Countdown to Opening Day

The warm temperatures of the past
two weeks did little to prepare me for the 23 degree rude awakening I
received this morning. However, it did remind me that (when it comes to
the weather) March is a fickle month. There’s no way around it.

I had hoped that the change of seasons was permanent, and with
Opening Day just nine days away maybe spring had perched upon the Motor
City. There is still every reason to believe that it has. Unfortunately,
there is still every reason to believe that it has not. The not knowing
part is the fun part of a Michigan spring.

Regardless, we will still revel in the official/unofficial rite of
seasonal passage. Opening Day!

With around a week of spring training yet to go, let’s take a quick
look at how the Detroit Tigers are beginning to shape up.

I must admit I was pessimistic about Detroit’s chances in 2010. The
Tigers let Placido Polanco go, had traded Curtis Granderson and Edwin
Jackson, and seemed more concerned with rebuilding than winning. That
was in January.

Amid encouraging reports from Lakeland, I am more optimistic about
this season.

By all accounts, center fielder Austin Jackson is impressive. He has a
.358 batting average, and according to Jim Leyland — has a good eye
for working a pitch count.

Having been given the “green light” a number of times this spring, he
is a speedy base runner. Expect him to be a stealing threat anytime he
lands on base.

In nearly 100 innings Jackson is perfect in the field – making 40
put-outs in 40 chances. He is eager to show that he can handle the
daunting outer reaches of Comerica Park.

Someone somewhere dubbed Austin Jackson “Granderson 2.0.” — seems as
though that may be fitting.

Despite a batting average of only .225, starting second baseman,
Scott Sizemore is a promising fielder. Unfazed by the size of the shoes
he is filling, his fielding percentage this spring has been perfect. He
has turned eight double plays, 25 assists, and 20 put-outs. I just hope
his ankle holds out.

A rehabilitated Miguel Cabrera (.320), along with Magglio Ordonez
(.350) and Brandon Inge (.346), seem in good form.

Gerald Laird is showing some punch at the plate. Adam Everette is
not. I picked up both players in my fantasy league, so you can see I am
not too concerned about either in the regular season.

The defensive positions are all but set. That is something that can’t
be said of the Detroit Tigers starting rotation.

It was reported by Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated that Jeremy
Bonderman is a lock as the fourth starter.


Jeremy
Bonderman won the No. 4 spot in the Tigers’ rotation. It appears that
Nate Robertson may have a slight edge over Dontrelle Willis
for the No. 5  job, with the loser going to the bullpen. So at least
Willis has made the team. (Sports
Illustrated
)

During today’s televised game on ESPN, Jim Leyland seemed to
still be making up his mind.

Whichever way the rotation winds up (yes, pun intended), this
pitching staff will be competitive.

I am going to hold off releasing my predictions for 2010 until the
day before the start of the season.

Once the line-up, defensive positions, and pitching rotation/staff
are determined, we will have a better feel for what to expect from this
Tiger’s team.

Right now, I have to say that it looks pretty good.

(Photo credits; Comerica Park, DeeTownTigers.)

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2 Responses to Countdown to Opening Day

  1. Michael David says:

    The Tigers performances this spring are definately making giving fans a better feeling about the season. Being in the Central doesn’t hurt either. I’m really hoping Sizemore has a solid season and that we get to see Avila behind the plate some more.
    Mike-‘Minoring In Baseball’
    http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

  2. dtigger says:

    I’m so exited. I am so optimistic about this team and really do believe in them. I just can’t wait till it is 70 degrees and blue skys at Comerica. My favorite time of the year is upon us.
    Brady-
    http://5toolblog.mlblogs.com/

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