Tigers news and notes: Game vs. ‘Stros, Verlander update and more Nathan news!

Spring Training is winding down and the roster has already begun to take shape. Lately for the Detroit Tigers, they have been rolling out their Opening Day lineup a lot. As expected, you see guys like center fielders Anthony Gose and Rajai Davis leading off, right fielder J.D. Martinez hitting in front of left fielder Yoenis Cespedes in the batting order, and shortstop Jose Iglesias rounding it out in the 9-hole. All that is left is to figure out who will fill out the rest of the bullpen. We have a game recap, news on when pitcher Justin Verlander will make his first regular season start, and more drama regarding closer Joe Nathan, on this edition of news and notes.

ASTROS 3, TIGERS 2

The Tigers starters took a backseat today. The six pitchers who made an appearance in today’s game against the Houston Astros were relief pitchers, all of whom are trying to earn a spot in the bullpen on the Opening Day roster.

One pitcher who did not throw today was Bruce Rondon.

Tigers Need to Shake Things Up x
Tigers Need to Shake Things Up

If he is not good to go by Opening Day, or is not pitching well, look for other bullpen guys to potentially take advantage and earn a spot on the 25-man club by April 6th.

Side note. First baseman Miguel Cabrera and left fielder Cespedes had the day off, both Davis and Gose started, as well as both utility men, Andrew Romine and Hernan Perez.


 

JV MIGHT MISS FIRST START

Some not so delightful news on Justin Verlander. It appears that the cramp in his right triceps is more serious than he thought. JV left his last start feeling cramped up in his throwing arm, and he later indicated that it was from possible dehydration.

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The word out of camp today is when he was doing some throwing exercises, he started feeling more pain again.

Starting pitcher David Price is scheduled to start on Opening Day, then Verlander would be after him on that Wednesday in the second game of the season. If he can’t go, then Anibal Sanchez would take his spot.

If Verlander has to go on the disabled list, look for one of the Tigers starters down in Triple-A Toledo to make an appearance.


 

JOE NATHAN GOING PUBLIC AGAIN

Closer Joe Nathan has been at fits with the Tigers faithful since he came here. This spring, he already has been booed off the field in a couple outings. That did not sit well with Nathan, which in turn did not sit well with the fans.

On Tuesday, Nathan went on national radio and went at some reporters about the comments he made about them and the Tigers fans this spring.

Nathan has already had plenty of kind words to say about the fans of the Motor City.

“It doesn’t bother me,” Nathan said. “It’s not a part of my life. They’re not a part of my life. Period.”

If Joe Nathan keeps up all this chatter and does not perform well when he pitches during the regular season, look for Tigers management and coaching to make a real quick decision and demote him, or possibly show him the door. Detroit also has Joakim Soria to fill in if Nathan does not get the job done.

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