Thursday, February 23, 2006

Rogers is Opening Day Starter, Center Field Still Unsettled

According to MLB.COM, Jim Leyland has already announced that Kenny Rogers will be the opening day starter this year and that Bonderman will pitch the home opener:

Tigers manager Jim Leyland made his "likely" decision official Wednesday: Rogers will start the Tigers' season opener April 3 at Kansas City. Jeremy Bonderman will start the second game April 5 and then the Tiger's home opener April 10 against the White Sox.
I like the idea that Leyland is announcing his decision now rather than waiting until spring training is over. Rogers has the best track record of any Tiger starter and spring training will not change that.

MLB.COM also reports that the starting center fielder will probably bat leadoff ahead of Placido Polanco. He won't say whether it will be Curtis Granderson or Nook Logan but he said he'd prefer it be one of them rather than a platoon:

The switch-hitting Logan is a lifetime .318 hitter against left-handed pitching, but former manager Alan Trammell repeatedly pointed out Logan's need for improvement against righties and to hone his bunting. Granderson, a pure left-handed hitter, actually hit better against lefties at both Toledo and Detroit, but his on-base percentage was stronger against righties.

The two seem to complement each other well, but Leyland has said twice already that he'd like to see the contest won outright, if anything for stability up the middle.

"I'd love to have a center fielder, period," Leyland said. "Now whether that's going to work on this team, I don't know, but I'd preferably like to have a catcher, shortstop, second baseman and center fielder. I like to have them etched in stone, but I'm going to have to tinker with that for a while."

If he really wants one guy to win the job, then I think it would have to be Granderson. I wouldn't want to see a platoon but I could imagine it happening at least at the beginning of the season. It's really hard to see Logan winning the job outright with his inability to hit right-handers.


  1. I like the idea of a platoon in CF. Granderson would play most days, as most pitchers are RH. Nook would still his games in against lefties where he can do damage on the basepaths.

  2. I honestly cannot see Logan getting regular playing time in anything other than a platoon, and if Leyland doesn't want to platoon center, then the job has got to be Granderson's to lose.

    If it turns out otherwise, I'm going to lose a lot of faith in the way the team is being run. And then I will shed bitter, bitter art student emo tears.

  3. As I've said all along, I think Granderson should be the every day center fielder. I think Logan should be a pich runner/defensive replacement/backup outfielder. I think Logan can be pretty valuable in that role.



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