Good Monday morning. We’re a scant ten days away from the start of the 2018 season, and the outlook on how this Detroit Tigers team will be run grows clearer by the day. Maybe you were busy watching the team with college basketball’s best twitter account completely dismantle a one seed this weekend, or maybe you were occupied with the last second heroics of the fellas in maize and blue.
Regardless of where your proclivities happened to lie over the past few days, the Tigers did some stuff. Let’s take a gander.
Everything’s coming up Zimmermann
If you were among the hopeful that believed Ron Gardenhire was going to do anything other than the predictable old school management approach, allow me to offer my heartfelt sympathy. Watching him telegraph his intentions to place Leonys Martin or someone whose OBP is lower than my blood alcohol level on a weeknight at the top of the lineup has to be hard enough. But if you had any faith that Gardy wasn’t going to revert to several decades of muscle memory, the news that Jordan Zimmermann is going to be the Opening Day starter probably comes like a kick to the ol’ wedding tackle.
Gardenhire cited Zimmermann’s veteran status as a key factor, because of course he did. When you have to clarify your choice by saying “I’m not kidding you” and “I’m being serious” it’s safe to say you’ve made an unexpected decision. Zimmermann has looked pretty sharp in his last two outings, but there’s a guy by the name of Michael Fulmer who isn’t too shabby himself.
The Blaine train is leaving the station
After being shut down for a good chunk of spring training with a shoulder issue, Blaine Hardy is finally healthy enough to get back in the swing of things. He is scheduled to debut on Monday. With few chances left to prove that he should be going north with the team when they break camp, Hardy plans to give it his best effort. Look to see a lot of him this week.
You aren’t watching Tigers baseball if you aren’t watching Miguel Cabrera appeal to first on his own check swings and blow through a stop sign or two at third base. It would seem Ron Gardenhire wants the team to take Miggy’s baserunning attitude to heart. On a team where runs are going to be hard to come by, Gardenhire is looking for his base runners to be aggressive, especially in two-out situations.
Gardy is of the opinion you make a guy throw you out. I like it. It’s going to backfire a time or two, for sure. I gleefully await the first time Victor Martinez gets waved home on a throw from the outfield and is still comfortably thrown out by 10 feet after the ball gets dropped and/or cut off three times. Still, base hits with runners on may be tough to come by this season. They may as well take their chances.
The wizard of Boz
If there is one person I have been pleasantly surprised with this spring, it’s new pitching coach Chris Bosio. I have heard nothing but good things, and while it’s still just spring training, he seems to be making his presence felt in a positive way. The pitching staff seem to like him and find his coaching invaluable. Let’s hope these good vibes translate to the regular season.
MLB Trade Rumors took on the painful task of reviewing the Tigers’ offseason. If you want to go back and be sad, you can read through all the names that used to be Tigers (and some of the new ones too). The overall opinion is that the organization has done a good job to cut payroll and start restocking the farm, but there’s a long ways to go.
Around the horn
Baseball is awesome
Did I say baseball? Oh well.