The skies cleared in Lakeland following a rainy Saturday and made way for a beautiful day in TigerTown as the club pushed closer to the start of the Grapefruit League schedule. Players took part in a full workout today, which included live batting practice, baserunning drills, relay drills and a few other final tuneups.
Here’s How the Hurlers will Start
Here’s a rundown of the pitching for the start of games next week:
Tuesday against Florida Southern at Joker Marchant Stadium: Phil Coke, Eddie Bonine, Enrique Gonzalez, Cody Satterwhite, Fu-Te Ni and Joel Zumaya.
Wednesday against Toronto at Knology Park in Dunedin: Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson, Armando Galarraga, Ryan Perry, Brad Thomas and Daniel Schlereth.
Thursday against Toronto at Joker Marchant Stadium: Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer, Dontrelle Willis, Alfredo Figaro, Phil Dumatrait, and Jose Valverde.
The nice weather allowed for the Tigers to have a productive day in camp. While recapping the day’s work with the writers following the workout, manager Jim Leyland described the workout in glowing fashion. “Today was by far the best day of camp,” Leyland said. “We accomplished a lot.”
You Look Familiar
Jim Leyland’s son Patrick was in town to visit this weekend and had something in common with one of the Tigers newest players. Patrick played against Jacob Turner’s team in high school, but he never actually faced the lanky righthander.
The weather was again a factor here in Lakeland as chilly temperatures and rain chased the workouts inside and abbreviated the schedule. All was not lost as the club jetted through the annual photo day, worked in the indoor cages and spent some time going over signs.
Today was the annual photo day in TigerTown where media outlets had the opportunity to photograph the entire Tigers Spring Training roster over in the recreation hall. Photo day begins early and the players stopped by 11 different stations this year, posing for pictures that will be used throughout the season. One of the interesting stations on the circuit was the group doing head scans for the baseball video games. The scans help make the digital renditions of Tigers players look just like their real-life namesake.
Rain, Rain, Go Away!
The forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 60s tomorrow in Lakeland. The weather should make for another good day of workouts as the Tigers prepare to open the Grapefruit League schedule against Florida Southern on Tuesday afternoon.
It’s still chilly here in Lakeland, but not as windy today. The players enjoyed another full day of workouts as the club fast approaches the beginning of the Grapefruit League schedule.
Lessons from Mr. Tiger
One of the many benefits for players fortunate enough to don the Olde English D is the opportunity to learn from one of baseball’s legends. Al Kaline is in uniform each day during Spring Training and worked with the Tigers outfielders today, showing them the finer points of a position he mastered over a 22-year career with the Tigers.
Live Batting Practice Continues
Today marked the third day of live batting practice against Tigers pitchers and the third day of tough at-bats for Tigers hitters. Righthanders Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer highlighted the list on a day that again favored pitchers. Even though it’s batting practice, it doesn’t mean bats are safe. Miguel Cabrera witnessed that first hand, breaking a bat in rather spectacular fashion on a particularly tough BP offering.
All About Rundowns
Tigers players worked on rundowns today with the coaching staff serving as baserunners during the defensive drill. Tigers manager Jim Leyland ran the bases as did coaches Rick Knapp and Lloyd McClendon. In spite of the broken toe, Leyland moved well on the bases during a drill that provided a few light moments. Despite not being a frequent occurrence during games, rundowns are one of the key plays that get addressed during the early days of Spring Training.
The weather wasn’t quite like Detroit in February, but it was unseasonably cold and quite windy in Lakeland today. Despite the persistent chill, the Tigers had another full day on the field in TigerTown as they move one day closer to kicking off the Grapefruit League schedule.
How Cold was it?
The temperature was rumored to have topped 50 degrees during the workout, but it was tough to tell the exact temperature from looking at the way players and coaches were dressed. Lefthanded pitcher Phil Coke and catcher Alex Avila bravely went without sleeves, while manager Jim Leyland and most others sported hooded sweatshirts and other appropriate cold weather gear.
Down and Dirty Batting Practice
Today marked the second day of live batting practice against Tigers pitchers and included a highlight from hurler Jeremy Bonderman. Miguel Cabrera observed Bonderman’s stint on the hill and wanted no part of the righthander, remarking that his stuff was “dirty.” Tough sledding for Tigers hitters across the board as other Detroiters toeing the slab included Rick Porcello, Daniel Schlereth and Jacob Turner.
Bring Your Appetite
Tonight it’s all about tradition in Lakeland as Tigers players, staff and fans will come together at Joker Marchant Stadium for the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce 64th Annual Tiger BBQ. The event is catered by the Texas Cattle Company and features some great food and fun for the whole family. Here’s to hoping the wind calms down a bit so it won’t be so chilly once the sun goes down.
Scherzer Chat Recap
Max Scherzer took some time out following his workout to chat with fans during a live chat on tigers.com. He fielded over 100 questions during the chat and pointed out that he was making an effort to conjugate his verbs properly and avoid using any double negatives. In addition to his verb conjugating abilities, Scherzer also made it known that he’s a pretty formidable Scrabble opponent. Certainly a unique skill set!
Special Delivery from Schmakel
Tigers clubhouse manager Jim Schmakel is in his 33rd season in charge of equipment and the Tigers clubhouse. During Spring Training, it’s a common occurrence to have a player or staff member need some equipment brought from the clubhouse to the cloverleaf diamonds at the back of the complex. Always prepared for the job, Schmakel rides his bicycle from the clubhouse to various locations around the complex, getting a little exercise while making sure everyone has what they need.
A surprise downpour this morning in Lakeland threatened to hinder the day’s workout schedule, but the skies cleared in time for another productive day in TigerTown. Almost on cue, the rains returned following the workout, but the schedule is clear and cool for tomorrow’s activities.
Change of Pace for the Hitters
Today’s workout marked the first day of live batting practice off the pitchers and reinforced the age-old theory that early in Spring Training the pitchers are almost always ahead of the hitters. First day highlights included new Tigers closer Jose Valverde breaking multiple bats in an impressive first session. He was followed by Joel Zumaya, who showcased his high-octane fastball and a repertoire described by Jim Leyland as “nasty.”
Ever Wonder About the Equipment?
Anyone who played baseball growing up probably remembers the excitement of getting a new glove to break in or a new piece of lumber (or aluminum, depending on your age) to swing in the cage. At the major league level, things are a little different from the days when a new glove or bat meant a trip to the local sporting goods store. Throughout the spring, manufacturer representatives visit each camp to make sure each player has what they need for a successful season. Take a look at this smorgasbord of sporting goods!
Famous Father Visits TigerTown
Former NFL player and current ESPN NFL commentator Mark Schlereth stopped by camp today to see his son, Daniel, as he takes part in his first spring camp with the Tigers. Schlereth was on the air this morning on ESPN sporting a Tigers pullover and promised to proudly wear the Olde English D as much as he can in support of his son’s new team.
Baseball Gone to the Dogs
Tigers camp saw another special visitor this afternoon, this one of the K-9 variety. Bullpen catcher Scott Pickens brought his friendly St. Bernard, Wallace, to work with him. Wallace enjoyed a relaxing day of attention from just about everyone who crossed his path. He’s no stranger to the ballpark and is a big hit whenever he visits.