Detroit Tigers Links: Miggy close, James McCann, main rival

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The Detroit Tigers got some encouraging news on the injury front for their cornerstone player.

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By all accounts (knocking on wood again as I type this), Miguel Cabrera is on track or ahead of schedule in his comeback attempt. Whether Opening Day is attainable or not is not certain, but he is doing well and ready to take the next step.

An odd thing happened this offseason. The Tigers and their fans have seemingly given James McCann a spot on the Opening Day roster. It seems like a foregone conclusion he makes it, but if he does he will make it over Bryan Holaday who spent the entire season backing up Alex Avila? Is he truly that much of a lock? It’s worth nothing that he has experienced a couple of past balls in the first few games of Spring Training but has been solid at the plate.

Finally who will be the Tigers’ main rival in 2015? One would think Cleveland who many pundits pick to beat Detroit in the standings this year. Could it be fellow playoff team from last year Kansas City or an upstart Chicago White Sox? I think it will be Cleveland who has really become the Tigers’ chief rivals this season, but you never know what will happen come April.

Tigers’ Cabrera ‘really close’ to running, fielding – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press

"Cabrera ran at 72% body weight a couple of days ago, Ausmus said this morning in TigerTown, and as soon as he can run on the specialized machine at 80% body weight, he will be able to run on flat ground. He also will be able to field ground balls hit directly at him.“He should be really close,” Ausmus said.Cabrera has taken batting practice on the field the past three days, and hitting coach Wally Joyner reported to Ausmus that “he looked good.”“He was hitting balls 425 feet out to left-center,” Ausmus said."

Now is time for Detroit Tigers to see what they have in catcher James McCann – Chris Iott, MLive

"McCann had a double and an RBI on Monday in the exhibition game against Florida Southern College. He made a nice defensive play Tuesday against the Baltimore Orioles when he picked off a runner at first base. He gets his first start at catcher today. He is off to a good start this spring.But the winds seemed to shift in his favor long before the baseball world made the move from sunny San Diego to sunny Florida."

What team will be the Detroit Tigers’ main rival in 2015? – Patrick O’Kennedy, Bless You Boys

"The Cleveland Indians have been the quietest team in the division over the winter. The Tribe added first baseman- outfielder Brandon Moss, who figures to play the outfield most games. Otherwise, they return a pitching staff that led the American League with a 3.33 fielding independent pitching (FIP) ratio in 2014, led by Cy Young winner Corey Kluber. Cleveland has parted ways with long time shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and pitcher Justin Masterson. They are counting on young players like shortstop Jose Ramirez and starting pitcher Danny Salazar to improve enough to boost the club above their 85 win season a year ago, when they finished five games out of first place.The Chicago White Sox, on the other hand, were very busy in the offseason. After trading for starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija, Chicago should have a vastly improved rotation that features three of the top 15 starters in the major leagues from a year ago, including perennial Cy Young candidate Chris Sale and the unheralded Jose Quintana. They also signed former Yankees’ closer David Robertson to bolster a bullpen that pitched to a 4.38 ERA and 4.22 FIP in 2014."

Next: Tigers fall to Braves 6-4

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