Feb 18, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander during a team practice at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers Links: Prospect Talk, Justin Verlander's Health, Mr. Ilitch Wants a Ring

Tigers Top 30 Prospects: #18 Javier Betancourt – Jordan Gorosh – Bless You Boys

The Tigers have invested quite a lot of resources (time, money, effort) into Venezuela, that much is apparent. They don’t make huge splashes in terms of money, but plenty of their signings range between 100-400K. Betancourt is no different, as he was signed out of Venezuela for 200K in August of 2012. Betancourt has excellent bloodlines: Mets IF Edgardo Alfonzo is his uncle. This has carried over into Betancourt’s play in some sense, as he’s certainly advanced for his age in terms of approach and also attitude. Betancourt has plenty of baseball aptitude, and an excellent baseball IQ.

Another interesting young Venezuelan in the Tigers’ system. Betancourt could see full-season ball in 2014.

Lobstein enjoying his time in Tigers camp – Dana Wakiji – Fox Sports Detroit

Lobstein said his out pitch is his cutter.

“It’s kind of a big cutter,” Lobstein said. “It’s in between a cutter and a slider. I can make it break a little more if I need to or if I feel like the guy’s going to be swinging, try and miss his bat a little bit more, or try and make it smaller and get a quick out. I’m able to manipulate it a little bit into a few different pitches so it’s been working out well for me.”

Kyle Lobstein probably isn’t going to develop into anything particularly special as a starting pitcher, but he could become a somewhat reliable back-end starter. He’s one of my (somewhat) inexplicable favorites when it comes to checking minor league box scores.

Tigers’ Justin Verlander says batting practice session feels normal – Tom Gage – Detroit News

“It went pretty well,” Verlander said of the session. “But I had a lot of rust to knock off. That’s the norm for your first time out against hitters. My offspeed stuff wasn’t great, and I was all over the place, but that’s also normal.

“It’s always kind of weird with your own hitter in there. You want to pitch inside sometimes, but it’s awkward because you don’t want to hit anyone.”

Every report about Justin Verlander‘s health has been glowing thus far in camp. It looks more and more like he’ll be ready to go come Opening Day.

Mike Ilitch still chasing elusive World Series ring: ‘I want one badly’ – Brian Manzullo – Free Press

“I used to keep a Stanley Cup ring in my pocket,” Ilitch said. “I didn’t like to wear them because they’re pretty big and it seemed like boasting. But every once in a while when someone would ask why I want to go over budget for a great player for the Tigers, I would take out the Cup ring and say, ‘Because of THIS! I want one of these in baseball for Detroit.’ ”

I want a World Series ring that I can carry around in my pocket too. So, samsies.

Tags: Detroit Tigers

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