#46 Jose Valverde Arrives to Camp

This morning new closer Jose Valverde arrived to camp and threw his first bullpen session as a Tiger. Magglio Ordonez also arrived to camp today and went straight to the cages. He looks so much stronger. Just look at his arms.

Tigers pitchers and catchers work out, Day 2

We now know what numbers the new arrivals will wear.

Jose Valverde is number 46. Max Scherzer is number 37. Austin Jackson is number 14. Scott Sizemore is number 20. Phil Coke is number 40. Dan Schlareth is number 55.

 Tigers pitchers and catchers work out, Day 2

BK-

 

Tigers sign F.A LF Johnny Damon to a 1 year/8M contract

As of 7:18 p.m

After a long while, and almost a month in waiting Johnny Damon has finally made up his mind to come to Detroit. The Tigers now have there everyday LF and leadoff spot in place. Damon hit .282 with 24 homers and 36 doubles for the World Championship Yankees last year. Damon will bring a winning mentality and a great hitter to fill the hole of Curtis Granderson’s leadoff spot. Either Ryan Raburn or Carlos Guillen will most likely lose their job with the Tigers.  

BK-

Key to the Tigers success in 2010: Magglio Ordonez

Jim Leyland still remembers how upbeat and happy Magglio Ordonez was last month during the Tigers’ caravan. Leyland thinks Magglio will have a bounce back season and so do I.

Jim Leyland said “I thought Magglio was in the best spirits I’ve ever seen him since I’ve been here,”  “I thought he looked great. His demeanor was tremendous.”

“He has a young-kid look with that short haircut. He looked younger to me. He looked fresher to me. You can tell he’s been working. He looked strong.”

Magglio is the key to success for this offense. Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore are not going to step in and turn into Curtis Granderson and Placido Polanco. Miguel Cabrera is going to hit his 30 homers, drive at least 100 RBIs and hit .330.

I could really care less about his home run total last year. It’s the RBI’s I care about. Last year Magglio was .260 before the All-Star break. His post All-Star performance was great batting .375. Magglio finished 10th in the AL is batting average with a .310. But his 9 HR and 50 RBI were the worst numbers he has had since the 2004 and 2005 season when he only played a total of 134 games in 2 years. Magglio was embarrased of his performance last year and has been working his tail off for the past 5 months and is ready to prove he is still a slugger.

If Magglio hits like the second half of last year he will do fine and hit his 15 homers, drive in 85 runs and bat .330.

BK-

 

2010 Preview: AL East

AL East Summary: The Yankees will battle out with the Red Sox all year. The Rays will be in the hunt but then fall off. I do expect the Orioles to have a better season than last year and to be closer to the 3rd place Rays then most think. The blue Jays will have a rebuilding year and will be one of the bottom 6 teams.  

1. New York Yankees- AL Winner

Notable Offseason departures:

  • DH Hideki Matsui
  • LF Johnny Damon
  • LF Melky Cabrera

Notable Offseason arrivals:

  • CF Curtis Granderson
  • SP Javier Vazquez
  • 1B Nick Johnson
  • RF Randy Winn

Starting Lineup

1. SS Derek Jeter

2. DH Nick Johnson

3. 1B Mark Teixeira

4. 3B Alex Rodriguez

5. 2B Robinson Cano

6. CF Curtis Granderson

7. C Jorge Posada

8. RF Nick Swisher

9. LF Brett Gardner

 

Starting Rotation:

1. CC Sabathia

2. AJ Burnett

3, Javier Vazquez

4. Andy Pettitte

5. Joba Chamberlain/ Phil Hughes

Bullpen:

  • CL Mariano Rivera
  • RP Phil Hughes
  • RP David Robertson
  •  

 Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees connects for his 1,270th hit at Yankee Stadium in the first inning against the Chicago White Sox on September 16, 2008 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Jeter moved ahead of Lou Gehrig for most hits all time at the Stadium.

Analysis: With a great offseason and picking up some great players like Curtis Granderson, Javier Vazquez and Nick Johnson this team is stronger than ever and even better than the 2009 Championship team. Along with the Phillies the Yanks have the best infield in baseball, with All-Stars at 1st, 2nd, 3rd and shortstop and the best lineup, top to bottom. When you have a lineup consisting of Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez it is going to be hard to focus. And when you think the inning has gotten easier, players like Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson step in the batters box to take there swings. High pitch counts against the Yankees will force starters to get knocked out before the 7th, and will hit a lot against the bullpens. Javier Vazquez makes this rotation one of the strongest in the bigs. Winning a series against the Bombers is going to be a VERY tough task. Look for another amazing year from the Yankees and I think they will put on an even bigger show than last year.    

 

2. Boston Red Sox- AL Wild Card

Notable Offseason departures:

  • LF Jason Bay
  • 1B Casey Kotchman

Notable Offseason arrivals: 

  • SP John Lackey
  • 3B Adrian Beltre
  • CF Mike Cameron
  • SS Marco Scutaro  
  • RF Jeremy Hermida

Starting Lineup:

1. LF Jacoby Ellsbury

2. 2B Dustin Pedroia

3. C Victor Martinez

4. 1B Kevin Youkilis

5. DH David Ortiz

6. RF JD Drew

7. 3B Adrian Beltre

8. CF Mike Cameron

9. SS Marco Scutaro

 

Starting Rotation:

1. Jon Lester

2. Josh Beckett

3. John Lackey

4. Daisuke Matsuzaka

5. Clay Buchholz

Bullpen:

  • CL Jonathan Papelbon
  • RP Daniel Bard
  • RP Ramon Ramirez  

 Analysis: With the best offseason of any team in the bigs, picking up John Lackey, Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro this team doesn’t have any holes anymore. The Red Sox have one of the stronger rotations with a great 1-2 punch of Jon Lester and Josh  Beckett. Victor Martinez and Kevin Youkillis will have big RBI seasons with the departure of Jason Bay. The Red Sox will be close to catching the Yanks all season and will win the Wild Card going to the playoffs again.   

 

3. Tampa Bay Rays

Notable Offseason departures:

  • 2B Akinori Iwamura
  • RF Gabe Gross
  • RP Russ Springer
  • RP Troy Percival

Notable Offseason arrivals:

  • RP Rafael Soriano
  • C Kelly Shoppach 

Starting Lineup: 

1. SS Jason Bartlett

2. LF Carl Crawford

3. 3B Evan Longoria

4. 1B Carlos Pena

5. 2B Ben Zobrist

6. CF BJ Upton

7. DH Pat Burrell

8. RF Matt Joyce

9. C Dioner Navarro

 

Starting Rotation:

1. James Shields

2. Matt Garza

3. Jeff Niemann

4. David Price

5. Wade Davis

Bullpen:

  • CL Rafael Soriano
  • RP JP Howell 
  • RP Grant Balfour 

Analysis: The Rays have some great hitters 1 through 5. A young and talented rotation and a improved bullpen with Rafael Soriano closing will give the Rays a chance. Tampa Bay will battle with Boston for the Wild Card spot all season but finish just short. I expect a season very similar to there season last year.

     4. Baltimore Orioles

    Notable Offseason departures:

    • 3B Melvin Mora

    Notable Offseason arrivals: 

    • SS Miguel Tejada
    • 3B Garrett Atkins
    • SP Kevin Millwood
    • RP Mike Gonzalez

    Starting Lineup:

    1. 2B Brian Roberts

    2. SS Miguel Tejada

    3. CF Adam Jones

    4. RF Nick Markakis

    5. DH Luke Scott

    6. LF Nolan Reimold

    7. C Matt Wieters

    8. 3B Garrett Atkins

    9. 1B Ty Wigginton

     

    Starting Rotation:

    1. Jeremy Guthrie

    2. Kevin Millwood

    3. Chris Tillman

    4. Brad Bergesen

    5. David Hernandez

    Bullpen:

    • CL Mike Gonzalez  
    • RP Jim Johnson
    • RP Koji Uehara

    Analysis: The Orioles have some great talent in Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. A young and rising rotation will be one of the better ones around in the next couple of years. A very good offseason picking up veterans like Miguel Tejada, Garrett Atkins, Kevin Millwood and closer Mike Gonzalez. These pickups will have major roles and are major upgrades for Baltimore. I really like this teams talent and really think this team will be in contention within a couple of years. But sorry Orioles fans, when arguably the 3 best teams in the American League are in the same division, there is’nt really much of a chance. I really do see the B’s making some noise in the East and coming within a couple of games with the Rays.  

     

    5. Toronto Blue Jays

    Notable offseason departures: 

    • SP Roy Halladay
    • SS Marco Scutaro

    Notable offseason arrivals:  

    • C Joe Buck
    • SS Alex Gonzalez  
    • SP Brandon Marrow

    Starting Lineup:

    1. LF Jose Bautista

    2. 2B Aaron Hill

    3. CF Vernon Wells

    4. DH Adam Lind

    5. RF Travis Snider

    6. 1B Lyle Overbay

    7. 3B Edwin Encarnacion

    8. C Joe Buck

    9. SS Alex Gonzalez

     

    Staring Rotation:

    1. Ricky Romero

    2. Dustin McGowan

    3. Shaun Marcum

    4. Brandon Marrow

    5. Scott Richmond

    Bullpen: 

    • CL Jason Frasor
    • RP Scott Downs 

     Analysis: The Blue Jays will finish at the bottom of the league with a rebuilding year. The lineup is better than I though it was and the Jays still have players like Aaron Hill and Adam Lind. The pitching is going to be the problem this year as toronto does not have a “real” #1 starter. Look for a struggling year at the mound.

    BK-

    Tigers Spring Training Matchups

    With Spring Training finally here and position players heading to Lakeland within the next couple days, there will be some battles for who will start.

    Who will start in LF?

    In LF there are 2 candidates. Ryan Raburn and Carlos Guillen. Right now I would have to say Raburn is the favorite to start in left and Guillen would DH. If the Tigers sign Johnny Damon, either Burn or Guillen will lose there job for the Tigers and will get traded for some prospects.  

    Who will be the 5th starter?

    Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer and Jeremy Bonderman will rondout the rotation one through four, but who will finish it out. There are many candidates. Armando Galarraga is the favorite for the job, but Phil Coke, Zach Miner, Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis will compete.

    Opening Day vs. the Brewers is 40 days away. And stay tuned because on Saturday I will post the 2010 Preview: AL East.

    BK-

     

    Jim Leyland: “We won’t be donkeys”

    This quote is from Jim Leyland this morning when he arrived to Lakeland, Florida for the start of the 2010 Spring Training. “We won’t be donkeys””We have pretty good talent” he said. Leyland is really banking on good years from Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen along with a high powered, deep pitching staff that will keep them in the hunt. “Its time to go to work”. And the start to hopefully a great year of Tigers baseball.

    BK-

    Power Rankings… MLBlogs style

    These are where I rank teams based on what I think there performance will be like in 2010.

    Powerhouses:

    • New York Yankees
    • Philadelphia Phillies
    • Boston Red Sox
    • Seattle Mariners
    • St. Louis Cardinals
    • San Francisco Giants
    • Minnesota Twins
    • Tampa Bay Rays
    • Los Angeles Angels
    • Los Angeles Dodgers

    In the hunt:

    • Colorado Rockies
    • Texas Rangers
    • Chicago White Sox
    • Milwaukee Brewers
    • Florida Marlins 
    • Detroit Tigers
    • Atlanta Braves
    • New York Mets
    • Cincinnati Reds
    • Chicago Cubs
    • Houston Astros

    Rising, but not this year:  

    • Baltimore Orioles
    • Kansas City Royals
    • Oakland A’s
    • Arizona DiamondBacks

    Sorry:

    • Toronto Blue Jays
    • Washington Nationals
    • Cleveland Indians
    • San Diego Padres
    • Pittsburgh Pirates

    BK-

     

    : Season Predictions 2 of 3

    My 2nd of 3 predictions.

    AL_

    East-

    1 Yankees

    2 Red Sox

    3 Rays

    4 Orioles

    5 Blue Jays

     

    Central-

    1 Twins

    2 White Sox

    3 Tigers

    4 Royals

    5 Indians

     

    West-

    1 Mariners 

    2 Angels

    3 Rangers

    4 A’s

     

     

    NL_

    East-

    1 Phillies

    2 Braves

    3 Marlins

    4 Mets

    5 Nationals

     

    Central-

    1 Cardinals

    2 Brewers

    3 Reds

    4 Cubs

    5 Astros

    6 Pirates

     

    West-

    1 Rockies

    2 Giants

    3 Dodgers

    4 D’Backs

    5 Padres

    WS:

    Phillies vs. Yankees

    Yankees WIN

     

    Many teams have made new additions and this is my new predictions for the 2010 season. Stay posted because sometime in late Febuary or early March I will make a post about each division and the teams in it. It’s going to take me a while.

    Each team with have…

    • Notable offseason arrivals and departures
    • A grade of the teams offseason
    • Projected lineup, starting rotation grades
    • 3 bullpen players  
    • An analysis of the team
    • Picture of the teams top player

    BK-

       

    Breaking News: Tigers offer Damon a 2 year/ 14M contract

    As of 4:30, Tigers owner Mike Ilitch has approved on offering Damon a 2 year 14 million dollar contract. The Tigers had earlier reported a 1 year 7 million dollar contract, but Damon wanted 2 years. This is the contract Johnny Damon was looking for and most likely will sign with in a week or so with the Tigers or even the Braves, Rays or White Sox depending on where he goes. If Damon comes to Detroit, he will hit leadoff and start in LF, answering two of my questions from yesterday.

    BK-

    Who will make the cut?

    With spring training close and catchers and pitchers heading to camp in a week, there are some keys matchups (battles) that will take place to make the 25 man roster.

    There will be battles for LF, and some for where they bat in the batting order, and a couple bullpen roles.

    As of right now, assuming the Tigers won’t make any more moves, this is who I think will be brought north for Opening Day.

    C- (2) Gerald Laird, Alex Avila

    1B- Miguel Cabrera

    2B- (2) Scott Sizemore, Ramon Santiago

    3B- Brandon Inge

    SS- Adam Everett

    LF- Ryan Raburn

    CF- Austin Jackson

    RF- (2) Magglio Ordonez, Clete Thomas  

    DH- Carlos Guillen  

    and Don Kelly could possibly make it as the 13th man since he can play 5 positions.

    SP- Justin Verlander

    SP- Rick Porcello

    SP- Max Scherzer

    SP- Jeremy Bonderman

    SP- Armando Galarraga

    RP- Fu Te-Ni

    RP- Zach Miner

    RP- Phil Coke

    RP- Ryan Perry

    RP- Bobby Seay

    RP- Joel Zumaya

    CL- Jose Valverde

    Valverde will make this bullpen an above average one, one of the Tigers strengths.

    BK-

     

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.