Steve Lombardozzi Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Hands-on manager Brad Ausmus throws batting practice in Detroit Tigers camp – John Lowe, Detroit Free Press
"If the two days of full-squad workouts so far provide any indication, Ausmus could be almost anywhere on the field during batting practice during the regular season, doing anything except hitting.At 44 and only 3½ years removed from his final major league game, Ausmus still seems to have the juices of participation flowing.“I had to remind myself I’m not a player,” he said Friday, his first day as a manager in charge of a workout."
Well, there we have a solution for the Detroit Tigers bullpen concerns–player/manager Brad Ausmus. Perhaps he could be the solution if Nick Castellanos struggles. A catcher by trade, Ausmus played 22 of his 1,971 career games at an infield position other than catcher.
Speaking of infield depth…
"The Tigers are hopeful Lombardozzi, who is competing for one of Detroit’s final bench spots this spring, can serve as a backup behind Jose Iglesias at shortstop."
Lombardozzi is primarily a second basemen, but has also spent time in the outfield. Many assumed he would be the back-up at third–and not shortstop, but its worth noting that Iglesias had a few injury problems after coming to Detroit in August. It’s possible Lombardozzi backs up both positions, with the immortal Don Kelly in the mix as well.
"Considered one of baseball’s top prospects, third baseman Nick Castellanos has garnered plenty of attention from Detroit Tigers fans the past few years.“Travis’ 2013 season caught everyone by surprise but him,” according to Baseball America. “Posting similar numbers at a more advanced level will position him as Ian Kinsler’s eventual replacement in Detroit.”Travis batted .352 with six homers, 42 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 77 games for Single-A West Michigan last season before hitting .350 with 10 home runs, 34 RBIs and eight steals in 55 games for Single-A Lakeland."
I took the kids to a Lakeland Flying Tigers game late in their Single-A season last summer and Devon Travis stood out from the crowd of players. It should be interesting to see him in Spring Training and hopefully he can get into some games with somewhat MLB-caliber pitching on the hill.
Jordan Lennerton Should Be Part Of Detroit Tigers’ Backup Plan If Nick Castellanos Struggles – Brad Faber, Rant Sports
"The Tigers banking on Castellanos winning the third base job feels eerily similar to the Tigers counting on Bruce Rondon to solidify the closer’s role just a year ago, and everyone knows how that story turned out. If Castellanos does not play well enough in Spring Training to head north with the club, the Tigers are going to be left with a large hole on the left side of the infield.Jordan Lennerton is a very interesting player. The left-handed first baseman is a former 33rd round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers has quietly been going about his business in the Tigers’ farm system for the past six seasons. He has also posted some rather solid numbers along the way."
It’d be great to see Jordan on the team come March 31 if he earns a spot since he’s paid his minor league “dues.” But unless he gets a lot of work at shortstop or third base in Spring Training, I don’t see a place for him this season. He’s never played a position other than first or DH in the minors. He could be a back-up to Miggy at first, but you gotta think if and when Cabrera gets time off, he’ll be the DH–pushing Victor Martinez to first.