On a split squad day in spring training it can be hard to decide which team to watch. Do you go for the younger, unproven talents, or do you see how the old veterans are doing?
There’s no right answer, especially since the team that starts the game will only last about four innings before giving way to those unproven talents anyway. On this fine Monday I opted to see how Miguel Cabrera and Daniel Norris did in Jupiter, FL against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Here’s how the Tigers fared.
Some generally decent hitting all around with Miguel Cabrera collecting a walk and an RBI single. Daz Cameron had a hit and a walk, Niko Goodrum got a walk and scored on a John Hicks RBI double. Dustin Peterson also had an RBI single.
The Tigers shuffled the lineup around a fair bit, but that ended up being all they could muster for hits. Turns out it was enough.
Daniel Norris pitched two innings and looked... fine. He threw 32 pitches, 20 for strikes, but his command of the zone wasn’t 100% and he walked two batters in addition to strikes two out. Nothing to worry about, but also not a dazzling first start. Hope to see him tighten up his fastball before spring training ends, it topped out in the low-90s.
Victor Alcantara worked through an inning giving up only a single hit and collected 2 strikeouts.
Didn’t Ryan Carpenter start spring training with a beard? Why are we so anti-beard now?
Eduardo Jimenez came on for an inning and gave up a single hit and collected one strikeout, while Gregory Soto didn’t fare as well, giving the Cardinals their first run of the game on a Rangel Ravelo single.
Spenser Watkins came on to close out the game and hit Adolis Garcia with a pitch to put the tying run on base. Then he allowed a run to score. And then a base hit to tie the game. So that pretty much tells you how the Spenser Watkins inning went.
The other stuff
Candelario was looking catlike on third base, stopping a lightning-quick line drive in the bottom of the second inning. It’s nice to see a third baseman turn that tight of a play this early in spring training.
It was incredibly windy in Jupiter causing some misleading fouls and flies, some of which made outfielder Victor Reyes look a little out of his depth in right field.
Blessedly no one cares about tie games in spring training and the game was called at the end of the ninth.
Meanwhile in Clearwater...
**checks box score** Oh.
Christin Stewart belted in a solo home run in the first inning, then Nicholas Castellanos doubled in the third to score both JaCoby Jones and Mikie Mahtook. Grayson Greiner got a home run of his own in the fourth inning, also scoring Gordon Beckham.
Unfortunately in the fourth Matt Hall had a rough go of it, giving up four earned runs on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Until that point Tigers pitching against the Phillies had fared very well with Jordan Zimmermann throwing two innings and striking out four with no walks or hits. Joe Jimenez came on for an inning and collected two strikeouts of his own with no walks or hits.
Castellanos also looked... surprisingly good in the field, making a long toss to home plate that would have been an out were it not dropped by Greiner. Glimmers of hope!
Mark Ecker and Logan Shore came out next for the Tigers. Ecker gave up five hits but only a single run. Shore unfortunately gave up three runs on two hits, and Franklin Perez appears to have bounced back from his illness, giving up no runs on one hit.
Mahtook scored on a throwing error in the 7th. Daniel Woodrow singled to score Isaac Paredes in the eighth, tightening the gap a little, but it wasn’t enough and the Tigers lost the game. (Jose Fernandez and Paul Voelker also made appearances, the latter giving up a run)