Tigers fans could fall in love with Ian Kinsler – Tony Paul, Detroit News
“He’s very excited, giving him a chance to come to a (new) organization,” Nathan said. “Not saying he was flat by any means (with the Rangers), because he never was over there. But it almost gives you another little charge to your battery when you come over to a new club. I think he’s excited to be here. He’s very energetic. This is what you get when you get a player like that.”
Kinsler, by the way, confirmed Nathan’s thoughts.
“We’ve got a really good squad,” Kinsler said. “It’s going to be a fun summer.”
Kinsler has definitely been a fan favorite during the Tigers’ opening home stand. He has delivered some big hits, been stellar defensively when others around him have cracked, and provided a spark.
Wil Ledezma‘s return to the Tigers’ organization didn’t last long. Ledezma, a left-handed reliever, has been released, according to a Tigers official. He signed minor league deal in mid-March and reported directly to Triple-A Toledo before being released at the end of spring.
The winning pitcher for the 2006 pennant winning game, and a member of the dreadful 2003 team, is once again an ex-Tiger. Ledezma’s failed attempt at a Detroit return comes a year after Jeremy Bonderman made a smattering of appearances and as “Gum Time” Nate Robertson tries to transverse a similar path in the Tigers’ system this year.
Dodgers are tough at home – wherever home might be – John Lowe, Detroit Free Press
The Tigers’ pitchers for that series are scheduled to be Max Scherzer, last year’s AL Cy Young winner, and Anibal Sanchez, last year’s AL ERA champion. Even if they pitch brilliantly against the Dodgers, it doesn’t guarantee them anything.
Los Angeles is Detroit’s next opponent and, as John says, they are usually tough at home. The Tigers have gone 3-6 all-time in Dodger Stadium, losing two out of three in each series at Chavez Ravine in 2005, 2010 and 2011.
Change is good – John A. McGeehan, Bless You Boys
Ausmus’ bullpen moves have made sense, even though the results have caused heartburn. Leyland did use Smyly for long appearances out of the pen early last season before going away from that effective approach, and Ausmus followed suit on Friday. On opening day, Joe Nathan pitched the ninth inning of a tie game. Sabermetricians have long advocated using the most effective relief pitcher in non-save situations. Joba Chamberlain struggled in spring training, and was first used with a big lead on Friday. I can imagine Leyland using him on opening day, and responding after losing the game that the team will need him to perform if they are going to be successful.
Brad had a very positive first week on the job and had no glaring “rookie” mistakes behind the bench. We’ll see the next chapter of how he fares in Detroit’s first road games of 2014 and having to manage by NL rules dictated in the upcoming interleague series in L.A. and San Diego. Don’t blame Ausmus for the bullpen foibles in the Baltimore series, he’s just working with the pieces at his disposal.