J.D. Martinez left the game Saturday with an ankle injury. We hope he’s not out too long, as we’re officially two weeks away from Opening Day! We await more information on J.D.’s status after he gets a second opinion on Sunday’s MRI. We do have information on Miguel Cabrera’s status, though, and it’s good news! According to Bob Nightengale, Cabrera is expected to be ready for Opening Day.
World Baseball Classic updates
The semi-finals of the World Baseball Classic start on Monday after USA beat the Dominican Republic to advance on Saturday night. Nationals pitcher Tanner Roark is slated to start for Team USA as they take on Japan on Tuesday at 9 p.m. If the U.S. advances, Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman will pitch in the finals against the winner of Puerto Rico and the Netherlands, which is on Wednesday at 9 p.m. Mark Melancon is joining Team USA for the final round. Apparently Chris Archer is no longer needed in the WBC even though he wanted to pitch again. You’ll never guess what Buck Showalter’s favorite part about Adam Jones’ unbelievable catch for Team USA Saturday night was.
News from around the league
Jacob deGrom joined the 100mph club in his latest spring outing. Torii Hunter Jr. replaced Mike Trout in a spring training game as Torii Hunter Sr. looked on. Joe Maddon wants his Cubs to face the winner of the World Baseball Classic. Go behind the scenes in a day in the life of Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts in this piece by Sports Illustrated. Pirates pitcher Sean Burnett actually tries to tear his UCL, on purpose. Eno Sarris talks about Mets starter Matt Harvey’s fastball velocity in his latest article.
A lot of the Red Sox success will depend on catcher Sandy Leon, writes Paul Swydan of FanGraphs. The Giants’ third baseman, Jae-gyun Hwang, shows he belongs here both on and off the field. Several Yankees veterans’ jobs are in trouble after several young Yanks make their mark. Red Sox legend Manny Ramirez, at age 44, launches a double in Japanese independent ball (it’s worth it just to see his swing). If you need help with your fantasy baseball team, MLB.com has you covered.
What’s happening in the AL Central?
It’s not good news for Cleveland as Jason Kipnis is out for four or five weeks for shoulder inflammation and Cody Anderson opts for Tommy John Surgery and thus will be out for the season. Twinkie Town has a great analysis article on the Twins’ catch probability statistics. Hawk Harrelson casts doubt about his future with the White Sox and Fangraphs chronicles the crazy defensive numbers of outfielder Adam Eaton. While recently acquired prospect Yoan Moncada hits another powerful home run.
Friday the Tigers were no hit by Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees, but they bounced back on Saturday to win both of their split-squad games against the Braves and Marlins. On Sunday Matt Murton made his name known after pinch hitting the game deciding home run in the Tigers 7-1 win over the Orioles. John Hicks also hit a massive home run just to pad the lead.
John Hicks at the plate and ... WHAMMY. pic.twitter.com/5y0SAAe5Az— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) March 19, 2017
Sunday was a good day for the Tigers all around. Matt Boyd pitched five innings of one-run ball and Warwick Saupold notched the save when he pitched a scoreless final three innings. Chris McCosky of The Detroit News talks about Matt Boyd and how he’s inching closer to earning that fifth starting spot. Evan Woodbery of MLive writes how Nick Castellanos is doing a good job making his case for batting second in the lineup, after he went 2-for-3 on Saturday.
Kyle previews Alex Avila’s 2017 return season with the Tigers. While Brandon previews Anibal Sanchez’s 2017 season and whether his time in Detroit is coming to an end. Matt Manning made an appearance at spring training on Friday. Ashley talks about the mechanical changes Mark Lowe and Anibal Sanchez have made. Chris McCosky tells us why the Tigers are not worried about Zimmermann’s slow start in spring training. Jason Beck of MLB.com writes about how Michael Fulmer could be the starter for the Tigers’ home opener. Justin Verlander and Kate Upton hosted their annual dog adoption event this past Saturday in Lakeland. Also the Tigers have optioned three pitchers to the minors.
The #Tigers today have optioned RHP's Buck Farmer and Drew VerHagen and LHP Chad Bell to Triple-A Toledo.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) March 18, 2017
A tribute to owner of the Tigers Mike Illitch at Joker Marchant
Shane Greene chills with his mom
Verlander has a Ferrari that anyone could envy
Kevin Millar and Brian Kenny of MLB Network with Tigers legend Al Kaline