Detroit Tigers Links: Victor Martinez expectations, Rod’s new role, K-Rod


There were two big stories that broke on Tuesday for the Detroit Tigers, Victor Martinez‘s positive prognosis and Rod Allen being demoted on Tigers’ TV broadcasts.

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It’s hard to know which moved the needle more for fans. Certainly everyone was happy with V-Mart’s news of being out likely only through Spring Training, but the Rod situation seemed to resonate more into Wednesday than did V-Mart. Perhaps it is because the Tigers’ announcers on radio and TV “visit” our homes via their broadcasts every day and night from March until October. They are like members of the family to some.

First link we’ll look at what to expect from Martinez. We can’t expect a repeat of last year’s career year, especially after the knee surgery and V-Mart may need to kick some dust off when he comes back, but chances are great he’ll still be one of the top DHs in baseball.

Shifting again to the new Fox Sports crew with Allen being demoted in favor of a three-man analyst rotation with him, Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson. While some cheered Rod’s reduced role and others lamented it, Rod heard the outcry and was grateful. He is also happy with his new role, but could you expect him to say anything else?

Allen might actually be a free agent after this season. He is signed through 2015 with an option for 2016 if he is spinning the situation and unhappy, he could likely move to a new team after this year. Something to watch.

Chris Iott gives us more information on the new deal.

Finally we look at a possible addition to the Tigers’ bullpen, K-Rod Francisco Rodriguez.

Detroit Tigers: what to expect from Victor Martinez – Joe White, iSportsWeb

"What then can Tigers fans expect from him in his recovery this time around? Prior to the knee injury I was projecting something closer to 22 home runs, rather than the 32 he pounded last year. I’d bump that down another four or so and see how that looks.A six week recovery would put him back in the full swing of things at the end of March and with a later than usual start to the regular season (Opening Day is Monday, April 6 v. the Twins) he will get some extra time to strengthen his core before the grind of the 162-game campaign kicks off.It’s a tight timetable but a fairly reasonable one considering his role as the team’s primary designated hitter. Hitters always hit, and Victor Martinez is among the best in the business. He will hit, although maybe not at a prolific rate right off the bat.The reasonable fan should have expected a regression from last year’s numbers prior to the knee surgery and even more so now. I would expect a similar progression to Victor’s season as to what he put on display during the 2013 comeback season, although with a quicker response time. It won’t take him all the way until July to get back to mashing American League pitching with regularity, but April’s stat line might be a bit sluggish."

Rod Allen: ‘Couldn’t be happier’ about new Tigers setup – Detroit Free Press

"“Today’s not about me,” Allen emailed to the Free Press. “It’s moreso about Jack and Gibby joining us, and we couldn’t be happier. I’m still going to be working every day, whether it’s in the studio or at the game. But today, it’s their day.”Allen also later tweeted a similar message:“For 12 yrs, I’ve been apart of a great broadcast team w/ two families, FSD and the Tigers,” he wrote. “Now we’re adding to the family with Kirk & Jack. I’m looking forward to working with them both! I’ll still be involved in every single Tigers game on Fox, either at the park or in studio. Just wanted to let all of you know! That all of your words of encouragement today meant the world to me. #muchlove #appreciation #tigers.”"

5 questions and answers about rotating Fox Sports Detroit analysts on Tigers broadcasts – Chris Iott, MLive

"What are the upsides for fans?Gibson and Morris are big names and experienced broadcasters who will give fans a fresh perspective on the action. They are both known as honest, straight shooters, so fans will likely hear at least a bit more criticism of the hometown team when things go wrong.What are the downsides for fans?Those who love Allen will see less of Allen, so that’s a downside for them. Also, there won’t be as much consistency with different analysts in and out of the booth. It could take a while for Impemba to build a good working chemistry with Gibson and Morris, especially since he won’t be working with them every day.What do you think of the move?Generally speaking, those with broadcast rights try not to rock the boat too much. Fox Sports Detroit will certainly want to retain rights to broadcast Tigers games once the current deal is up, so it would be surprising if they made any rash moves without the support of the Tigers."

Francisco Rodriguez Best Fits the Detroit Tigers – Tyler Birss, Call to the Pen

"Rodriguez is no longer the lights-out madman he was with the Los Angeles Angels. But he is still an extremely reliable reliever with many positive trends. He saved 44 games in 2014 for the Milwaukee Brewers. His WHIP was 0.99 and opponents only batted .198 against him. His 91 mph fastball regularity shouldn’t be worrisome considering the prowess of his changeup.There’s a case to be made that Rodriguez would instantly become Detroit’s top reliever. He’s an unequivocally better closing option than Joe Nathan, 2014’s nightmarish late-game selection who posted a 4.81 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. Nathan is also 40-years-old. Joakim Soria is a bounce back candidate and Al Alburquerque is underrated, but depth and dominance sorely lack within this bullpen group. Even Joba Chamberlain is no longer there. He held the second best ERA (3.57) of any Tiger reliever in 2014.K-Rod might not dominate oppositions. He might not be the perfect closer. But he’s a sensible fit at a reasonable price. Detroit shouldn’t sleep on K-Rod. They shouldn’t allow another season to be lost due to a prevailing bullpen breakdown. This would be a predictable error in judgment."

Next: Detroit Tigers Top 5 Spring Training Story Lines