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.

Fulmer to open Grapefruit slate Friday at renovated park

Fulmer to open Grapefruit slate Friday at renovated park

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers held a dress rehearsal for Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on Thursday with their annual exhibition against their neighbors from Florida Southern College. Come Friday, the renovated complex makes its official debut with the Tigers' Grapefruit League opener at 1:05 p.m. ET (live on Gameday Audio) against the Orioles.

It'll be more of a full house for a stadium that underwent a massive update, part of a $48 million project to the facility that ensured a 20-year lease for the Tigers to remain in Lakeland. It'll also be the first tuneup for Michael Fulmer as he begins his sophomore season coming off his American League Rookie of the Year Award campaign.

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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.

4 will duke it out in Tigers' center-field shuffle

4 will duke it out in Tigers' center-field shuffle

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers will spend Spring Training trying to figure out their center-field void with the young outfielders they have in camp. If it wasn't clear before camp started, it's clear now that the market has cleared.

When Michael Bourn agreed to a Minor League deal with the Orioles, the last of the veteran free-agent center fielders left the market. The Tigers never showed serious interest, and couldn't match the $2 million Bourn will reportedly earn if he makes the O's roster. It was the same story with other free agents this winter, from Austin Jackson to Peter Bourjos to Desmond Jennings.

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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.

Achter seeks breakthrough with hometown team

Achter seeks breakthrough with hometown team

LAKELAND, Fla. -- A.J. Achter grew up a Tigers fan down the road in Toledo, Ohio. His family had season tickets to the Triple-A Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field when Craig Monroe roamed the outfield. He played in the same ballpark as a teenager, winning City League titles with Clay High School, before going on to Michigan State University.

When Achter had interest from Detroit in his first chance at free agency, the right-handed reliever jumped at the chance. As he competes for a job this Spring Training, he has the chance to jump-start his career where his roots are planted.

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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 stays motivated, productive as he ages

Kinsler stays motivated, productive as he ages

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Ian Kinsler will never have a video on Twitter performing feats of strength. For one, he's not a big social media fan. For another, he doesn't train that way.

His viral offseason video was his outdoors excursion with teammate Daniel Norris and ex-teammate Bryan Holaday, camping and hunting in Texas with a former Navy SEAL. But when it comes to baseball training, he has realized that extremes mean little for 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.

On and off field, home elusive for Machado

Forced to spend offseason away from Venezuela, prospect enters camp without obvious role

On and off field, home elusive for Machado

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Dixon Machado is restless.

"I'm excited," he said. "I just want to play. I want the games to start already."

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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.

Jimenez's stuff, demeanor impress V-Mart

Righty prospect faces five-time All-Star catcher in live BP session

Jimenez's stuff, demeanor impress V-Mart

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Joe Jimenez has been waiting to face Major League competition since last summer. The Tigers' closer of the future's first look Monday included Victor Martinez, who made his big league debut in 2002 -- when Jimenez was seven years old.

It wasn't a game setting, just pitchers throwing to hitters in Spring Training

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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.

Gates Brown once hit with hot dogs in his shirt

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Gates Brown once hit with hot dogs in his shirt

But baseball has its own amazing history of players eating during games. With all the appetizing aromas from the concourse wafting through the stadium, how can a player say no? 

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Avila: 'Continuity can be a big plus for us'

Tigers GM satisfied with offseason, composition of roster

Avila: 'Continuity can be a big plus for us'

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Putting a twist on the focus of Presidents Day, MLB.com is catching up with club presidents to discuss the start of Spring Training and the dawn of a new season. The Tigers don't have a team president, but Al Avila fills a similar role in his position as executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager.

Avila talked recently as part of Grapefruit League Media Day at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Here are three main messages that came out of his remarks:

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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.

Pelfrey, Sanchez not giving way to youth

Veterans fighting for rotation spots

Pelfrey, Sanchez not giving way to youth

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Mike Pelfrey cut out as much sugar as he could from his diet and lost 25 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame. He hopes to lose at least 5 more by the time Spring Training ends.

"I had like five or six birthdays in the wife's family, so cake was always around," Pelfrey said. "Too many parties."

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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 benefits from showdown with Miggy

Verlander benefits from showdown with Miggy

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera sounded like a heavyweight fighter as he lurked behind the batting cage on one of the back fields at Tigertown on Sunday.

"Get ready, Verlander," he shouted toward the end. "Get ready."

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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.

Healthy V-Mart grinding to make mark

Healthy V-Mart grinding to make mark

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Now that the news is out, Victor Martinez can discuss the hernia injury he played through last year.

It happened around midseason, he said. And it was rough.

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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 motivated to win for Venezuela, Ilitch

Cabrera arrives at Tigers camp with heavy heart

Miggy motivated to win for Venezuela, Ilitch

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Miguel Cabrera added boxing to his training routine this offseason on the advice of Venezuelan boxer Jorge Linares. As Cabrera begins his 10th season with the Tigers, he has two motivations to fight for victories this year.

This spring, he wants to help Venezuela win a World Baseball Classic title for his troubled homeland.

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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.

Leather man: Romine brings 8 gloves to camp

Leather man: Romine brings 8 gloves to camp

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers' new Spring Training clubhouse at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium was designed after consultation with the clubhouse crew on what players typically need. Nobody consulted with Andrew Romine about locker storage.

Most players keep a glove or two on the shelf atop the locker that was designed for it. Romine crammed four into that space, and that's just half the total he brought to camp.

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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.

Kelly rejoins Tigers as instructor, scout

Kelly rejoins Tigers as instructor, scout

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Don Kelly reached folk-hero status in Detroit as a super-utility player, becoming a postseason hero during the Tigers' run of four consecutive division titles. It's only appropriate that his post-playing career would begin in a similar role.

When Kelly trotted onto the back fields at Tigertown in uniform, the 37-year-old sparked speculation that he might make one more try at his old job. However, his playing days are over. Instead, he has joined the Tigers, his original organization, as a pro scout and player development assistant.

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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.

Healthy Mahtook jumping into center-field competition

Healthy Mahtook jumping into center-field competition

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Tigers outfielder Mikie Mahtook hopes an offseason trade provides him with a new opportunity, but he will have to make an impression in the spring to stand out in a crowded outfield.

Mahtook, the 31st overall pick of the 2011 Draft, looked like he would be part of the Rays' outfield after hitting .295 with nine home runs and 19 RBIs in 41 games in 2015.

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

'Explosive' training highlights Fulmer's routine

'Explosive' training highlights Fulmer's routine

LAKELAND, Fla. -- After earning American League Rookie of the Year Award honors in 2016, it's hard to believe that Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer would change much of anything during his offseason. But the 23-year-old right-hander altered some of his training methods in the hopes of adding more strength and explosive movement to his lower body.

Fulmer, who is listed at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, said his trainer wanted him to focus more on posterior chain training that will strengthen his legs, hamstrings, hips, calves, back and other related areas.

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

Martinez hoping to regain Gold Glove form

Martinez hoping to regain Gold Glove form

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez does not want a replay of his defensive struggles from 2016.

Martinez, who was an American League Gold Glove Award finalist in 2015, ranked last among right fielders with a minus-22 rating in defensive runs saved, according to Baseball Reference. He recorded six errors in 118 games last season. His .971 fielding percentage was the lowest of his six-year career.

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

Horton stood for peace in tough times for Detroit

Former Tigers great was proactive when riots broke out in 1967

Horton stood for peace in tough times for Detroit

DETROIT -- Willie Horton has a day in his honor every Oct. 18, his birthday, having been honored by the state of Michigan. For the city of Detroit, however, his more significant day arguably happened 50 years ago this summer, after he left the field at Tiger Stadium.

"Maybe, that was the night I embraced my community for the first time as an adult," Horton said 37 years later in his biography written by Kevin Allen.

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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.

Commissioner: Ilitch was 'best of baseball'

Manfred speaks kindly of late owner, says Tigers are in good hands

Commissioner: Ilitch was 'best of baseball'

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred voiced his excitement about the future of Spring Training baseball in Florida after touring the Tigers' renovated complex at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. He also took a moment to reflect on the late Mike Ilitch, the owner who molded the Tigers into a successful franchise.

"Mr. Ilitch was the best of baseball in the sense that he was a pillar of the community in Detroit," Manfred said Thursday during Grapefruit League Media Day festivities. "He used the club as a centerpiece to redevelop Detroit. He was a true sportsman. Nobody wanted to win more than Mike did, and his death was a real loss for the game."

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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.