March 11, 2005

SLEEPERS:

Tigers stockpile arms in Lakeland: One spot left among army of candidates (GENE GUIDI, March 11, 2005, Detrot Free Press)

Which pitchers will be the odd arms out?

That's the question manager Alan Trammell must answer about his 11-man staff before the Tigers break camp in about three weeks.

Ten spots appear to be taken -- the starting rotation of Jason Johnson, Jeremy Bonderman, Mike Maroth, Nate Robertson and Wilfredo Ledezma, and relievers Gary Knotts, Jamie Walker, Kyle Farnsworth, Ugueth Urbina and Troy Percival.

"If everything plays out perfect the rest of the way, there are some deserving guys who won't make it," Trammell said.

That shows how far the Tigers have come since Trammell's first year as manager in 2003. Pitchers in camp that spring had a chance to make the staff if they weren't awful every time out.

Now there's competition among the handful of pitchers competing for the last spot.

Right-handers Fernando Rodney and Franklyn German have been impressive so far, as has right-hander Mike James. Left-hander Doug Creek hasn't really done anything to hurt his chances. And then you have long-relief candidates like right-handers Jason Grilli, Andrew Good and Nelson Cruz.


If anyone has a size 7 7/8 Tigers hat for me....

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 11, 2005 10:06 AM
Comments

OJ: Why this sudden facination with les Tigres? I thought that you were a dyed in wool Red Sox fan?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 11, 2005 10:32 AM

Likely, he need a new hopeless underdog.

Posted by: AML at March 11, 2005 10:38 AM

I thought Orrin was a Mets fan and only rooted for the Bosox when they were playing against the Yankees.

Posted by: Governor Breck at March 11, 2005 10:42 AM

Somehow, I always knew OJ had a super-sized cranium...

Posted by: Random Lawyer at March 11, 2005 10:43 AM

Gov:

Never root for a favorite.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2005 10:51 AM

If OJ is now squeezing his noggin into a 7-7/8 it mean she stopped using the "clear" and the "cream" this winter...

Posted by: Foos at March 11, 2005 10:53 AM

Since OJ had all the fluid drained away by the impromptu application a railroad spike he's gone down three hat sizes!

Posted by: Governor Breck at March 11, 2005 11:34 AM

The AL usually has one surprise team each season -- it was Texas in 2004 and Kansas City in 2003. Playing in the AL Central doesn't hurt Detroit either, since you're away from the mega-bucks rosters that the AL East teams like Toronto and Tampa Bay have to deal with.

And as far as the caps, it doesn't have to be a fitted 7 7/8. Just get a Tigers' cap with the elastic in the back, or even the adjustable notched plastic band. Not as individualistic, and not as pricey, but the Tigers right now may be getting too much publicity to sneak up on anyone in the regular season.

Posted by: John at March 11, 2005 1:20 PM

John:

They don't fit.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2005 1:24 PM

I have been an Indians fan for many very long years. OJ and I are not comming out of this season happy together.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 11, 2005 2:01 PM

I think the Indians are the more likely surprise team in the AL.

Both the Tigers and the Indians could finish ahead of the White Sox.

(Can someone send the White Sox front office a copy of Moneyball. The mopes pickup a speedy leadoff hitter who had a barely .300 onbase percentage last year. What was that Billy Beane said about overpaying for speed? You can't score a run if you can't get on base. Good work Kenny.)

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 11, 2005 4:17 PM

Bonderman will have a great year. This team will be among the leaders in ERA and in runs scored. They planned the "go" year as '06, but they might be ahead of themselves if they can steer away from major injuries.

As the governing racist kleptocracy continues to destroy Detroit's finances and infrastructure, all that's left is sports -- and, of course, the suburbs, where everyone, black-poles-jews-chaldeans-arabs-latinos, EVERYONE not living on minimum wage or welfare lives. Has any city not buried by a volcano ever declined as fast as Detroit? 40 years ago, they were at 2 million; now, it's below 900,000 and dropping fast with the same city staffing levels as 40 years ago, of course. The City will probably enter receivership later this year.

Posted by: Palmcroft at March 11, 2005 4:18 PM
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