Detroit Tigers Links: Tram’s insight, Avila at first, J.D. Mart no pressure


The Detroit Tigers brought legendary shortstop Alan Trammell back into the organization this off-season.

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Tram’s forgettable tenure as Tigers’ manager from 2003-05 , which saw the team lose an AL record 119 games in his rookie managerial year and his firing following his third year, seems eons ago. Whatever emotional baggage between Tram and the organization (if there was any) has dissipated and he is now an special assistant to the GM along with fellow legends Al Kaline and Willie Horton.

According to Jason Beck, Trammell is making the most of his time back in the organization and is imparting wisdom of a should-be Hall-of-Famer to young ballplayers around the area.

I can only imagine Chris Iott’s Twitter and email exploding yesterday morning when he explained the possibility of using Alex Avila at first base if Miguel Cabrera is not able to go at the start of 2015. Anytime the words “Alex” and/or “Avila” are mentioned, it sends a certain segment of fans into a rage. So these people likely won’t be happy with Iott. But remember, he is not advocating for it, he’s just saying it’s a possibility.

Finally, while perhaps feeling more pressure than most Tigers to duplicate his astonishing success of 2014, J.D. Martinez doesn’t give “pressure” much thought.

Trammell jumps at chance to share baseball insight – Jason Beck,

"Just like that, the 56-year-old was fielding grounders on a basketball court with the fluid form that reflected his career consistency. And a group of kids who weren’t alive when Trammell played had a glimpse of the shortstop their parents probably told them about.With silver hair, reading glasses and a hip replacement from years ago, the youthful look Trammell had for years in a Tigers uniform left a while ago. The enthusiasm behind it never did. Nor, clearly, did the ties to Detroit.The enthusiasm comes across readily when he teaches the game, whether it’s in an offseason baseball camp like the one at Wayne State in mid-December or in a Spring Training to come. As he embarks on the next phase of his baseball career, now approaching 40 years, this is what drives him.Nearly 20 years since his last game as Detroit’s shortstop, and a decade since his last season as manager, Trammell is a Tiger again, now a special assistant. He did not return to be a ceremonial figurehead. At this point in life, he wants to pass on his passion and knowledge of a game that has given him so much."

Prediction: Alex Avila could see time at first base for Detroit Tigers if Miguel Cabrera isn’t ready – Chris Iott, MLive

"[Victor] Martinez might seem like a logical replacement for Cabrera at first base, but it’s not likely he would be the everyday guy there. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was very careful to not give Martinez too much work in the field down the stretch in 2014, when Cabrera was slowed by his foot injury. It’s difficult to imagine that Martinez would play there more than two or three days a week to start the 2015 season.Who could possibly share time there with Martinez then? There are a few possibilities:Alex Avila: Avila played one inning at first base in a blowout loss to the Minnesota Twins in August of last season. He played one game at first base in 2009 at Double-A Erie and also played some first base in college. Avila played third base in an interleague game during the 2011 season. It’s not unheard of for a catcher to see some playing time at first base. Former Tigers catcher Brayan Pena played first base in 49 games last season for the Cincinnati Reds and, of course, Martinez is a former full-time catcher, too."

Tigers’ J.D. Martinez dismisses pressure as ‘not real’ – Tony Paul, Detroit News

"“I’m a firm believer that pressure is false, it’s not real,” Martinez said recently over the phone from his winter home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “It’s something that we put upon ourselves. If you don’t think about it, you don’t put pressure on yourself, then what is it? It’s nothing. It doesn’t even exist.“In my mind, I’m just gonna look at it like I have no pressure. I’m not even supposed to be here, you know?” he continued. “Miggy, Victor and those guys, those guys have all the pressure. They’re the ones getting paid hundreds of millions of dollars to do what they do. To me, I just go out there and play ball and have fun. That’s how I keep the pressure off.”"

Next: 2015 Tigers: Champs or Chumps?