While the full squad wasn’t required to report to Lakeland until Monday, the Detroit Tigers position players began streaming in to camp early and often over the weekend.
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One of those players chomping at the bit to get started is Jose Iglesias, who missed all of the 2014 season after having surgery to repair shin splints. He reports he’s 100 percent but running about 85 to 90 percent. He could likely run full speed but doesn’t want to go full throttle just yet.
The Tigers’ rotation, long the best in baseball, has taken hits in recent years with the trades of Doug Fister and Rick Porcello, coupled with the defection of Max Scherzer. But with two former Cy Young winners topping the staff, a former ERA leader and an up and coming youngster, it’s not all doom and gloom just yet.
One of those two former Cy Young winners received very positive reviews for his performance in the first bullpen session of the season. Justin Verlander not only looked good as he begins the climb to reclaim the team’s ace starters role, but he wanted to keep on pitching.
It wasn’t all good news this weekend. Joel Hanrahan still felt arm soreness throughout the offseason and had to cut short his bullpen session. This is not good for his chances of helping the Tigers’ bullpen–at least not yet. He reportedly has discussed staying on in Lakeland for extended Spring Training when the big league team heads north.
Tigers’ Iglesias feeling good, excited to return to team – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
"The Tigers’ shortstop showed up for spring training today. He took some ground balls, hit some batting practice and is “100 percent,” he said twice while meeting with reporters.“It’s amazing,” he said. “I’m really excited to see my teammates and just to be on the field without pain is an amazing feeling.”And Iglesias feels good.“Really, really good,” he said.Iglesias hit and fielded and threw in front of president and general manager Dave Dombrowski – manager Brad Ausmus caught the tail end of his workout – and reported no soreness afterwards.He isn’t running at 100% yet, he said – “I’m at 85-90% still” – and will continue running on an anti-gravity treadmill once it arrives in Lakeland for Miguel Cabrera‘s rehabilitation.“No pain so far,” he said. “I’m really happy that the injury is over for me. I just have to stay positive and try to forget about it.”"
Despite Detroit’s departures, rotation remains formidable – Mike Bauman, MLB.com
"David Price, Justin Verlander, Anibal Sanchez, Alfredo Simon, Shane Greene. That rotation should pose plenty of problems for the opposition.Still, it is impossible to view the Detroit club, gathered at Joker Marchant Stadium for Spring Training, without thinking of the no-longer-present members of recent rotations; sort of the ghosts of pitchers past.Can it be as good as some of the dominant Detroit rotations of the recent past? That’s asking a lot, considering the pitchers involved and the fact that the Tigers won the last four AL Central titles. But in an increasingly difficult division, to remain on top, this rotation will still have to perform at a high level. That is also asking a lot, but it is not asking the impossible."
"Verlander threw about 55 pitches Saturday in his first bullpen session since pitchers and catchers started workouts.“I thought he looked outstanding,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “One thing that stood out to me was the action on his curveball. Much tighter.”By all accounts, he threw well. But he also wanted to throw more. As he neared the end of his session, Verlander asked catcher Alex Avila for a pitch count. The exchange went like this:Verlander: “How many?”Avila: “Fifty.”Verlander: “You mean 40?”Avila: “Fifty.”Verlander: “You just said 36.”Avila: “I said 46.”Verlander: “Bulls—.”"
Tigers P Joel Hanrahan unable to throw full bullpen – CBS Sports
"Slated to throw the bullpen on Saturday, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Hanrahan told him “he didn’t feel his best today.” Hanrahan is coming off of Tommy John surgery and was reported to be on schedule with his recovery earlier this week.Hanrahan previously had a bullpen session scheduled for Monday as well."