Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Who’s hot and who’s not this spring

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PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 09: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on May 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 09: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on May 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 14: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers reacts to the homerun by Ian Kinsler in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 14, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 14: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers reacts to the homerun by Ian Kinsler in the seventh inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 14, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Who’s Hot At the Dish

Miguel Cabrera: As Jim Kramer covered a few weeks ago, it was a very difficult 2017 for Miguel Cabrera. So far this spring, he seems back to his old self and healthier than he’s been in awhile.

As a result, Cabrera has acquitted himself well at the plate, hitting .317. On Saturday, he launched his first homer of the spring against the Yankees Masahiro Tanaka.

Victor Martinez: Another veteran who experienced a down year in 2017 was Victor Martinez. Martinez was limited to 107 games, his fewest in nearly a decade.

So far this spring he’s shown he still has it in him at 39 years old. Martinez is hitting .318, and half of his 14 hits have been for extra-bases.

As Jim Kramer wrote earlier, Martinez is another potential big difference-maker for Detroit offensively this year.

Nicholas Castellanos: Coming off of a year in which he set numerous career-highs offensively, Nicholas Castellanos came into the spring with big expectations.

So far, Castellanos has been up to the challenge. In a Q&A with us a few weeks ago, Mario Impemba mentioned Castellanos as the Tiger he was most impressed with in camp. With five homers and 12 RBI in 41 spring at-bats, his OPS is an eye-popping 1.025.

If this trio can continue their hot start into the regular season, the Detroit Tigers offense will be fun to watch.

Niko Goodrum: Niko Goodrum entered camp competing for a utility spot. The former second-round pick is hitting .313 with three homers and has played every position, minus pitcher and catcher, without making an error.

As Andy Patton discussed earlier this month, Goodrum’s performance could be enough for him to head north with the club next week.

Who’s Hot on the Hill

Francisco Liriano: Although he’s only made two appearances covering five innings this spring, Francisco Liriano has already locked up his place in the rotation.

The southpaw has not allowed a run in five innings and has fanned seven. Four walks is a little concerning, but new skipper Ron Gardenhire knows Liriano as well as anyone and trusts him to succeed in Detroit.

Buck Farmer: Earlier this spring, Buck Farmer was permanently moved to the bullpen, and he’s taken his new role and run with it. The righty has been lights out this spring, allowing just four hits and no runs, while striking out 10 in nine innings.

Farmer has also walked four which is too high, but carrying this over to the regular season would make a huge difference for a bullpen that was horrendous in 2017.

Eduardo Jimenez: A pleasant surprise has been righty Eduardo Jimenez. Despite having not reached Double-A yet, Jimenez has impressed, tossing five scoreless frames.

The 22-year old has been a strikeout machine in the minors, and if he has another impressive summer, could reach Detroit by September.

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