Rondon's sore shoulder may create open roster spot

Power right-handed reliever questionable to break camp with Tigers

Rondon's sore shoulder may create open roster spot

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The biggest news out of the Tigers' bullpen parade Wednesday took place without a pitch being thrown. Bruce Rondon was supposed to throw, pitching in back-to-back games, until he woke up with a sore right shoulder that didn't go away when he tried to stretch out during pregame warmups at Osceola County Stadium. He ended up back in Lakeland for treatment.

It's different than the elbow issue that cost him last season due to Tommy John surgery, and it's not believed to be related to the sore neck that sidelined him last weekend. It's not even severe enough at this point for team officials to order an exam.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen may be catalyst to take next step in 2015

Veteran relievers struggled last season, with 1.9 WAR leading crew

Bullpen may be catalyst to take next step in 2015

In the days leading up to Opening Day, MLB.com is examining various aspects of each team's roster. Today, the time has come to focus on a key number for the upcoming season. For the Tigers, it's 1.9: the highest Wins Above Replacement total for a member of the Tigers' bullpen in 2014.

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers do not tend to be keen on Wins Above Replacement, the metric many cited in the case against Miguel Cabrera's Most Valuable Player Awards. In terms of the Tigers' bullpen, however, it might well sum up the value quite nicely.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers' relievers look sharp in bullpen game

Ryan allows three runs (two earned) in first; 'pen shuts down Astros

Tigers' relievers look sharp in bullpen game

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Left-hander Dallas Keuchel's final spring outing before taking the ball next week on Opening Day for the Astros was a good one, holding the Tigers to seven hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings in a 3-2 win Wednesday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.

In their Grapefruit League finale, the Astros jumped on Tigers starter Kyle Ryan for three runs (two earned) in the first inning, with Evan Gattis delivering an RBI single, Chris Carter adding an RBI groundout and Jake Marisnick crushing an RBI double.

More

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verlander's opening series availability in doubt

Right triceps soreness may lead to first career stint on disabled list

Verlander's opening series availability in doubt

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Justin Verlander resumed throwing on Wednesday at Joker Marchant Stadium, but his scheduled regular-season debut next Wednesday in Detroit is in serious question.

"It's a little bit of a stretch right now," manager Brad Ausmus said of Verlander's chances, "but I wouldn't wave it off."

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price struggles vs. Bucs but feels strong

Ace allows seven runs after three solid innings, but focused on health

Price struggles vs. Bucs but feels strong

LAKELAND, Fla. -- David Price seems to have found a pattern. It's a good one for the first three innings, not so much after that.

Five days after the Tigers' ace retired the first 10 batters and last 10 batters he faced, giving up three runs in a three-batter span in between, he seemed headed down the same path Tuesday. He not only retired the Pirates in order the first time through the lineup, but he also left his outfielders with nothing to do until the ninth batter of the game, Pirates starter Vance Worley.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers counting on effective Verlander

Club hopes righty recovers from triceps tightness, gets back to dominant self

Tigers counting on effective Verlander

In the days leading up to Opening Day, MLB.com is examining various aspects of each team's roster. Today, the time has come to focus on a key player for the upcoming season. For the Tigers, that's right-hander Justin Verlander.

LAKELAND, Fla. -- For a brief moment, Justin Verlander was back.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robbins hits first homer; Price makes final spring start

First baseman launches two-run shot in ninth; lefty struggles vs. Bucs

Robbins hits first homer; Price makes final spring start

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Pirates roughed up David Price in his final Spring Training tuneup before Opening Day, following a four-run fourth inning with a three-run sixth on their way to a 7-3 win over the Tigers on Tuesday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Like his previous start, Price maneuvered through the opposing batting order unscathed his first time, allowing only one ball out of the infield while striking out three. Once Jordy Mercer broke up the perfect outing with a leadoff single to left in the fourth, the Pirates broke out their second trip through the order.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Optimistic Ausmus ready for early-season tests

Tigers manager discusses injury progression, division games and confidence in deep bullpen

Optimistic Ausmus ready for early-season tests

With the Tigers' opening the 2015 regular season next Monday against the Twins at Comerica Park, manager Brad Ausmus sat down with MLB.com to discuss his club's Spring Training and what lies ahead in the new campaign.

MLB.com: You came to camp with a lot of injury questions. How do you feel about those as the season nears?

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cabrera OK after taking tumble at first base

Cabrera OK after taking tumble at first base

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The day Miguel Cabrera returned to first base last week, he put a scare into Tigers fans -- and likely some club officials -- when he made a diving stop on a ground-ball single. His play Monday was a little scarier when he took a tumble over Braves hitter Kelly Johnson trying to make a tag at first base.

Cabrera, who has worked his way back from offseason surgery to remove a bone spur from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture in his right foot, fielded a ground ball from Johnson with a runner on first in the second inning of Monday's 4-2 loss at Joker Marchant Stadium. Cabrera had no chance at the lead runner, so he waited to tag Johnson on his way down the line.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rondon's slider key to earning bullpen spot

Righty uses pitch to strike out side in seventh inning vs. Bucs

Rondon's slider key to earning bullpen spot

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Bruce Rondon returned to game action on Tuesday and promptly registered 100 mph on the mercurial radar gun at Joker Marchant Stadium.

"One time," Rondon said with a smile, having missed the past few days with a crick in his neck.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cespedes homers to back solid outing from Simon

Right-hander allows one run over six-plus innings

Cespedes homers to back solid outing from Simon

LAKELAND, Fla. -- While Alfredo Simon delivered six-plus innings of one-run ball for his best outing this spring, the Braves rallied off Detroit's bullpen, including a Christian Bethancourt game-tying home run and a pair of runs off Joba Chamberlain in the eighth, for a 4-2 Atlanta win Monday at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Yoenis Cespedes' fifth home run of the spring extended Detroit's lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning while Simon was cruising.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nathan shows no ill effects from hangnail

Right-hander notches eighth scoreless appearance out of 11 spring outings

Nathan shows no ill effects from hangnail

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Joe Nathan left no drama hanging from his thumbnail issue of a few days ago, delivering a scoreless ninth Monday against the Braves.

Nathan, who struggled with command and gave up a game-tying home run to Jayson Nix last Thursday when a hangnail cut into his thumb, had no apparent issues Monday. He retired three of four batters, the lone exception being an infield single on a slow roller from Todd Cunningham.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Joba not bothered by rough Spring Training

Right-hander has allowed seven runs on 15 hits over 7 2/3 spring innings

Joba not bothered by rough Spring Training

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The first thing Joba Chamberlain answered when asked a question about his Spring Training numbers was another question.

"Do these games count?" he asked.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers nearing completion of big league roster

Catcher Holaday, outfielder Collins among players optioned; Ausmus turning attention to bullpen

Tigers nearing completion of big league roster

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers' positional roster is now all but set, including catcher James McCann and utility guys Andrew Romine and Hernan Perez.

The team made most of its final decisions on Monday, optioning catcher Bryan Holaday and outfielder Tyler Collins to Triple-A Toledo. Both made last season's Opening Day roster, and both were in competition to do the same this year.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez gets strikeout pitch working in latest spring tuneup

Right-hander fans 10 over 6 1/3 innings vs. Phillies

Sanchez gets strikeout pitch working in latest spring tuneup

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- There's been a lot of talk this spring about what a bounce-back year from Justin Verlander can do for the Tigers. There's been plenty of consideration given to the impact of a full year of David Price, and to a year without Max Scherzer.

But ultimately, Anibal Sanchez might be the key to the Tigers' rotation this season.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez fans 10 as Cespedes, Collins go deep in tie

Right-hander touched up for three home runs over 6 1/3 innings vs. Phillies

Sanchez fans 10 as Cespedes, Collins go deep in tie

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Tigers finally jumped on Phillies right-hander Aaron Harang on Sunday at Bright House.

Harang threw three hitless innings before Tigers right fielder Tyler Collins hit a solo home run and Tigers left fielder Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run home run in a 4-4 tie with the Phillies.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Tigers' youth may be key to AL Central title run

Castellanos, Iglesias, McCann looking to take next step in development

Tigers' youth may be key to AL Central title run

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The danger with star-laden teams is that they'll get too old all at once, becoming a big-budget, low-win-percentage mess of unmet expectations.

Are the Detroit Tigers headed in that direction? Or is the baseball world not giving enough collective credit to the youthful cast supporting this club's signature stars?

More

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers' Double-A affiliate finds buyer

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The future of the Tigers' Double-A affiliate in Erie, Pa. gained some certainty on Friday, when an agreement was announced for Reds minority owner Fernando Aguirre to purchase the team.

The SeaWolves, a part of the Tigers' farm system since 2001, had been for sale for some time. Mandalay Baseball Properties has owned the team since 2003, along with several other Minor League franchises.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verlander resumes throwing, status uncertain

Right-hander scheduled to make final spring start Thursday vs. Yankees

Verlander resumes throwing, status uncertain

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Justin Verlander resumed throwing Sunday morning, but the Tigers still aren't sure if he'll make his scheduled start Thursday.

Verlander did some "light tossing" at Joker Marchant Stadium, manager Brad Ausmus said. The right-hander still felt some tightness in his arm, but he came through the throwing session feeling OK.

More

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phanatic got Miggy in trouble for stealing ATV keys

|
Phanatic got Miggy in trouble for stealing ATV keys

Losing your keys might be one of the most frustrating experiences in the world, which might be what two-time AL MVP Miguel Cabrera had in mind when he decided to troll the Phanatic down at Spring Training on Sunday.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Miggy launches second spring homer to fuel Tigers

First baseman hits two-run shot in first at-bat vs. Cardinals

Miggy launches second spring homer to fuel Tigers

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera hit his second home run in as many games before Alex Avila's game-tying solo homer and Jordan Lennerton's go-ahead double led the Tigers to a 4-3 win over the Cardinals Saturday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Cabrera continues to swing with little if any rust from an offseason of rehab from foot surgery. After hitting a line-drive home run two days earlier and taking Friday off, Cabrera came back Saturday and lofted an opposite-field shot that the wind carried to the batting cage building beyond right field.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iglesias hitting better than the numbers

Shortstop looks to have quality at-bats after missing last season to injury

Iglesias hitting better than the numbers

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Jose Iglesias made the play on the first groundout of the game Saturday. He also made the play on the last out of the game. From a health standpoint, the fact that he played all nine innings indicates he's ready for Opening Day after missing last season with stress fractures in both shins.

His hitting, on the other hand, might be a little bit behind. He knows this. But he also doesn't think he's far off.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers' lefty relief race could go to end

Ryan, Krol both candidates for Opening Day bullpen

Tigers' lefty relief race could go to end

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The numbers were sitting on manager Brad Ausmus' desk the other day.

"I already looked at it," he said. "I looked at it, and I put it away."

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rondon's roster spot not automatic

Righty missed last season to Tommy John; Tigers most concerned with his health

Rondon's roster spot not automatic

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Bruce Rondon has given every reason to believe he'll be healthy to begin the season after spending last year recovering from Tommy John surgery. He has not necessarily cinched his spot as a Tiger.

It's not something Tigers manager Brad Ausmus wants to discuss much as decisions loom over the final spots in the bullpen. They're pushing him to try to win a job, not trying to give him an excuse not to. They're looking at the moments he has taken over a game but lacking the full season to go with it.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verlander feels triceps tightness, concern level low

Verlander feels triceps tightness, concern level low

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Justin Verlander said Saturday morning he feels similar tightness in his right triceps to what forced him out of his Grapefruit League start Friday, though he said his level of concern remains low.

"Pretty low," Verlander said, "especially with the time we have [before next start], extra day and can even manipulate things forward if need be."

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Avila handles rare start at first base just fine

Catcher plays five innings at position during rain-shortened loss

Avila handles rare start at first base just fine

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Alex Avila didn't want to make a big deal about it. It was one game at first base, a half-game really, and nothing more.

"I really don't want to make a habit of playing there," he said, "but I will if I have to."

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Tigers crossing fingers on Verlander

Triceps cramp puts damper on day right-hander showed Cy Young form

Tigers crossing fingers on Verlander

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- What a strange, confusing, scary day for the Detroit Tigers. One moment, there was Justin Verlander at his dominant best.

"That's about as well as I've seen him throw in Spring Training in years," Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said.

More

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nathan counting on Opening Day boost

Veteran reliever has three outings left in Spring Training

Nathan counting on Opening Day boost

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Joe Nathan is counting on Opening Day. That has nothing to do with the Tigers' roster situation.

He's counting on the adrenaline rush of Opening Day to give him a boost -- in velocity, in concentration, in command. He's counting on something extra when the bell rings, so to speak, that he doesn't get in Spring Training.

More

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.