Detroit Tigers Links: Casty improvement, Alfredo Simon and Price’s adjustment

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For the brave fans who endured the cold to line up for TigerFest over the weekend, there was a lot to learn about their 2015 Detroit Tigers.

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In the days since the conclusion of the fan fest, it is clear the Tigers are ready to go and as hungry as ever to make a run at that elusive World Series title.

Many fans were down on Nick Castellanos‘ performance last season, particularly his defense, however Casty has spent the entire offseason in a bid to be quicker and better at the Hot Corner.

Fans were not enamored when Alfredo Simon was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds for Eugenio Suarez and others. Part of the reason so many wanted Max Scherzer back was because they do not view Simon as a solid starter. While he won’t be Max or Rick Porcello for that matter–he may hold his own in the rotation, according to Brad Faber.

Perhaps the biggest non-Scherzer story of TigerFest was David Price, who defended himself against reports that said he was unhappy in Detroit. He stated that he was never unhappy here and in fact would engage in long-term extension talks with Detroit. With all of this being said, Price is ready to shine in his first (and perhaps last) year in Detroit.

Castellanos working to improve for sophomore season – Dana Wakiji, Fox Sports Detroit

"Once the Tigers traded Fielder to Texas, it allowed Cabrera to move back to first and opened up third base for Castellanos.“The last time I played a full season at third before the big leagues was in low A, 2011,” Castellanos said. “The big leagues is very fast, the competition’s really good, so you always have to be in position and know what’s going on.”Castellanos said after working with Martin, he planned to arrive in Lakeland, Fla., early, by Feb. 8, even though position players do not have to report until Feb. 23.Castellanos believes that having a full major-league season under his belt will help in every aspect.“I’m very comfortable now going in, knowing what to expect, knowing the pace of the game and things like that,” Castellanos said.During TigerFest, Castellanos was asked for his own assessment of his rookie season.“I think it was very average,” Castellanos said. “I feel like offensively it was OK. Defensively for what I was doing it was OK, too. I feel like I held my own. I don’t feel like I struggled and I don’t feel like I succeeded. I know that I can be a lot better than what I was last year, but I also realize that it’s a process.”"

Alfredo Simon Won’t Replace Rick Porcello For Detroit Tigers, But He May Be Better Than You Think – Brad Faber, Rant Sports

"Back in 2012, Simon came to the Reds with a 8-12 record, a 5.18 ERA, 5.23 FIP and a 1.48 WHIP over four seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. While he had worked out of the bullpen and in the rotation at different times in Baltimore, he was used exclusively as a relief pitcher during his first two seasons in Cincinnati, posting ERAs of 2.66 and 2.87 in 2012 and 2013 respectively.In 2014, however, Simon made the full-time transition to the starting rotation, which is where the Tigers are planning to keep him. It is still possible that he could be relegated to relief duty if the Tigers decide to change course and make another move, such as signing James Shields, but Simon projects to be the club’s No. 4 or No. 5 starter as it stands right now. Plus, GM Dave Dombrowski continues to assert that the starting rotation is set.Over 32 starts last season, Simon went 15-10 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP through a career-high 196.1 innings of work. At first glance, his numbers look rather respectable. After all, Porcello went a very comparable 15-13 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP through 204.2 innings of work. So, it seems that the Tigers may not skip a beat, right?"

Price has adjusted, ready to be a Tigers’ ace – Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press

"In that way, Price is like the rest of us. He moved — in his case from Florida to Michigan. He needed time to adjust to, well, everything. Just as we would. Just as we do.As Price said this past week during the team’s winter caravan: “This is not somewhere that I disliked. I solely said that it was different, and it’s not different anymore. It’s more normal now, knowing the guys, knowing all the coaches, knowing everybody’s name. It’s stuff like that.”Human stuff. Stuff most of us allow for in our own relationships. Price, it turned out, is aware of his surroundings. That’s a good thing.It’s also a good thing that, unlike Scherzer or Verlander, Price doesn’t rely as heavily on velocity. He gets outs by moving his ball from side to side, by releasing it in a way that makes it difficult for batters to pick up, and by being a 6-foot-6 left-hander."

Next: Price should not sign long term

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