Today is Opening Day! Winter seemed longer than Noah Syndergaard’s hair and as unpleasant as Tyler Saladino’s mustache, but that is no longer of any concern, for this afternoon Justin Verlander takes the mound with the purpose of ruining Hawk Harrelson’s day. Let’s get to some links.
Upton part deux
The Toronto Blue Jays cut ties with Melvin Upton Jr. on Sunday, and Tigers general manager Al Avila has reportedly said the organization will do its due diligence in regards to looking into the eldest Upton as the latest possible solution to the center field challenge. Rob gives you the breakdown on the pros and cons of bringing Melvin to Motown.
Nick Castellanos making strides on both sides
If there is one thing that has been noticeable about third baseman
Nick Nicholas Castellanos this spring — aside from his disdain for buttons — it’s been his hot bat. He’s looking to pick up where he left off last season. In addition to swinging the lumber, Castellanos is apparently no longer seen as a liability at the hot corner. Manager Brad Ausmus has apparently indicated he’s comfortable leaving Casetellanos in in the later innings as opposed to inserting a defensive replacement. We’ll see how that all shakes out.
Go deep with Daniel Norris
There are certain things you can depend on in life like death, taxes, and Daniel Norris human interest pieces. The latest installment in the latter comes from Anthony Fenech at the Detroit Free Press. He covers Norris’ love of the game, his faith, and his feelings around how he thinks people might have some incorrect perceptions of him as a player.
The thing that irritated him most about getting branded the “van man” doesn’t have anything to do with the 1968 Volkswagen Westfalia he likes to take cross-country. It’s the assumption many made that, “This is a guy that doesn’t care about baseball, and he just loves life,” he said. “And I’m like, that’s not true at all.”
All hail the long ball
The home run has long been the most exciting play in baseball, and for good reason. Some folks prefer stellar pitching or amazing defense, but if you’re a fan of the long ball, rejoice for it appears we are seeing something of a renaissance for the dinger. In a pair of articles Jonah Keri and Mike Petriello both take some time to note the surprising uptick in home runs in recent seasons and some reasons as to why that may be happening.
The more you know...
In the off chance that you haven’t consumed enough media previewing the upcoming Tigers season, bite off a healthy three parter from Chris McCosky of the Detroit News and this video primer from Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.
Baseball is awesome
Madison Bumgarner may not have pitched as well as he wanted, but hooo boy that bat.
For your free time
The link between success and young talent. Scott Boras doesn’t agree with Chipper Jones’ version of events in his upcoming book. The RO baseball roundup discusses Miguel Cabrera’s hit totals, among other things. The science of a 100 mph fastball. These Baltimore Orioles batting helmets are pretty sharp. When it comes to the Cy Young award, Dave Cameron likes himself some Lance McCullers.