Its a frigid morning in Michigan, but you do have something to look forward to real soon–Spring Training baseball!
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The Detroit Tigers and Fox Sports Detroit announced that they would be televising five Grapefruit League contests this season, up from the standard number of the last few years of four. Four of those games will be in the Tigers’ Winter/Spring home of Lakeland and one of them will be against the team that ousted Detroit from the postseason in unceremonious fashion, the Baltimore Orioles.
Yesterday we touched on the ZiPS Projections for the Tigers and the Free Press delves a little further into it.
Tom Zahari imparts his wisdom over at the Free Press for us and gives the strong comparison that J.D. Martinez could be like Jose Bautista, a player to come out of nowhere and put it together in the right circumstances.
Lastly, we chronicle the latest Max Scherzer rumors for the day.
"FOX Sports Detroit’s coverage of the Tigers begins on March 22 when we air a broadcast by FOX Sports South of Tigers vs. Atlanta Braves in Disney. We will produce a four-game schedule from Lakeland, presented by Belle Tire, including March 25 (vs. Miami Marlins), March 26 (vs. Baltimore Orioles), March 30 (vs. Atlanta Braves) and April 3 (vs. the Tampa Bay Rays)."
Holes, weaker rotation could doom Tigers, metrics say – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
"Today, the Tigers’ ZiPS projections were released by ESPN’s Dan Szymborski.“I think they’re a minor favorite,” he said, “But they’re off peak now. You see the holes start adding up and the lack of depth starting to matter.”"
Is J.D. Martinez the next Jose Bautista? – Tom Zahari, MCB Special to the Free Press
"Their backstories are similar. Martinez was with the Houston Astros and never made a name for himself while Bautista was with the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Kansas City Royals, and Pittsburgh Pirates in 2004. After he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008, things started to click and he had his breakout season in 2010.The other main similarity is the sudden surge of extra base power. In his career in Houston, Martinez had a .387 slugging percentage with 44 doubles and 24 home runs in 975 plate appearances. In 2014 with the Tigers, Martinez had 30 doubles and 23 home runs in 480 plate appearances for a slugging percentage of .553. Bautista had a career slugging percentage of .403 with the Pirates, but posted a .617 slugging percentage in 2010. His overall slugging percentage in Toronto is .538 as he has not posted a 40 home run season since 2011."
Max Scherzer Heading Back to Detroit Tigers? Other Big Market Teams Not Expressing Interest – Thomas Carannante, HNGN
"So that leaves the Tigers. ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates the two sides may reunite at some point since Scherzer’s options aren’t plentiful and the team has already been in contract talks with him. Detroit may not immediately need Scherzer for 2015, but they’ll need him leading the rotation beyond this upcoming season. Justin Verlander‘s performance has been declining over the past two seasons (28-24 with a 3.99 ERA) and he has slowly fallen out of the discussion of elite pitchers; David Price is not guaranteed to stay with the team beyond 2015 since the two sides have not initiated long-term contract talks; Shane Greene has only 14 career starts under his belt; and Alfredo Simon will be a free agent after this season."