Detroit Tigers Links: Lakeland bound, 3rd best lineup, Gibby’s return

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The news yesterday was terrific for fans and employees of the Detroit Tigers baseball organization as one of the biggest stars of the franchise, Victor Martinez had successful surgery and will likely be out for just Spring Training.

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The news got even better when photos surfaced of the trucks and vans loading up to head south to sunny Lakeland, Florida, ushering in the start of Spring Training in just one week.

As we get ready for Spring Training to judge what kind of team the Tigers will have in 2015, one national writer still believes their lineup will be a force to reckon with.

Yesterday we reported how Rod Allen was being demoted to fewer games to make room for Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson. The FSD gig is nothing new for Gibby, who spent time as color analyst from 1998 to 2002. He is happy to be home after being fired from his managerial job with the Arizona Diamondbacks late last season but will not fully rule out a return to the dugout at some point.

Photos: Detroit Tigers equipment staff packs up, heads to Lakeland for spring training – Mike Mulholland, MLive

"Two semi-trucks travel down to Lakeland every February, each carrying about 40,000 pounds of equipment.For spring training alone, around 600 bats are used, in addition to 400 dozen game baseballs and 300 dozen batting cage balls. That’s a total of 8,400 baseballs for spring training.Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 19. Position players report Feb. 23."

MLB writer ranks Tigers’ lineup third-best in baseball – Steve Schrader, Detroit Free Press

"MLB.com columnist Anthony Castrovince — who’s ranking position groups this week for sportsonearth.com — has the Tigers’ lineup a shaky third-best in baseball, behind the Boston Red Sox at No. 1 and the Toronto Blue Jays at No. 2.The Tigers’ position is shaky, he says, because of the Victor Martinez injury (though the team now says V-Mart will be ready for the start of the season after today’s medial meniscectomy surgery on his left knee).Castrovince writes: “I had them second overall before the Martinez news. Now I don’t know whether to still consider them a top-three team or worry that they’ll slide back significantly. That’s how much Martinez means to this lineup. …MLB.com columnist Anthony Castrovince — who’s ranking position groups this week for sportsonearth.com — has the Tigers’ lineup a shaky third-best in baseball, behind the Boston Red Sox at No. 1 and the Toronto Blue Jays at No. 2.The Tigers’ position is shaky, he says, because of the Victor Martinez injury (though the team now says V-Mart will be ready for the start of the season after today’s medial meniscectomy surgery on his left knee).Castrovince writes: “I had them second overall before the Martinez news. Now I don’t know whether to still consider them a top-three team or worry that they’ll slide back significantly. That’s how much Martinez means to this lineup. …"

FSD shakeup: Gibson happy to come home – Lynn Henning, Detroit News

"“You can’t go wrong coming home,” said Gibson, 57, who still lives in Grosse Pointe with his wife, JoAnn. “I’ve always kept in touch with the people (at FSD) I worked with during the 1990s and 2000s, and they’re friends. Conversation became reality over a period of time.“And having Jack back will be a cool deal, too. There will be some interesting insights. I can say I had a certain perspective as a player and I always shared those (on telecasts). But now, having managed, I think it’ll help me help the viewers understand certain situations that much better.”"

Next: V-Mart out only 4-6 weeks

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