Tigers won't rush Jimenez to Majors

Prospect has crisp fastball, but other pitches need honing

Tigers won't rush Jimenez to Majors

TAMPA, Fla. -- Joe Jimenez showed his capability of shutting down a rally Monday, striking out three consecutive batters after the Braves put three runners on against him to begin the ninth inning. It was a glimpse of what Tigers fans hope to see soon at the back end of Detroit's bullpen.

It could happen sooner rather than later. For Jimenez, it remains unlikely to happen on Opening Day.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Norris knows he needs to fine-tune delivery

Lefty needs 40 pitches to throw 1 2/3 scoreless frames

Norris knows he needs to fine-tune delivery

TAMPA, Fla. -- Daniel Norris might always be best known in these parts for the Spring Training he lived in his van. He wants to be known in Detroit as a key cog in the Tigers' rotation, a role he took on down the stretch last year.

Norris left the van at home back in Tennessee this spring because it needed some mechanical work. His pitching doesn't need nearly the same work, but it was the equivalent of loose steering in the Tigers' 9-5 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moya will continue to be aggressive in OF

Moya will continue to be aggressive in OF

TAMPA, Fla. -- Steven Moya is never going to be a graceful defender in the outfield. His 6-foot-7, 260-pound frame isn't going to allow him to make some highlight plays. The Tigers don't want that to stop him from trying.

The Yankees put up four fifth-inning runs in Detroit's 9-5 loss on Tuesday, three on base hits to right field where Moya tried to make plays. Starlin Castro had an RBI single on a sinking liner that bounced off Moya's glove on the hop, and Clint Frazier doubled in two runs with a slicing blooper that eluded Moya's sliding attempt in short right and bounced past him.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kinsler notches hit; Ficociello goes deep

Kinsler notches hit; Ficociello goes deep

TAMPA, Fla. -- Gary Sanchez and Chris Carter hit their first homers of the year while Masahiro Tanaka worked two scoreless innings in his spring debut, helping the Yankees beat the Tigers, 9-5, on Tuesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Left-hander Daniel Norris started for Detroit and permitted a hit and a walk over 1 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out one. Dominic Ficociello hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning off the Yanks' Jonathan Holder. Ian Kinsler went 1-for-3.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zimmermann encouraged after first outing

Right-hander surrenders just one run over two innings

Zimmermann encouraged after first outing

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Jordan Zimmermann had been waiting for this since last October. As good as his balky neck felt all offseason after an adjustment, as good as he felt while he was throwing in his side sessions, the right-hander knew his first big test wouldn't happen until he could face a hitter wearing a different uniform, the adrenaline of a game pumping through him.

As he worked his way through the Braves' order, retiring his final four batters following Adonis Garcia's softly hit RBI double over third base, Zimmermann had his feedback in Detroit's 10-7 victory.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miggy gets 2 hits, doubles in run vs. Braves

Tigers' offense springs to life with eight-run eighth inning

Miggy gets 2 hits, doubles in run vs. Braves

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann took a step toward putting an injury-plagued 2016 season behind him with two solid innings in his first Grapefruit League start this spring before an eight-run eighth inning sent the Tigers to a 10-7 win over the Braves on Monday at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Freddie Freeman went 2-for-3 with three RBIs while Adonis Garcia had three hits and two RBIs as the Braves built a 6-2 lead, but Andrew Romine's two-run double -- a fly ball that Micah Johnson lost in the sun -- and Miguel Gonzalez's two-run single put the Tigers ahead for good.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sanchez struggles in first appearance

Sanchez struggles in first appearance

LAKELAND, Fla. -- While Jordan Zimmermann took a big step toward putting last season's struggles behind him with his outing in the Tigers' 10-7 win over the Braves on Monday afternoon, Anibal Sanchez has more work to do.

The good news for Sanchez after his three-run inning was that he said he felt healthy, a key for him after dealing with rotator cuff issues in the past. The bad news was the results of what he threw.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Clark impressed with Tigers' spring complex

MLBPA executive director fondly recalls Ilitch

Clark impressed with Tigers' spring complex

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Ever since he was the Tigers' top prospect, Tony Clark has been coming to the club's Spring Training complex for most of the last quarter-century. Monday was the first time he got lost.

That's how big of a difference the renovation of Tigertown and Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium made. Clark, the former slugging first baseman who is now the director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, made his annual visit with Tigers players as part of his Spring Training tour, but he had to figure out where the clubhouse was first.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Butterflies, buddy don't bother Boyd

Southpaw fans former college roommate Conforto over 2 scoreless in spring debut

Butterflies, buddy don't bother Boyd

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Matt Boyd fought off butterflies and his high school friend and former college roommate in a two-inning stint during the Tigers' 5-2 loss to the Mets on Sunday at First Data Field.

Boyd struck out two in his initial outing of the Grapefruit League, including a whiff of Michael Conforto to end the first inning. The two grew up in Washington and were roommates at Oregon State.

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ausmus: Machado, Bell among positives

Third baseman's slick plays, reliever's tidy inning are upsides for Tigers

Ausmus: Machado, Bell among positives

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Few regulars made the two-and-a-half-hour bus ride on Sunday to the east coast of Florida, where the Tigers took on the Mets at First Data Field. And despite a 5-2 loss, manager Brad Ausmus took away some positives from the game.

"We didn't score many runs, we had some guys hit the ball well," Ausmus said. "Austin Green hit the ball well twice. Couple other guys hit the ball right at people."

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers' bats quiet until final innings vs. Mets

Tigers' bats quiet until final innings vs. Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Michael Conforto's white-hot start to spring continued with another home run on Sunday, part of a two-hit effort in the Mets' 5-2 win over the Tigers at First Data Field.

Conforto's second homer in three games came off Tigers left-hander Daniel Stumpf, extending the Mets' lead to 3-0 in the sixth. He also singled and scored the Mets' first run on Travis d'Arnaud's single in the fourth inning, giving him five hits -- two of them off lefties -- in seven spring at-bats. This is a critical spring for Conforto, who is attempting to make the team as a backup outfielder.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Tigers on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verlander wastes no time getting into form

Right-hander mixes pitches, throws slider in spring debut

Verlander wastes no time getting into form

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Justin Verlander began his 12th Major League season trying to figure out when he was supposed to hit the field.

His first Spring Training outing of the year Saturday against the Astros was a 1:05 p.m. ET start, same as nearly all the other starts he has made at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium over the years. He's one of the most routine-oriented players in baseball, to the point where even a couple minutes' delay can throw him off his habits.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers hit 3 HRs in a row; Miggy plunked

Cabrera OK after getting hit on the arm in a homer-filled 3rd inning

Tigers hit 3 HRs in a row; Miggy plunked

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers needed 11 innings to put up their first run of Grapefruit League play at remodeled Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Once they finally crossed the plate they kept swinging for the fences, hitting three consecutive home runs off Astros reliever Edison Frias in the third inning Saturday during Detroit's 11-4 win.

None of those home runs came from Miguel Cabrera, who was hit by Frias' next pitch after the three home runs. Cabrera was unharmed, but Frias was ejected by home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers pay tribute to Ilitch before spring game

Tigers pay tribute to Ilitch before spring game

LAKELAND, Fla. -- On the day the Tigers officially opened their new-look Spring Training ballpark, they bid farewell to the beacon who guided the franchise to such lofty heights.

After ceremonies honoring Mike Ilitch in Detroit, Friday was the Tigers' turn to pay tribute to their longtime owner, who passed away two weeks ago at age 87. Virtually everyone on the team Ilitch brought together helped play a part in a touching ceremony prior to the 2-0 loss to the Orioles at renovated Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verlander strong, Tigers flex muscles in win

Verlander strong, Tigers flex muscles in win

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Andrew Romine, Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez powered the Tigers' offense out of an early slump with back-to-back-to-back home runs in a four-run third inning, sending Detroit to an 11-4 win over the Astros on Saturday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium.

Justin Verlander tossed two scoreless innings in his first outing of the spring, but left a scoreless game thanks to two similarly pitched innings from Houston starter Brad Peacock in the Astros' Grapefruit League opener.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Anibal becomes American citizen

Right-hander took oath of allegiance on Friday in Miami

Anibal becomes American citizen

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Amidst the procession of players remembering late Tigers owner Mike Ilitch on Friday, one prominent Tiger was missing. Anibal Sanchez had a good reason, though: He was becoming an American citizen.

While the Tigers opened Grapefruit League play on Friday at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Sanchez was beginning a new chapter of his life in Miami, where he took part in a naturalization ceremony and took the oath of allegiance. For the native Venezuelan and longtime South Florida resident it was the culmination of a lot of work, and the accomplishment of a longtime goal.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pitching impresses for Tigers in loss to O's

Pitching impresses for Tigers in loss to O's

LAKELAND, Fla. -- American League Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer opened his 2017 with a scoreless inning, but the Orioles squeaked out a pitching duel in both teams' Grapefruit League opener. Ryan Flaherty's second-inning sacrifice fly put Baltimore on top for good as Tyler Wilson and a slew of relievers shut down Detroit for a 2-0 O's win Friday afternoon.

The duel opened up the Tigers' new-look facility, now known as Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium following a $48 million renovation project. With the wind blowing in for much of the afternoon, and hitters still getting their timing early in camp, there wasn't much offense to be found.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Christopher Ilitch: Tigers 'on the right track'

Son of late owner Mike shares his father's love of franchise, confidence in GM Avila

Christopher Ilitch: Tigers 'on the right track'

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Christopher Ilitch grew up watching his father become one of the most competitive owners in professional sports. He also grew up around baseball at all levels, coaching his children's teams. On the day Tigers players paid their last respects to late owner Mike Ilitch, Christopher let them know he feels the same way about the club as his father did.

"I told the players this morning: They're going to find the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," said Christopher Ilitch, who takes over ownership operations for the family.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fulmer 'rusty' in spring debut, but feels good

Reigning AL Rookie of the Year fires one scoreless inning vs. Orioles

Fulmer 'rusty' in spring debut, but feels good

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Michael Fulmer came to Spring Training last year looking for a spot on the Tigers' pitching staff. This year, the reigning American League Rookie of the Year took the mound in the Tigers' Grapefruit League opener looking for the outside corner with his fastball. He didn't quite command it in his 2017 debut Friday, but with a scoreless inning against the Orioles during the Tigers' 2-0 loss at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, he began his sophomore season smoothly.

Fulmer fell behind on three-ball counts to two of Baltimore's first three hitters as he tried to hit the corner of home-plate umpire Joe West's zone. He recovered to retire both Chris Dickerson and Hyun Soo Kim, but needed a groundout from cleanup hitter Trey Mancini to strand Johnny Giavotella in scoring position following his one-out single.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Collins' lat injury puts minor wrench in plans

Tigers' center-field candidate unable to throw for 10-14 days

Collins' lat injury puts minor wrench in plans

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers' first injury in camp has taken Tyler Collins out of the center-field race for the early part of the Spring Training schedule. But neither Collins nor manager Brad Ausmus expects a lengthy absence.

Collins suffered a strained lat while throwing during outfield drills earlier this week. He can still hit, run and field, but he won't be able to throw for 10-14 days.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tigers get glimpse of prospect Jaye's potential in exhibition

Club could face tough decisions with Machado, Moya

Tigers get glimpse of prospect Jaye's potential in exhibition

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Myles Jaye wasn't at Spring Training with the Tigers last year. Detroit couldn't keep catcher Bryan Holaday, who was out of Minor League options, so it traded him to the Rangers and picked up Jaye in return.

Perhaps it was fitting, then, that Jaye started the Tigers' Spring Training schedule this year. With two frames in Thursday's 8-0 exhibition win over Florida Southern College, Jaye opened a spring slate that could end with the Tigers facing two more decisions like they had with Holaday.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ilitch's legacy celebrated at Detroit ceremony

Late Tigers owner revered for generosity, heralded as 'tireless worker'

Ilitch's legacy celebrated at Detroit ceremony

Detroit celebrated the life of Mike Ilitch on Wednesday by bringing together a congregation of the town's most respected sports figures at the historic Fox Theatre, an apt venue given the late Tigers and Red Wings owner's impact on the city and its restoration efforts.

Ilitch bought and renovated the Fox in 1987 -- five years before he purchased the Tigers -- and then moved his suburban Little Caesars Pizza corporate headquarters into the building as one of many investments to revitalize downtown Detroit. It was a fitting platform for the entrepreneur's memorial, which drew some of the city's most prominent figures and former President George W. Bush.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castellanos a top candidate to bat second

Castellanos a top candidate to bat second

LAKELAND, Fla. -- While the Tigers try to fill the void in center field created by Cameron Maybin's trade to the Angels, there's another opening Maybin left. Somebody has to hit second between leadoff man Ian Kinsler and All-Star slugger Miguel Cabrera.

That contest might be more wide open than the one in center.

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Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ausmus remembers retiring umpires

Manager had history with some who have recently called it a career

Ausmus remembers retiring umpires

LAKELAND, Fla. -- In the wake of Jim Joyce joining fellow longtime Major League umpires Bob Davidson, John Hirschbeck and Tim Welke in retiring since last season ended, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus reflected on a run-in with Joyce early in his managerial career.

It resulted in one of Ausmus' first ejections as a manager.

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Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Breaking down the Tigers' Top 30 Prospects

Twenty-two names on Detroit's list have ETA of this year or next

Breaking down the Tigers' Top 30 Prospects

After a disappointing 2015 season that saw them fall under .500 for the first time since 2008, the Tigers hit a bit of a reset button. It wasn't a full-on rebuilding process like the Braves or Phillies are in the middle of, but it did shift the focus a bit from buying to selling

David Price and Yoenis Cespedes were dealt at the deadline, bringing in some young talent. The jury is out just how much those players will help, though Michael Fulmer -- coming courtesy of the Cespedes deal with the Mets -- paid immediate dividends by winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ausmus prefers surf to turf

Manager golfed during his playing days, but has since taken up surfing

Ausmus prefers surf to turf

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The rain limiting the Tigers' Spring Training practice Wednesday morning to indoor activities likely meant the same for the 22nd Annual Major League Scramble that afternoon at Grasslands Golf & Country Club in Lakeland.

But a rained out day at the links has not concerned manager Brad Ausmus for years.

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Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.