Detroit Tigers Links: Sparky Gose, Comeback for J.V., feel good story of camp
By Matt Pelc
Anthony Gose has been firing on all cylinders early in Spring Training, almost as if he is showcasing his talents as thanks for the Detroit Tigers trading for him this past offseason.
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Gose has been hitting a mean stick early on and causes havoc on the bases, which is exactly what the Tigers brought him in for.
Justin Verlander had a pretty decent outing in his first effort on Saturday. He got a 1-2-3 first inning and the got into trouble by loading the bases in the second inning before escaping without incident. He also recorded two strikeouts. It is worth noting that even in his glory years, J.V. didn’t always have his best stuff in Spring Training games, but positive reviews for Exhibit A. Could this lead him to a comeback season?
The feel good story of camp involves Wynton Bernard, a former minor leaguer who brought his own equipment to the Detroit Tigers’ open tryout in Lakeland last year. After spending time in the low minor leagues in 2014, he is now fighting for a roster spot and making the most of his opportunities.
Anthony Gose Could Give Detroit Tigers A Major Spark In 2015 – Brad Faber, Rant Sports
"At just 24 years of age, there is plenty of time for Gose’s offensive game to improve. The fact that he hits from the left-side of the plate is certainly a bonus for the right-handed heavy Tigers as well.Although the sample size is admittedly small and Spring Training numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, it is worth noting that Gose is actually off to a torrid start down in Lakeland, Fla. On Saturday, Gose went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base against the Atlanta Braves. He is now hitting a cool .636/.692/.818 to start the spring.Given the other formidable offensive pieces that the Tigers have, it seems fair to say that Gose’s most important job will be to man the spacious center field at Comerica Park and provide stellar glove work. Stealing bases and shining on defense alone would be more than enough to give the club an exciting jolt of energy.That being said, Gose may be able to make a greater impact with the bat in 2015 than some originally thought. If he can cut down on his strikeouts, his speed may also make him a viable candidate to bat in one of the top two spots in the Tigers’ batting order."
Is Justin Verlander Primed for a Comeback Season? – Heath Clary, Bleacher Report
"Yet, it still appears as though Verlander has what it takes to return to being a dominant starter. He may not be an ace-caliber pitcher like he once was, but he can still be someone who can take the ball every fifth day, work deep into games and give his team a chance to win.Arguably the biggest factor that Verlander will have to overcome is that he no longer possesses swing-and-miss stuff. In 2014, he recorded a career-low whiff percentage when throwing his fastball and slider, and near career lows with his changeup and curveball, as per Brooks Baseball.But it’s not as though Verlander is refusing to accept that he must improve. He made a concerted effort to bulk up over the offseason and he reported to spring training with 28 extra pounds of muscle on his 6’5″ frame."
Tigers prospect watch: Wynton Bernard runs onto 40-man – Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press
"It wasn’t the way Wynton Bernard walked — quickly, Castillo remembers — through a parking lot in TigerTown or the way Bernard ran — fast — when he got onto a back field in a tryout for the Tigers last March.“He just had those eyes,” Castillo said.He didn’t know the story behind them, that the red Chevy Cobalt Bernard stepped out of was a rental car and he was flying back to California the next day — a $700 lottery ticket for a final chance at a dream — or that he was cut by the Padres a few weeks before, on the cusp of his breakout season.But Castillo had seen enough baseball players to know that, of the 100-something guys on the field that day, only one was going to get signed.So when Bernard walked by, Castillo told him: “Kid, you’re going to get signed.”"