It’s that time of the week again for another edition of The Weekly Windup with Ethan Perlman, so let’s not waste any more time and delve right into this past week of Detroit Tigers action.
Starting off this week’s edition is the expected news of two top Tiger prospects in Casey Mize and Dawel Lugo being reassigned to Minor League camp. Lugo, who was expected to be a long shot for making the major league roster out of camp, has been assigned to Triple-A Toledo, where he will start the season. Starting out in Toledo will provide Lugo to get consistent reps and time to make some more strides at the plate and defensively before coming up and solidifying a spot on the Tigers 25-man roster. Casey Mize pitched during Monday’s spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals, where he impressed the Tigers coaching staff. Mize went two innings allowing one earned run on two walks, two strikeouts, and zero hits allowed. The lone run against Mize during spring training came as a result of walking two batters, a sac bunt, and a sac fly. Tiger fans should be extremely excited for the coming of Mize as he showed good movement on his pitches while maintaining his velocity hitting 95-96 consistently and topping out at 98 mph on his fastball. Looking ahead to where Mize may start his first full professional season at is still to be decided, as GM Al Avila has already stated if weather is good in Erie, Mize could very well start up in Double-A. However, there is a strong chance he begins this season with the Lakeland Flying Tigers if the weather poses a problem in Erie early on.
With Spring Training comes new a new season and new opportunities, and three Tigers have jumped back up with good starts in Spring Training.
First up is infielder Ronny Rodriguez, who is showing to be more consistent at the plate with a new approach. We are not seeing the “overhead bat waggle” that we’ve all either love or hated from time to time. Rodriguez had entered Spring Training, competing for the starting job at second base but since the signing of Josh Harrison, the focus has
shifted to competing for a roster spot as a utility player. Through 10 games this spring Rodriguez is hitting .261 with 1 double, three home runs, and four RBI’s, while recording one base on balls and striking out six times. Getting off to a good start is a good sign for Rodriguez. However, if he plans on making the Tigers opening day roster, he will need to show he can keep this calm and patient approach at the plate.
Next up is Rule 5 draft pick Reed Garrett, who the Tigers selected from the Texas Rangers minor league system. Garrett has already shown that he can get the job done, coming out of the bullpen already appearing in four games. Through those four appearances, Garrett has thrown 4 innings, allowing two runs (4.50 earned run average) on four hits, while walking two and striking out three batters. The key for Garrett come the regular season and rest of spring training will be utilizing all of his pitches properly — knowing when to use that power fastball of his and when to switch to off-speed, as a lot of hitters these days aren’t getting fooled by the 99mph, 100mph heater anymore. I’m personally looking forward to watching Reed Garrett improve and be a constant in this Tiger’s pen.
The last player I want to talk about is definitely the one with the biggest impact on the team, and that is a healthy Miguel Cabrera. That’s right fans! Miggy is back and looking healthy finally! Cabrera has appeared in six games so far this spring, where he has hit .429 one double, one home run, five RBI’s, scored three runs, while recording three walks and striking out twice. While the plate appearances so far have been smaller in number, the output and appearance that Cabrera has shown is a big and needed relief for this Tigers lineup and team as a whole. Looking ahead, I like the idea of giving Cabrera a few games off every week for the next few weeks of Spring Training and letting his body come fully back to playing everyday.
As of today, the Tigers are 6-7 in Grapefruit League action.
Written by Ethan Perlman
About the Author
Ethan Perlman has been a sports fanatic for a long time and has also been involved in the sports world at the high school, college, and professional levels. Currently coaching football and JV basketball at Eton Academy, Ethan has also served on the Bowling Green State University baseball coaching staff from 2014-2018 and worked in the Detroit Tigers Clubhouse from 2014-2018 as a Bat/Ball Boy. Ethan now works at NRM Streamcast™ with writing sports blogs on football, basketball, and baseball.