lines of the week, and how they affect the Tigers' Opening Day roster.
Bryan Holaday had a week to remember, mashing three home runs in an early statement to the Tigers' brass. His 2.125 slugging average won't continue, but the swing changes that Holaday made during the offseason seem to be paying major dividends so far. Holaday is also spending some time at third base this spring in order to improve his versatility. He's still on the outside looking in when it comes to making the Opening Day roster, but he's not going down quietly.
If the first week of spring training is any indication, Victor Martinez's 2015 issues appear to be long behind him. Martinez hit a pair of home runs this week, both from the left side of the plate. He also legged out an infield hit over the weekend, a rare feat prior to any of his knee surgeries. It's early yet, but Martinez's stat line will be worth watching as Opening Day approaches.
Steven Moya came into camp on a high after playing well in winter ball, and that confidence appears to have carried over to Grapefruit League action. Moya had three hits in seven at-bats last week, including a pair of towering home runs that made Dan Dickerson (and others) take notice. Moya probably won't see much big league action this year -- he could use the consistent at-bats in Triple-A, even if he's mashing -- but could force the Tigers' hand for 2017.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia probably doesn't need to do much this spring to beat out Bryan Holaday for the backup catcher job, but it was nice to see him get off to a good start. He didn't have many at-bats, but hit a home run and got on base at a .667 clip. He finished 2015 strong after being cut by the Miami Marlins, and should provide solid production when spelling James McCann during the regular season.
Wynton Bernard didn't do much to write home about during the week -- although I read he made a diving catch at one point -- but he hasn't floundered at the plate either. With Cameron Maybin potentially headed for the disabled list to start the season, Bernard has a chance to seize a bench outfielder role, even if for a few games. He started in center field over Tyler Collins on Saturday, and could be a solid platoon partner for Anthony Gose while Maybin is on the mend.
Joe Jimenez set the bar sky-high after a monster 2015 season, and his first week of spring training helped prove why so many people are excited to see him at the major league level. Jimenez struck out a pair of hitters in his lone Grapefruit League appearance, and he struck out the side in an inning of work against Florida Southern. He also allowed a home run in that outing, so he's not completely bulletproof.
Blaine Hardy had a rough go in an outing against the New York Yankees on Wednesday, allowing two runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. Hardy's biggest blunder was hanging a pitch to lefty Dustin Ackley, who hit a liner to the right field wall for a double. Hardy allowed both of Drew VerHagen's inherited runners to score, and was a big reason why the Tigers eventually blew a huge lead. It probably won't affect Hardy's status for Opening Day, but that outing wasn't encouraging after how poorly he finished the 2015 season.
Mike Aviles did himself no favors with the Tigers fanbase, collecting just one hit in nine at-bats. He's probably still a lock for the Opening Day roster, but with how well others played last week, he may need to step it up a bit.
Jairo Labourt is still young and very raw, but he appeared to have some major control problems in his first week of big league spring training. Labourt had problems throwing strikes in every outing, including a couple of wild pitches against Florida Southern.
Full stats tables are below. Only major leaguers and top prospects are included. Stats for every player in Tigers camp can be found here.