Detroit Tigers Links: Tigers WS favorite, Porcello not going anywhere & concern growing with Iglesias


Mar 9, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (21) delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Tigers the World Series favorite – Dave Cameron ESPN Insider (need subscription to read entire article)

"The 2014 Detroit Tigers aren’t going to look much like the last few Tigers teams. Despite making it to the ALCS in each of the past two years, the Tigers spent the offseason overhauling their roster, and they lost some pretty good players in their makeover. Gone are Prince Fielder, Jhonny Peralta, Omar Infante, Doug Fister and Joaquin Benoit, a group that combined for 16.1 wins above replacement (WAR) a season ago. No team in baseball saw a larger exodus of talent over the offseason than Detroit, and it might be easy to think that the Tigers took a step back this winter.Don’t believe it, though. According to our calculations, they very well may head into Opening Day as the favorites to win the World Series."

It’s hard to gauge the national media on the Tigers, some think they have not improved, others–like this article, think they can win it all and they made the necessary changes to get over that last hurdle.

Detroit Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski shoots down rumor of Rick Porcello on trading block – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press

"“We are not trading any of our starting pitchers,” Dombrowski said.In his Sunday notes column, Boston Globe baseball insider Nick Cafardo wrote that, “The Tigers are said to be willing to listen to offers” on Porcello, according to major league sources.Dombrowski, simply and succinctly, debunked the report.“I don’t know where that came from but it’s totally inaccurate,” he said. “We’re not talking about any of our pitchers. We’re happy with the five guys we have.”"

In our Friday post, we touched on the rumor that Rick Porcello or Drew Smyly could be used as trade bait to get left field help after losing Andy Dirks until June. We’ve all seen DD issue denials and not believe him, assuming it’s “GM speak.” I think anyone who follows the Tigers closely knows Porcello is not going anywhere. That ship sailed when Doug Fister was dealt.

Steve Lombardozzi impresses manager with aggressive baserunning – Chris Iott, MLive

"Lombardozzi certainly has taken heed. He moved from second to third on a double steal Friday night in his team’s 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees. Lombardozzi went on his own, said Ausmus, who gave all Tigers players the green light at the start of spring.“He seems to have a good feel for it out there,” Ausmus said. “That’s what we had heard about him coming from Washington, that he was kind of a baseball rat. And I say that in a good way.”"

Part of the Fister trade, Steve Lombardozzi is making the most of his increased playing time with the injuries to Dirks and Jose Iglesias.  Speaking of Iglesias…

Injured Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias might not be ready by Opening Day – Lynn Henning, Detroit News

"“We’re gonna hit that point where he won’t have had enough at-bats to get ready for the season,” Ausmus said Sunday as the Tigers got ready for an afternoon game against the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.“There’s a point when, if you can’t get on the field because of injury, you have to make a decision.”Iglesias has been shelved for 10 days because of inflamed leg muscles between his ankle and knee. It was a problem that surfaced last September but showed no signs of recurring until two weeks into the Tigers’ 2014 spring camp."

What this likely means is that should Iglesias not get back on the field soon, he could find his way to the 15-day disabled list. Friday, the shortstop took batting practice, which went well, but when he ran the bases, he still felt pain in the shins. The Tigers are relying on Jose to be a linchpin of a defensive makeover and losing him for any time during the regular season is going to be tough.