Detroit Tigers Links: V-Mart rebound, spring battles, more booth Tigers


Yesterday in our Morning Links we looked at how even though the news on Victor Martinez was good, we should probably temper our expectations for the veteran.

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Shawn Windsor takes the opposite view and says that V-Mart may still surprise us. He’s done it all through his Detroit career, so why wouldn’t that continue?

While there will likely be no major roster battles by big names in Spring Training, Chris McCosky looks at how three Tigers further down on the totem pole will be using practice games in March as a ticket to regular games in April and beyond.

Finally we take another look at the FSD booth shakeup and see that owner Mike Ilitch was the man behind the move, wanting to get more Tigers’ legends air time. Also, while we may hear less of Rod Allen during games he will be involved in every game whether through color commentary or pre/post game coverage.

Don’t bet against another V-Mart rebound – Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press

"Well, with Martinez it’s hard to say. We know his doctors trimmed up the damaged cartilage. We know they think his rehab should last from 4-to-6 weeks. We know the Tigers expect him to be ready to start the season at the beginning of April.Of course they do.After all, this is Victor Martinez, a baseball outlier who has shown us normal indicators don’t apply to him. If they did, Martinez would be on the downswing.Instead?He finished second in the MVP voting last season, setting career highs in slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and WAR (per Baseball Reference). That he topped his WAR mark — (wins above replacement) — despite playing only occasionally in the field tells us just how dominant he was.The kitchen-sink stat accounts for just about everything a player does on the field. Before last season, Martinez compiled his highest WAR in Cleveland (5.2), back when he played catcher every day, a valuable position. His 5.3 output a year ago was done almost entirely from the batter’s box.Unless you count what Martinez did in the dugout, where his pre-game routine involves charging up his teammates, or unless you count his presence in the clubhouse, and what he means for Miguel Cabrera."

Three Tigers bracing for spring competition – Chris McCosky, Detroit News

"Gorzelanny, 32 and a 10-year veteran, is 13 months removed from shoulder surgery. This has been his first normal, rehab-free offseason in two years.Holaday, 27, is coming off a solid first full season as the Tigers backup catcher. But he will have to fend off a serious challenge from rookie James McCann to keep his job.Perez, 24, was once considered the team’s second baseman of the future. Now, he will be adding outfielder to his skill set this spring with hopes of filling the multi-positional shoes of departed Don Kelly.All three, mainstays at pre-camp workouts at the Tigertown complex this week, were among the first group working in the warm early morning sun Thursday."

Ilitch: I wanted ‘more Tigers guys’ in booth – Lynn Henning, Detroit News

"“It’s great – more family, and local guys, and fans love it,” Ilitch said during a phone conversation with The Detroit News. “I just felt that while we usually go with two guys (play-by-play voice Mario Impemba and resident analyst Rod Allen), we felt there were ways to contribute more.“I wanted some Tigers, and we worked that all out.”Tigers telecasts on FSD have had a dramatic ratings increase in recent years, in tandem with Comerica Park attendance, which reached 3 million in four of the past eight seasons. In their past nine years the Tigers seven times have reached a playoff game, or playoff series, although there has been no world championship despite two World Series appearances."

Next: #TBT Aurelio Lopez