Detroit Tigers Super Bowl Sunday Links: Kate Upton and Justin Verlander make it official, bullpen concerns & still more Nelson Cruz scuttlebutt


Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kate Upton Cozies Up to Detroit Tigers Star Justin Verlander – Andrea Billups, People

"Supermodel Kate Upton and Detroit Tigers pitching ace Justin Verlander put rumors of a relationship to rest Friday, happily posing for photos at the 2014 GQ Super Bowl Party in N.Y.C."

Secret relationship no more. Apologies to the hard-core baseball fans of this site for posting that, but hey, remember we’re a “fan” site, and I imagine a few Tigers’ fans are also Kate Upton fans.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled links…

If Detroit Tigers turn to Casey Crosby again, it will likely be out of bullpen – George Sipple, Detroit Free Press

"Left-handed pitcher Casey Crosby remains on the 40-man roster for the Detroit Tigers. If he appears with the Tigers again, it will most likely be as a reliever, and not a starter."

Crosby did not pitch for the Tigers last year, instead spending the year as a starter in Toledo, going 2-5 with a 4.84 ERA and 1.647 WHIP. A troubling problem with the Mud Hens was walks. He allowed 40 in 57.2 innings. In his three starts (12.1 innings) for Detroit in 2012, Crosby issued 11 walks in going 1-1 with a 9.49 ERA.

Despite strong arms, Detroit Tigers bullpen has questions – Pat Caputo, Dearborn Press & Guide

"The Tigers’ bullpen was 17-25 with a 4.01 ERA. It was 24th worst among 30 Major League Baseball clubs. The rest of the bullpen [after Joe Nathan] doesn’t appear to be much different. Joba Chamberlain is a big name from the Yankees, but he is not coming off a good season. Drew Smyly was amazingly effective as a left-handed setup man last year considering his background had been strictly as a starter. However, he has moved into the starting rotation because Doug Fister was traded to Washington."

I’m not sure anyone is comfortable with that middle relief, but I’d be willing to bet how the bullpen looks now will not be how it looks when the Tigers head north after Spring Training.

Detroit Tigers Rumors: Team Still in Pursuit of Nelson Cruz? – Connor Muldowney

"Whether the Tigers still pursue the slugger despite his suspension last year because of the Biogenesis scandal has yet to be seen, but it would do nothing but help the Tigers if they signed him to a one-year deal."

The Tigers trouble in left field that last couple years, the departure of Prince Fielder which takes some power out of the lineup, and the continued availability of Nelson Cruz is an explosive combination for the team and their fans.

On the surface, it would seem that Detroit would be the perfect landing spot for Cruz, but their generally doesn’t seem to be much interest on the team’s part. However, the author’s assertion that it would do nothing but help may not be entirely true when they have to relinquish a first-round draft pick.

Until Cruz is signed (he was rumored to be receiving a contact offer from the Seattle Mariners last week), we’ll continue to hear his name mentioned as a fit with the Tigers.