Detroit Tigers Links: Miggy enjoys first, Indians could catch Tigers in Central, and more

Miguel Cabrera

Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera enjoys return to first base in first day of full-squad workouts – Chris Iott,

"“Nice, nice feeling,” Cabrera said. “I feel relaxed, trying to pick some balls over there, trying to help our pitching to have good defense behind them.” Cabrera brought two gloves to spring training. Ausmus said recently that having him play a bit at third base in interleague games, which would allow Victor Martinez to play first base, is a possibility. Cabrera didn’t have much to say on the topic though. “Ask our manager,” he said. “We don’t make the decisions here. I think we’ve got to prepare and be ready to play baseball. We don’t write lineups. We don’t make decisions. I think we’ve got to be ready and set our mind to play baseball.”"

I’ve often remarked how nice it is that many of our superstars in Detroit are team-first, non-“diva” type guys. Miguel Cabrera and Calvin Johnson are two of the best (if not THE best) in their respective sports and both go about their business with class. Miggy doesn’t care where he plays, just as long as he can help the team. That’s refreshing and, sadly, rare in today’s sports world.

Detroit Tigers’ Hitters Not Anxious to Face Live Pitching – Dick Scanlon, The Lakeland Ledger

"“They’re way ahead of us,” right fielder Torii Hunter said. “I don’t want to face pitches right away, at all.” From a hitter’s standpoint, the first few days are “a necessary evil,” according to manager Brad Ausmus, who recalled getting drilled in the ribs by a 95 mph pitch on Day One as a player with the Colorado Rockies. “I hated it, did not like it a bit,” Ausmus said. “As a position player, you don’t love those days, although as a catcher you don’t do it as much because you’re catching guys as well.”"

Before they start their Grapefruit schedule next Wednesday in the Land of the Mouse–Walt Disney World against the Atlanta Braves, the Tigers will play their annual exhibition game with Florida Southern College on Tuesday. The starters usually get one turn through the lineup to beat up on a college kid’s pitches to get them ready for regular Spring Training games. Hopefully that will help their timing come around.

Indians, Tigers separated by perception more than by standings – Jon Paul Morosi, Fox Sports

"Are the Indians truly good enough to win the whole thing ? Offensively, yes. They ranked sixth in the majors in runs scored last year and should be even better with Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley now solidly in their primes. Swisher and Michael Bourn also will be more consistent in their second seasons with the team. The starting rotation, though, looms as the major question. Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir are gone after accounting for 61 starts and 23 victories in 2014. Even without Fister, the Tigers have a superior rotation. Consider: Detroit: Verlander, Scherzer, Sanchez, Rick Porcello, Drew Smyly. Cleveland: Justin Masterson, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, Danny Salazar, and a fifth-starter derby involving Aaron Harang, Shaun Marcum, Carlos Carrasco, Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer."

I think that says it all right there: starting pitching. The Tigers have to have everything go wrong and the Indians have to have everything go right (which sort of happened for them last year) to knock the Tigers off the top spot. I believe the Royals can and will have a better team than the Indians and are a much bigger threat (and a more feasible threat) to Detroit’s throne.

At third base, Nick Castellanos is Plan A, but what is Plan B? – Motor City Bengals special to the Detroit Free Press

"Castellanos will likely to be a star after he adjusts to hitting against world-class pitching on a nightly basis, however what if it’s just not his time yet? It wouldn’t be unheard of for a 22-year old to need a tad bit more seasoning before he’s ready to be a productive major leaguer. If that’s the case, where would the Tigers go from there? They do not have another true third basemen on their 40-man roster. The name “Don Kelly” sends chills through the spines of some Tigers’ fans, while others know he has limited value as a backup and spot starter, but Kelly is likely second on the depth chart at third. Steve Lombardozzi could probably slide to third base if needed. Primarily a second basemen, it’s hard to imagine that the former National, acquired as part of the Doug Fister trade, being a tremendous upgrade over a struggling Castellanos."

The free agent wire at third base is pretty barren, so, barring a trade, there is not much help beyond the 40-man roster should Casty have major rookie struggles.