Sunday, March 12, 2006

First Tiger Cut and Other Notes

According to Jason Beck, the Tigers made their first cut of the spring today:
The first cut of Spring Training came Sunday, when the Tigers sent catcher Chris Robinson to Minor League camp. More could be coming later this week, but one well-speculated move doesn't sound likely.
The Robinson move comes as no surprise as he was just drafted last June and has only 161 professional at bats, none of them above Western Michigan (low A ball). He'll most likely catch for Lakeland this year. The Tigers now have 58 players remaining in camp, the 40 man roster and 18 spring training invitees.

The "well-speculated move" refers to Carlos Pena who has been rumored to be a possible cut by May 15. If the Tigers cut him on or before that day, they are only responsible for one-sixth of his 2.8 million dollar salary. Jim Leyland hinted that this would not happen:
"There will not be anybody leaving here before Saturday at the earliest," Leyland said.
Given Dmitri Young's uncertain health status and the team's dearth of left-handed bats, it makes sense that Pena would not be an early cut even if it saves them a little money.

Injury Updates

In same article, Beck says that Matt Mantei's Oblique muscle is feeling a little better:
Don't write off Matt Mantei from camp. He said he's slowly feeling better after a strained oblique muscle earlier this week left him in so much pain he was having difficulty breathing.

However, I'm still not optimistic that he'll be ready by opening day.

Mike Maroth had his first start today and said his elbow felt fine. He did not have his full assortment of pitches though:

Mike Maroth said his arm felt fine on the mound Sunday in his first outing back from left elbow soreness. He gave up three runs in as many innings over 39 pitches, taking the loss against the Blue Jays, but the goal was avoiding pain more than avoiding hits. He scrapped his curveball before the game because he thought it might aggravate the soreness, and he nearly decided against throwing cutters, too.
Kaline Raves About Rookies

According to Lynn Henning, Al Kaline has joined Leyland in high praise of Tiger rookies:
"The thing that sticks out this spring is young talent," said Al Kaline, who watched separate waves of farm prospects fuel the Tigers' 1984 and 1968 world championships. "It's unbelievable."
It's easy to pass this off as spring optimism but I sincerely believe this crop (Maybin, Curtis Granderson, Brent Clevlen, Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya) is the best they've had in a long while - meaning 20 or more years.

Willie Horton also likes the young Tigers but he gave (untentionally I believe) a humorous comparision for Clevlen:
"He reminds me of Max Alvis," Horton said, referring to a power-hitting Indians third baseman from Horton's era.
I's hard to get excited about another Max Alvis! I can only assume that Horton was talking about style rather than quality.

1 comment:

  1. The second Mantei gets healthy, his toe will explode or something. Count on it.


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