Detroit Tigers Links: Faster, V-Mart visits, bullpen nearly set


The Detroit Tigers pledged to be a faster team in Brad Ausmus‘ first year as manager and they showed in last Spring Training that they would indeed run.

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When the regular season began, they still ran a lot (at least in comparison with Jim Leyland‘s teams) but it slowed down throughout the season. With newcomers Anthony Gose and Yoenis Cespedes, the team figures to stick with it a lot longer this year.

Good news in Tigers’ camp on Saturday. Despite rain that washed out most of the workouts, it was picture day which meant a Victor Martinez appearance. He left again but is slated to return and may even hit a bit with his teammates on Monday.

With the arrival last week of Joba Chamberlain, a few more open slots in the bullpen disappeared. Unless injuries or some of the slated bullpen guys have terrible springs, there are only a couple of positions likely up for grabs.

Faster Tigers hope to take advantage of speed this season – Dana Wakiji, Fox Sports Detroit

"“There’s a learning curve,” Ausmus said “Part of it is just being aware of some things the pitchers are doing before you even get on base. We’re talking about we’re trying to avoid all our pitchers getting into bad habits. Well, we’re also trying to take advantage of other teams’ pitchers who do have bad habits. Part of it was what Rajai Davis has and that’s fearlessness, not being afraid to be thrown out. You’ve got to be a little fearless.”Gose had 15 stolen bases in 94 games last season.Cespedes has had seven in each of the last two seasons but had 16 in 2012 with Oakland.“I talked to him, he had a leg injury one of the years, where he kinda got shut down kinda in terms of stealing,” Ausmus said of Cespedes. “But he was running really well yesterday. I knew he could run, I knew he was athletic, but he was flying around the bases yesterday.”"

Tigers’ Victor Martinez makes a brief visit Saturday – Chris McCosky, Detroit News

"“Victor will be here Monday,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He’s going to run the treadmill here.”Martinez, recovering from knee surgery, has been seeing a physical therapist in Orlando. The Tigers felt it prudent to keep him away, fearing he’d want to do too much too fast if he came to camp. Sure enough, Ausmus has already had to slow him down.“Just like we were talking about,” Ausmus said. “He said he was going to run the AlterG (treadmill) and he might swing the bat. I said, ‘You’re going to hit off a tee?’ He said, ‘Yeah and maybe some soft toss.’“So see, he’s already trying to get more involved. I said, ‘Let’s hold off on the soft toss because then you’ll want to hit live.'”"

Bullpen all but set for Detroit Tigers before slate of Grapefruit League games even begins – Chris Iott, MLive

"Barring injuries or some other surprising development, six of the seven bullpen spots appear to be locked up at this point. The one spot available is likely reserved for a left-hander who can throw multiple innings. Pitchers who appear to be basically locks for the opening day roster are right-handers Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria, Bruce Rondon, Al Alburquerque and Joba Chamberlain and left-hander Tom Gorzelanny.“Those six, it’d be surprising if they weren’t on the team,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Friday morning. “Something strange would have to happen just based on their performances from the past.”The signing of Chamberlain had an effect on the bullpen in many ways. Most notably, it makes it nearly impossible to figure a way for right-handers like Alex Wilson, Josh Zeid and Buck Farmer to make the opening day roster. It also decreases the chances of Ian Krol making it since the Tigers will likely carry a left-hander who can go multiple innings if Gorzelanny is the No. 1 lefty out of the pen."

Next: Cespedes 4-ever, Melville, Lobstein first, Ryan Perry back