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Yoenis Cespedes Makes Mark with Grand Slam in Second At-Bat as a Detroit Tiger

March 3rd, 2015 at 8:25 PM
By Max DeMara

They say home is where the heart is, but for Yoenis Cespedes, home might actually be where the home runs are in addition to the heart.

Tuesday, amid the Detroit Tigers' 15-2 Grapefruit League opening romp over the Baltimore Orioles, Cespedes got his Tigers' career off to the best possible start, walloping a grand slam in only his second ever at-bat with the team. With one mighty swing, he put the game out of reach in the fourth inning.

What a first impression.

Both Tigers' fans and the slugger himself hope that this production was an adequate dress rehearsal that plays out over the course of the entire 2015 season. Cespedes could be the element that has been missing from Detroit's lineup, and the combination of speed and power that he showed at the plate in just his first game was a welcome sight.

It's not going to take long for Cespedes to endear himself to the hometown faithful, especially with those traits. The best early news? Not only is Cespedes looking more and more comfortable by the day, he also seems committed to a long-term future in Detroit beyond this season thanks to that comfort. Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press provided this update recently.

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Hernan Perez and Andrew Romine Locked in Great Roster Battle for Detroit Tigers

March 3rd, 2015 at 9:59 AM
By Max DeMara

Even though it was only one game against collegiate competition, Monday, Hernan Perez and Andrew Romine served notice about what will likely become the Detroit Tigers' most interesting competition of the entire spring.

It's not often the battle to see who the most effective utility infielder and outfielder will be ends up being the most exciting thing about spring training, but Monday, Perez and Romine made that look to be the case. Each were impressive when taking on Florida Southern, and helped lead in Detroit's 12-2 victory.

Both Perez (1-3) and Romine (1-3) collected RBI's, with Romine doing the most damage by collecting two and Perez smacking a double leading to one. Perez's run was also plated with two out, which is important to note. The duo also took turns competing at a variety of different positions in the field, with infield and outfield roles covered between the two.

Given that Don Kelly has departed and the Tigers don't carry many players capable of flashing at different parts, the spotlight is brightest on these two the entire spring. How they manage to play the field—infield or outfield—and hit will be key, considering questions about offensive sustainability are the biggest worry.

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Detroit Tigers Positional Preview: Bullpen Must Rebound from Rocky 2014 Season

March 2nd, 2015 at 12:16 PM
By Max DeMara

With spring training set to begin and the baseball season just around the corner, we're previewing the Detroit Tigers position by position

Of all the troubles the Detroit Tigers had in 2014, the bullpen was the biggest focal point for most of the season.

Injuries intervened early, struggles hampered the Tigers' new additions and blown games were commonplace. No lead was safe in the late innings, and it was often impossible to count how many games got away as a result of late-inning incompetence. Even Detroit's deadline addition struggled, meaning a curse might have hung over the relievers much of the year.

This season, health might be back on the side of the team, and bounce back years could mean things won't be as bad as last year. It's the most talked about position, and it's been retooled in only small ways.

Will that be enough? Today, our series begins a push to a close by looking at the Tigers' bullpen, as constructed for 2015.

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Detroit Tigers Bring Back Reliever Ryan Perry on Minor-League Deal

February 28th, 2015 at 10:00 AM
By Max DeMara

Just before the Detroit Tigers start their spring training schedule this coming Monday, they made one final tweak to their system on Friday.

Ryan Perry, the team's former first round pick from 2008, was signed to a minor-league contract. Perry, of course, was dealt away to the Washington Nationals in December 2011 for fellow reliever Collin Balester.

Perry, once considered a closer of the future in Detroit, struggled when given an opportunity to prove his salt with the Tigers. In 2010 he was 3-5 with a 3.59 ERA, 23 walks and 45 strikeouts. Every season since his rookie year in 2009, Perry's totals got worse and he failed to meet high expectations.

After being sent to Washington unceremoniously, Perry's fade began. He appeared in only seven games for the Nationals in 2012, and hasn't pitched in any major league game since then while having his problems in the minors. Washington officially released him on July 17, 2014.

Now, Perry is back in the system that developed him on a low-risk minor-league deal. The Tigers don't expect him to join the team in big-league camp, which means he will likely be relegated to minor league action to start the 2015 season.

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Five Detroit Tigers’ Spring Training Games to Pay Close Attention to in March and April

February 27th, 2015 at 4:22 PM
By Max DeMara

It seems like it's been forever since the Detroit Tigers played an actual baseball game, (October 5 to be exact), but that drought will finally end this Monday with the return of competitive action.

There's plenty of story lines to monitor, but most of all, what games should be watched the closest? Most listed are on television, but can still be followed on the radio as well by listening to 97.1. As spring training gets underway, remember these five particular dates the most.

1. Tuesday, March 3 (Baltimore Orioles). Though the Tigers officially start on Monday against Florida Southern, Tuesday represents their first competition against big league opposition, and ironically enough, it's a rematch of the 2014 ALDS against the Orioles. Can Detroit get a measure of revenge? Perhaps that's attempting to maximize the impact of a meaningless game, but some will likely have those thoughts while listening.

2. Friday, March 6 (New York Mets). Friday's game represents the first chance to watch the Tigers on television during the 2015 season. MLB Network will televise their game against the Mets, and though it will be on delay, baseball on television at this point is still baseball no matter the circumstance or opposition, right?

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