Tigers News and Notes: Day 6 in Lakeland

Day 6 in Spring Training started out very busy in Lakeland. Today is the first full-squad practice of the new season, film crews are filming a David Price commercial, and a familiar face re-signed with the Tigers; reliever Joba Chamberlain.  It appears that Dombrowski was not completely comfortable with what he had in the bullpen, and thought that bringing back Chamberlain helped sew up some issues.

Pitching News

The re-signing of Chamberlain may come as a surprise to many, but I am guessing this move has been in the cards for a few weeks.  Joel Hanrahan is continuing to have arm issues and now looks to be out of the picture for the foreseeable future.  One very good sign coming from the Tigers’ pitchers is that Justin Verlander and Price have been bonding very closely on the field and off.  Hopefully this relationship can grow into a contract extension for Price.

Victor Martinez Update

Victor Martinez has still not reported to Tigers camp yet, instead choosing to rehab his knee at his home near Orlando.  The plan is still for him to be ready for Opening Day.

Positional Player News

With today marking the first day of full-squad practices, there are a few changes with Andrew Romine and Hernan Perez.

My guess is that the Tigers want to have true utility guys, like Don Kelly, that can play all over the field.  Having these guys available to play multiple positions, infield and outfield, will not limit Ausmus’ ability to fill in injury gaps or game substitutions.  Very smart move by the Tigers as they will become more versatile on their bench.  There is also very good news to report about Jose Iglesias.

Iglesias being able to get back into form and be the superb defender that he was before the injury will only make Tigers pitchers smile and tip their caps.  This guy covers so much ground and can make plays that the other 29 starting short stops can’t do, it is just pure amazing.  Justin Verlander took the mound today… well, sort of.  He was the first pitcher up for defensive drills today in fielding practice.

With the negatives that clouded the early February days, things are started to look positive for the Tigers.  Not only will V-Mart and Miguel Cabrera be back soon, but Rondon is looking good, Verlander looked outstanding yesterday, and they acquired a little more bullpen depth in Chamberlain.  Not to mention it’s always great to see Tigers royalty in Spring Training working with the new team.