Ok, it’s only Spring Training. The games don’t count. Guys are working on specific things, and experimenting. And the Tigers are sending more players to the World Baseball Classic than any other team. Most of those guys have already left, as the USA plays its first game on Friday.
But still…..I’m not encouraged. Almost halfway through the Spring Schedule, the Tigers are 3-11, near the bottom of the Grapefruit League standings.

The problem is two-fold so far: Poor pitching and poor hitting.

The problem is two-fold so far: Poor pitching and poor hitting.

With so many players away from Lakeland for the WBC, it’s a great chance for some guys to step up and show what they can do.

So far, Omar Infante has done that. The veteran infielder, trying to make a comeback with his old team, is playing well, running well and hitting over .350. JaCoby Jones, whom the Tigers are hoping is ready to take the vacant centerfield job, is hitting .333. Nick Castellanos needs to prove he’s the real deal, after his best season last year. So far, he’s hitting well, at .313. But Tyler Collins, Mikie Matook, Justin Upton, and J.D. Martinez have barely hit at all.

But the bigger concern is probably the pitching. Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey had terrible seasons last year, and are starting out where they left off.

Anibal Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey had terrible seasons last year, and are starting out where they left off.

Relievers Shane Green, Francisco Rodriguez, Justin Wilson, Mark Lowe and Bruce Rondon all have ERAs over 10! Daniel Norris, Jordan Zimmerman and Justin Verlander all look pretty good so far.
But it’s early. The WBC ends on March 22nd. The Tigers will have 10 games after that to get it together, so for now, we just take a breath and let ‘em experiment……..I guess.