The 2015 Detroit Tigers Winter Caravan, presented by Oakland University and in partnership with FOX Sports Detroit, is set for Thursday, January 22 and Friday, January 23, and features an exciting lineup of stops throughout the state of Michigan. Tigers President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski, Vice President/Assistant General Manager Al Avila, Special Assistant to the General Manager Alan Trammell, Manager Brad Ausmus, coaches, players, broadcasters, and Detroit’s favorite mascot PAWS, will take part in a two-day journey across the region, spreading baseball fever to fans of all ages.
“We are thrilled to begin the 2015 season with the Tigers Winter Caravan,” said Elaine Lewis, Tigers Vice President of Public Affairs and Strategic Planning. “This annual event gives the organization, its management, players and coaches a special opportunity to meet and interact with all of the incredible Tigers fans throughout the state of Michigan and northern Ohio.”
The 2015 Detroit Tigers Winter Caravan will be making more than 30 stops throughout the region, including 12 new locations and three cities never before visited by the Tigers Winter Caravan. The Metro Bus will make a stop in Northville, while the North Bus will debut in Lake City and Grayling.
Wednesday, January 21
West Michigan Whitecaps Winter Banquet 6:00-9:00 p.m.
DeVos Place, Grand Rapids
· Tigers President, CEO and General Manager David Dombrowski and Tigers players will participate at a seated dinner for fans.
Thursday, January 22
Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Kellogg Center, Lansing
· Tigers President, CEO and General Manager David Dombrowski will be the keynote speaker addressing the Economic Club of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 1:50-2:35 p.m.
1600 East Warren Ave, Detroit
· Tigers players will participate in an employee rally, which will include a jersey presentation to honor the 100th anniversary of the banks’ first day of operation in November of 2014.
Buffalo Wild Wings 1:40-2:25 p.m.
1234 Walton Blvd., Rochester Hills
· Two Tigers players will serve as celebrity servers at Buffalo Wild Wings.
· Tigers mascot PAWS will also be in attendance.
· OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Oakland University 2:45-3:30 p.m.
2200 North Squirrel Road, Rochester Hills
· Tigers players will provide a baseball skills demonstration for OU Cares program participants and participate in a question-and-answer session with the program participants, guests and Oakland University student athletes
· Tigers mascot PAWS will also be in attendance.
Lipari Foods and Winter’s Sausage 3:05-4:20 p.m.
26661 Bunert, Warren
· Tigers players and coaches will participate in an employee rally where they will be paired with Lipari employees for a sandwich making contest. Select Tigers players will judge the contest.
Detroit Tigers Kids Club Rally 4:45-6:00 p.m.
Sterling Heights High School – Performing Arts Theatre 12901 15 Mile Road, Sterling Heights
· Tigers players will participate in an interactive event that includes raffle prizes, games and promotional giveaways.
· Tigers players will also present a jersey in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts (WCSPA).
· WCSPA hosts the final round of its singing competition with the winner receiving the opportunity to sing the National Anthem prior to a 2015 Tigers home game.
· In addition, Tigers players will host a meet-and-greet with two young fans from the Tigers Dreams Come True Program, and select members of the Detroit Tigers Kids Club.
· Tigers mascot PAWS will also be in attendance.
· OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Ticketed event.
· Seating is limited, first come, first serve.
Hockeytown Authentics 5:15-6:00 p.m.
1845 East Big Beaver Road, Troy
· Fans will have the opportunity to take a photo with two Tigers players in exchange for a donation of new, packaged, warm men’s or women’s socks to benefit the Neighborhood Service Organization’s Homeless Recovery program. In exchange for a donation of socks, fans will receive a wristband to take one photo with the Tigers players.
· Please note, a maximum of 150 wristbands will be distributed. Wristband distribution will begin at 4:00 p.m. at Hockeytown Authentics.
· OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Toledo Mud Hens 6:00-7:30 p.m..
Fifth Third Field
406 Washington Street, Toledo, OH
· Tigers players will participate in a question-and-answer session at a seated dinner for fans.
· OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
· Ticketed Event; To order tickets call 419-725-4367 or visit http://bit.ly/1G1RKXV
Friday, January 22
FOX Sports Detroit 10:45-11:45 a.m.
26555 Evergreen Road Suite 90, Southfield
· Tigers players will participate in a meet-and-greet reception with Fox Sports Detroit sponsors and clients.
Northville City Fire Department 10:45-11:45 a.m.
215 N. Main Street, Northville
· Tigers players, coaches and executives will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Northville City Fire Department (NCFD) by participating in a special employee rally and jersey presentation.
· Two Tigers players will partake in a “Suit Up” competition accompanied by two NCFD firefighters. The Tigers players will race to see who can suit-up in the firefighter’s gear the fastest.
Michigan State Police Crime Lab 11:15-12:00 p.m.
42145 W. 7 Mile Road, Northville
· Crime Lab scientists will educate Tigers players and coaches in Latent Print and Trace Evidence testing and participate in an employee rally.
Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO) 11:30 a.m.- 12:10 p.m.
882 Oakman Blvd, Detroit
· Tigers personnel will present a jersey to the NSO to recognize its 60th anniversary during a rally for NSO employees, volunteers and residents.
DTE 1:00-1:40 p.m.
1 Energy Plaza, Detroit
· Tigers players, coaches and executives will participate in an employee rally.
DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan 1:55-3:00 p.m.
3901 Beaubien Street, Detroit
· Tigers players will visit select patient rooms and present each child with a gift.
· Tigers mascot PAWS will be in attendance.
United States Customs and Border Protection Agency 1:55-2:55 p.m.
2810 W. Fort Street, Detroit
· Tigers players will learn about the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency and the Canadian Border Services Agency, and participate in a rally with agency officers.
North American International Auto Show 3:15-4:15 p.m.
One Washington Boulevard, Detroit
· Players will participate in the “Cars On Parade” along the auto show floor and will take part in a question and answer session in the Chevrolet display area.
· Tigers players will host a special guest from the Tigers Dreams Come True program. The teenager will ride along with Tigers representatives during the parade and later have a private meet-and-greet with Tigers representatives.
· OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation 3:15 – 4:00 p.m.
1211 Trumbull, Detroit
· A Tigers player and coach will tour the facility and participate in a special ribbon cutting ceremony for Southwest Detroit’s FIRST Robotics build site, the Robotics and Engineering Center of Detroit.
Thursday, January 22
Lake City Fire Department 12:00-12:45 p.m.
115 John Street, Lake City
· Tigers players, coaches and executives will present the fire department with a jersey in recognition of 100 years of service.
Traverse City Chamber of Commerce 3:15 – 3:45 p.m.
202 E Grandview Pkwy, Traverse City
· Tigers players, coaches and executives will present a jersey to the Chamber of Commerce in recognition of its 100th anniversary.
Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center 4:00 – 5:15 p.m.
Camp Grayling, Grayling
· Tigers players, coaches and executives will tour the Training Center and participate in interactive simulations.
· Following the tour, the players, coaches and executives will participate in a question and answer, and photo session with military personnel and their families.
Friday, January 23
Northern Michigan Rotary Club Alliance Business Breakfast 9:15 – 10:00 a.m.
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
100 Grand Traverse Resort Village Blvd., Williamsburg
· Tigers players, coaches and executives participate in a rally with Rotary Club members and guests.
· OPEN TO THE PUBLIC / Ticketed Event
Zehnder’s Snowfest 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth
730 South Main Street, Frankenmuth
· Tigers players will participate in the annual Snowfest event.
· Guests are encouraged to donate items for care packages to be sent to troops overseas.
· OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
The Detroit Tigers announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a one-year contract with lefthanded pitcher Tom Gorzelanny.
“We are pleased to add a veteran pitcher like Tom to our ballclub,” said Tigers President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski. “Tom is an established reliever who can help solidify the bullpen on the left side and will be a nice addition to our roster.”
Gorzelanny, 32, compiled a 0-0 record, a 0.86 ERA (21.0IP/2ER) and 23 strikeouts in 23 relief appearances for the Milwaukee Brewers during the 2014 season. He began the season late recovering from offseason left shoulder surgery and ended up not allowing a run in 20 of his 23 appearances in 2014.
Originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2nd round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft, Gorzelanny has played parts of 10 seasons at the major league level with the Pirates (2005-09), Chicago Cubs (2009-10), Washington Nationals (2011-12) and Brewers (2013-14). During his career, the 6-3, 210 lbs. lefthanded pitcher has posted a 47-51 record, 4.27 ERA (841.1IP/399ER) and 674 strikeouts in 259 career appearances (121 games started).
To create a spot on the 40-man roster, the Tigers have designated righthanded pitcher Luke Putkonen for assignment.
TIGERS ACQUIRE YOENIS CESPEDES, ALEX WILSON, AND GABE SPEIER FROM RED SOX IN EXCHANGE FOR RICK PORCELLO
The Detroit Tigers today announced the club has acquired outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, righthanded pitcher Alex Wilson and lefthanded pitcher Gabe Speier from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for righthanded pitcher Rick Porcello.
“We’re thrilled to be adding an All-Star to our team in Yoenis Cespedes,” said Tigers President, CEO and General Manager, David Dombrowski. “Cespedes is a dynamic all-around player who hits for power, provides solid run production and will play left field. Alex Wilson is a solid performer who has pitched at the major league level and will compete for a job in our bullpen this spring. Gabe Speier is a young player that our scouts like.”
Cespedes, 29, batted .260 (156×600), with 89 runs scored, 36 doubles, six triples, 22 home runs and 100 RBI in 152 games between the Oakland Athletics and Red Sox in 2014. He set single-season career highs in runs scored, hits, doubles, extra-base hits (64), RBI and total bases (270) and was selected to his first All-Star team this season. He batted .309 (55×178) with runners in scoring position in 2014. Additionally, he ranked eighth in the American League in extra-base hits, and ninth in RBI and doubles this past season. He topped all major league outfielders with 16 outfield assists, including four after joining Boston. He won his second consecutive MLB Home Run Derby title on July 14 at Target Field with 30 total home runs.
Over three full seasons at the major league level between the Athletics and Red Sox, the righthanded batter has hit .263 (425×1616) with 233 runs scored, 82 doubles, 15 triples, 71 home runs, and 262 RBI in 416 games. Cespedes, the 5-10, 210 lbs. outfielder from Cuba, was originally signed as an amateur free agent in 2012 by the Athletics.
Wilson, 28, posted a 6-1 record, 4.35 ERA (41.1IP/20ER) and 40 strikeouts in 35 games in relief for Triple A Pawtucket in 2014. He posted a 1.91 ERA (6ER/28.1IP) in 18 games over four stints with the Red Sox this season, holding opponents to a .198 (20×101) batting average. In his career at the minor league level, he has posted a 30-16 record, 3.82 ERA (434.0IP/184ER) and 396 strikeouts in 154 games (68 games started) over six seasons. He was originally selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas A&M University.
Speier, 19, posted a 3-0 record, 1.55 (29.0IP/5ER) and 26 strikeouts in nine games (six games started) for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in 2014. Over two seasons in the minors, he has posted a 3-0 record, 1.64 ERA (33.0IP/6ER) and 32 strikeouts in 12 games (eight games started) for the GCL Red Sox. He was originally drafted in the 19th round of the First-Year Player Draft by Boston in 2013.
Porcello, 25, posted a 15-13 record, 3.43 ERA (204.2IP/78ER), and 129 strikeouts for Tigers in 2014. Over six seasons at the major league level with the Tigers, Porcello posted a 76-63 record, 4.30 ERA (1073.1IP/513ER) and 655 strikeouts in 180 games started (184 games).
To create space on the 40-man roster, the contract of righthanded pitcher Melvin Mercedes has been designated for assignment.
The Detroit Tigers today announced the club has acquired righthanded pitcher Alfredo Simon from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for infielder Eugenio Suarez and righthanded pitcher Jonathon Crawford.
“Alfredo Simon is a pitcher that we like a great deal and will be slotted into our starting rotation,” said Tigers President, CEO and General Manager, David Dombrowski. “Alfredo had a fine season last year, made the National League All Star team, and we’re excited to him have join our ballclub.”
Simon, 33, compiled a 15-10 record, 3.44 ERA (196.1IP/75ER) and 127 strikeouts in 32 games started for the Reds in 2014. He posted a 12-3 record, 2.70 ERA (116.2IP/35ER) and 75 strikeouts in the first half of the season to earn a spot on his first All-Star team. Simon established career highs in wins, starts, quality starts (22), innings pitched and strikeouts in 2014. Lefthanded batters batted .251 (93×370) off Simon this past season, while righthanded batters hit .238 (88×369) off him.
In parts of seven seasons at the major league level with the Baltimore Orioles and Reds organizations, Simon has compiled a 32-28 record, 3.86 ERA (529.1IP/227ER) and 373 strikeouts in 51 games started (209 games). The 6-6, 265 lbs. pitcher was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1999.
Suarez, 22, batted .242 (59×244) with 33 runs scored, nine doubles, one triple, four home runs and 23 RBI in 85 games for the Tigers in 2014.
Crawford, 23, posted an 8-3 record, 2.85 ERA (123.0IP/39ER), and 85 strikeouts for Single A West Michigan in 2014. He was originally selected by the Tigers in the first round of the First-Year Player Draft in 2013.
The Arizona Fall League announced its 2014 Top Prospects Team earlier today. Steven Moya was the selected to the team by Fall League managers and coaches. The Top Prospects Team recognizes players who distinguished themselves throughout the league’s six-week 2014 schedule against other top prospects from every organization in Major League Baseball. Voters were asked to consider Fall League performance and major league projectability.
Steven Moya, Glendale Desert Dogs (Detroit Tigers)
Started in right field and batted clean-up for the West Division in the November 1 Fall Stars Game … third in league with 49 total bases … tied for third in league with five home runs and 12 extra-base hits … fourth in league with .544 slugging percentage … tied for fourth with 19 RBI and 17 runs scored … hit .289 in 23 games with 6 doubles, 1 triple and 5 stolen bases … .327 on-base percentage and .871 OPS … four RBI October 14 at Peoria … another big game at Surprise October 27 with two home runs.
See the complete list of Arizona Fall League Top Prospects here.
DETROIT TIGERS ACQUIRE SHANE GREENE IN THREE-TEAM DEAL WITH NEW YORK YANKEES AND ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
The Detroit Tigers today announced the club has acquired righthanded pitcher Shane Greene from the New York Yankees. The Tigers have traded lefthanded pitcher Robbie Ray and infielder Domingo Leyba to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Additionally, the Diamondbacks have traded infielder Didi Gregorius to the New York Yankees as part of the deal.
“We are very pleased with the addition of Shane to the ballclub,” said Tigers President, CEO and General Manager, David Dombrowski. “He threw the ball well in his first year at the major league level and we feel he will be a very nice addition to our starting rotation.”
Greene, 26, compiled a 5-4 record, 3.78 ERA (78.2IP/33ER) and 81 strikeouts in 15 games (14 starts) over four stints with the Yankees in 2014, which marked his first season in the majors. He made his major league debut on April 24th at Boston in his only relief appearance of the season. Greene averaged 9.27 strikeouts per 9.0 innings pitched, ranking fourth-best among major league rookies (min. 75.0IP). Additionally, righthanded batters hit .242 (36×149) against Greene in 2014.
Greene made 15 appearances (13 starts) for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, posting a 5-2 record, 4.61 ERA (66.1IP/34ER) and 57 strikeouts this past season. The 6-4, 210 lbs. righthander was originally selected by the Yankees in the 15th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.
Ray, 23, posted a 1-4 record, 8.16 ERA (28.2IP/26ER), and 19 strikeouts in nine games with the Tigers in 2014. Over 19 starts (20 games) with Triple A Toledo, he posted a 4.22 ERA (100.1IP/47ER) and 75 strikeouts.
Leyba, 19, batted .323 (84×260) with 40 runs scored, 18 doubles, one triple, two home runs and 24 RBI in 67 combined games with the New York-Penn League Connecticut Tigers and Single A West Michigan.
Major League Baseball announced today that Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers has been voted the winner of the 2014 Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. Martinez received 75 of the 90 first-place votes cast to garner the honor for the first time in his 12-year career. In addition to Martinez, two previous Tigers have been tabbed as the league’s top designated hitter, including Willie Horton (1975) and Rusty Staub (1978). Boston’s David Ortiz finished second with 58 second-place votes after batting .263 with 27 doubles, 35 homers and 104 RBI in 142 games for the Red Sox in 2014.
Victor batted .335 (.001 shy of his career best established in 2009 while with Boston) with 33 doubles, 32 home runs, 103 RBI and 87 runs scored in 151 games, finishing second in the AL Most Valuable Player Award voting behind unanimous winner Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Venezuelan native led the league with one strikeout every 15.26 plate appearances, a .409 on-base percentage and 28 intentional walks; he was second with a .335 batting average and a .565 slugging percentage; third with 57 multi-hit games; tied for fourth with 188 hits; and was fifth with 317 total bases. Martinez posted a .371 batting average vs. lefties (2nd in the AL) and hit an equally impressive .323 against right-handers (3rd in the AL).
His career-high 32 blasts helped the 35-year-old become the oldest player with at least 30 homers in a season since Edgar Martinez (37) in 2000. V-Mart struck out just 42 times to become the first player in Tigers history to hit 30-or-more homers and strike out 45-or-fewer times, and is the first Major Leaguer to do so since Barry Bonds (45 HR, 41 SO) in 2004. Martinez reached the 100-RBI plateau for the fifth time in his career, previously accomplishing the feat in 2011. Martinez (35 years, 270 days) was the third-oldest player in MLB history to have his first 30-home run, 100-RBI season with only Carlton Fisk (37 years, 272 days) and Edgar Martinez (37 years, 234 days) being older. The switch-hitting Martinez was selected to his fifth career All-Star Game, but did not make an appearance in Minneapolis’s edition of the Midsummer Classic in an AL victory this past July. Among his season highlights, Martinez recorded his 1,500th career hit on April 23rd vs. the White Sox; he was named the Tigers Player of the Month for March/April and August; he was voted the AL Player of the Month for the first time in his career in August after hitting .350 with five doubles, six homers, 30 RBI and 20 runs scored over the period; and he batted .378 (34-for-106) with seven doubles, five home runs, 15 RBI and 15 runs scored over 26 games in September during Detroit’s stretch drive towards the Postseason.
Now in its 41st season, the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award was renamed by Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig in a September 2004 ceremony at Safeco Field in honor of the retiring Edgar Martinez. Ballots are cast by club beat writers, broadcasters and AL public relations departments with nominees including all players with a minimum of 100 at-bats as a designated hitter.
#Tigers fans showed up at ballparks all over the country with signs to cheer on their team from Detroit. Here are a few of our favorite signs from 2014!
Will we see your sign on Opening Day in 2015?
“Victor is one of the premier hitters in the league and we are thrilled that he will continue his career in a Tigers uniform,” said Tigers President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski. “His production in the middle of our lineup and veteran leadership are invaluable to our ballclub.”
“Victor’s presence both on the field and in the clubhouse is an essential part of this club,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. “I have never seen a hitter more focused in the batter’s box than Victor, and I couldn’t be more excited to welcome him back.”
Martinez, the 35-year-old switch-hitter, batted .335 (188×561) with 87 runs scored, 33 doubles, 32 home runs and 103 RBI in 151 games for the Tigers in 2014. He led the American League with a .409 on base-percentage, 28 intentional walks and one strikeout every 15.26 plate appearances, ranked second with a .335 batting average and a .565 slugging percentage, third with 57 multi-hit games, tied for fourth with 188 hits, fifth with 317 total bases, seventh with 65 extra-base hits and a .326 batting average with runners in scoring position, tied for seventh with 103 RBI, and eighth with 32 home runs. Martinez established new career highs in hits, home runs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Martinez became the first player in Tigers history to hit 30-or-more home runs and strike out 45-or-fewer times in a season and the first major league player to do so since Barry Bonds in 2004.
In 12 seasons at the major league level with the Cleveland Indians (2002-09), Boston Red Sox (2009-10) and Tigers (2011-present), Martinez is hitting .306 (1668×5445) with 344 doubles, three triples, 189 home runs and 927 RBI in 1,459 games. He has hit 20-or-more home runs in six seasons, while he has collected 100-or-more RBI in five seasons during his career. Additionally, Victor has batted .315 (47×149) with eight doubles, six home runs and 22 RBI in 39 games in his career during the postseason.
Martinez was selected to the American League All-Star team this past season which marked his fifth career selection and first with the Tigers. He earned AL Player of the Month honors for August after batting .350 (41×117) with 20 runs scored, five doubles, six home runs and 30 RBI. He was awarded the 2014 AL Silver Slugger Award as Designated Hitter and finished second in the 2014 AL Most Valuable Player BBWAA voting.
The Detroit Tigers today named David Newhan the Club’s assistant hitting coach.
“David brings major and minor league experience to our coaching staff and will work with Wally Joyner in preparing the hitters on a daily basis,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.
Newhan joins the Tigers after spending one season in the Oakland Athletics organization as the manager for Single A Vermont. Prior to joining the Athletics, Newhan spent three seasons in the San Diego Padres organization, serving as the hitting coach for Single A Lake Elsinore.
Newman, 41, was drafted by Oakland in the 17th round of the 1995 MLB Draft. He went on to play professionally for 14 years, including parts of eight Major League seasons with the Padres (1999-2000), Phillies (2000-01), Orioles (2004-06), Mets (2007) and Astros (2008). His best season in the majors came in 2004 with Baltimore when he hit .311 with 15 doubles, seven triples, eight home runs and 54 RBI in 95 games. In 413 games in the big leagues, Newhan batted .253 with 23 doubles and 120 RBI. Newhan saw time at six different positions during his major league career, including playing 167 games in the outfield.
Newhan resides in Southern California with his wife, Karen, and their children, Nico and Gianna.