Joker Marchant Stadium
I spent part of last week down in Lakeland, Florida watching some Tigers Spring Training games. I was able to attend two games, the first against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, March 8th
and the second against the New York Yankees on Wednesday, March 10th
. Each game sold out Joker Marchant Stadium and Florida came through with exceptional weather for both games. I was able to see many notable appearances / events (at least to me) in just those two games, including:
- First appearance of Curtis Granderson as a NY Yankee against the Detroit Tigers
- First appearance of 2009 1st Round Draft Pick Jacob Turner
- Some solid innings pitched by Dontrelle Willis – Happy to see but I’m still very far from having much trust in him.
- My first glimpse of new 2B Scott Sizemore and CF Austin Jackson – I actually did see Sizemore when he was at the big league camp during 2008 Spring Training, but other than my pictures of that trip I don’t remember much.
- Saw Phil Coke pitch a few innings, he’ll apparently be in the bullpen this year but had some rough outings while I was there.
- Witnessed rough outing by new Tiger Max Scherzer.
- Many Tigers prospects made appearances such as (in no particular order) Casey Crosby, Robbie Weinhardt, Gustavo Nunez, Ryan Streiby, Audy Ciriaco, Brennan Boesch, Casper Wells, Brent Dlugach and Daniel Schlereth.
- Solid home run by Braves top prospect Jason Heyward – While not a positive for the Tigers, I was pretty excited to see Heyward made the trip to Lakeland.
- Gerald Laird hits a Grand Slam with his retooled swing.
My only disappointments were not seeing any playing time from Johnny Damon, Magglio Ordonez, Jose Valverde, Rick Porcello or Justin Verlander. Many of whom I’ve seen before and will in the upcoming season – so I’m OK with it. Twenty-one photos after the jump.
Detroit Tigers vs Atlanta Braves
Carlos Guillen headed to the dugout after taking some groundballs at 2B
Braves top prospect Jason Heyward
Max Scherzer started the game against the Braves
Jason Heyward at-bat - He hit a long home run to right field
Scherzer pulled from the game - He got only a single out that was due to an Omar Infante screw-up.
Willis getting checked out after a pickoff attempt to first base
The familiar Dontrelle Willis pitch delivery - You could tell he was energized on the mound.
Scott Sizemore at-bat - Get use to this odd stance that feels similar to Ichiro
Gustavo Nunez at shortstop and Brent Dlugach at second base
Detroit Tigers vs New York Yankees
Jim Leyland and Joe Girardi chat during batting practice
Curtis Granderson as a New York Yankee - He got quite the welcome reception for a Yankee
Ryan Streiby at first base - He was very large making it no surprise that his power has been impressing many this spring.
Austin Jackson chats with Gene Lamont while on 3rd base
Tiger prospect Jacob Turner throws to his first batter
Curtis Granderson stands in the batters box waiting on the delivery by Jacob Turner
Jacob Turner concentrates while Curtis Granderson leads off of first base
Another of Jacob Turner - He had a rather effortless delivery while hitting 94 with his fastball
Audy Ciriaco catches an infield popup while playing third base.
Audy Ciriaco at third base with Adam Everett at shortstop. Audy was surprisingly tall or maybe it was just in contrast to Nunez who was not.
Daniel Schlereth looking home while Strieby holds the runner on first base. Schlereth had control problems this day.
Gustavo Nunez slides into second on a Yankee double-play