DETROIT TIGER FANS!
For full access to all our areas, please register (free), there are areas that do not show up until you register and log-in.

DETROIT TIGER FANS!

A place for Detroit Tiger Fans to come together for a bit of fun
 
HomeHome  CalendarCalendar  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  Log inLog in  
Please log in and join in the fun of game day threads (GDT) and in overall Tigers chat.
CONGRATS TO CABRERA AND HUNTER on winning 2013 Silver Slugger Awards!
DETROIT TIGERS - 2011, 2012 & 2013 AL CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPS!

Share | 
 

 Tiger pitchers won't be treated gently again

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
GoGetEmTigers
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
DTF1 ADMINISTRATOR Detroit Tiger
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 57424
Age : 58
Location : Eastern Ohio, near Wheeling WV
Favorite Current Tiger(s) : JV, Hunter, Jackson, Porcello, Avila (really ALL of em!)
Reputation : 20
Registration date : 2007-10-05

PostSubject: Tiger pitchers won't be treated gently again   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:46 pm

Saturday, January 24, 2009
Lynn Henning
Tiger pitchers won't be treated gently again

Upon further review, the Tigers and their fans were set up for a nasty spill in 2008. For reverse reasons, the 2009 team could end up surprising everyone -- perhaps on a scale as grand as last year's tumble.

Those are words that can easily be served alongside a steaming plate of crow if things don't break right for a team with its share of questions.

But one of the reasons the 2009 Tigers can be shockingly good is embodied by a guy in the reddish beard and dark-framed glasses who was on hand Saturday for TigerFest at Comerica Park.

Nate Robertson weighs 229 pounds and is headed to 225. Last season he weighed 240. He looks as good as Brandon Inge, the team's happy new third baseman who, by contrast, glows after adding 15 pounds of muscle.

Dontrelle Willis is supposedly in premier shape as he fights his way back to being a serious starting pitcher. Carlos Guillen has never looked sturdier as he prepares for fulltime work in left field.

What you see is physical evidence of a major mental change in the Tigers. They aren't happy with themselves because of 2008. It's the biggest reason why artistry and fire rarely seen during the team's 2008 embarrassment could become the norm in '09.

And while injuries were the basis for a bizarre sports disaster, poor conditioning was another enemy. People such as Edgar Renteria showed up overweight, and slow, bad bodies conspired with overconfidence to reduce the season to rubble.

"Last year, we felt as though our pitchers were maybe not 100 percent ready to go into the season," said Al Avila, the Tigers' assistant general manager, speaking Thursday to a crowd of fans at Western Michigan University. "We need to be ready to go from Day One. This year, you'll see a little bit of difference in our spring-training preparation."

You're free to wonder who, exactly, was responsible for the team's flab. In the case of Renteria -- now with the San Francisco Giants -- it was his fault. He showed his thanks for the Tigers' big investment in him by arriving at camp puffy and slow. It took a starting shortstop until mid-season to get into shape.

'Being cautious'

Pitchers, though, were at the heart of Avila's Kalamazoo remarks. The consensus is too few pitchers seemed ready to pitch six innings when the season started.

In the pitchers' defense, the front office is careful to acknowledge injuries and how they influenced conditioning last spring. The front office is also backing away from any public blame of Tigers manager Jim Leyland. Neither have they indicted Chuck Hernandez, the pitching coach who was fired at the end of 2008.

But you can draw your own conclusions with respect to Hernandez.

Leyland was asked Saturday if he shared any of his bosses' views. Did he believe his team was ready, physically, to compete on Opening Day of 2008?

"Most of what they're saying has to do with the pitching, and I wouldn't disagree," Leyland said, mentioning the number of pitchers who were either hurting or coming off injuries (Kenny Rogers, Jeremy Bonderman, Fernando Rodney, etc). "Chuck was reluctant to push 'em too hard because so many guys were hurt or coming off injuries.

"I do agree that some guys hadn't pitched enough in spring training. I do agree that we weren't in pitching shape. But Chuck was being cautious. That's different from talking about whether guys were working hard."

Javair Gillet, the team's strength and conditioning coach, worked overtime the past four months supervising programs set up for each player. Robertson, for example, had a personal supervisor assigned to him -- Nick Wilson, who is an assistant strength and conditioning coach at University of Detroit-Mercy.

"I like structure," said Robertson, whose slider was missing last year, probably because a thicker frame cost him flexibility. "Most athletes want to follow structure."

Gillet even made multiple trips to Venezuela to oversee Guillen, Miguel Cabrera, Armando Galarraga, etc. Willis is reportedly lighter (and he needed to be) as he attempts to shake off his 2008 catastrophe.

Healthy outlook

Bonderman is supposedly throwing his old, hard fastball again after having circulatory surgery last May. Doctors told him his noticeable loss of velocity the past few seasons was because of blood not flowing properly to his fingers.

Then there is Joel Zumaya, who day by day gets closer to shaking off two years of odd and ominous injuries. The Tigers love what the doctors tell them, including that NFL quarterbacks who had the same shoulder surgery came back to play with authority.

And that's why you can build a compelling case for the Tigers in 2009. Players who were hurt a year ago are showing unmistakable signs of good health. Others who didn't work as hard as they could -- or perhaps should -- seem to understand a team is only as good as the blood and sweat it exudes.

This team looks like it could lead the league in spilling plasma and perspiration. And that's a great way to begin making amends for a miserable 2008.

You can reach Lynn Henning at lynn.henning@detnews.com
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://alwaysatiger.forumotion.com
laprimamirala
Detroit Tiger
Detroit Tiger
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 14194
Age : 56
Location : SE Michigan
Favorite Current Tiger(s) : Magglio........:)
Reputation : 11
Registration date : 2007-10-29

PostSubject: Re: Tiger pitchers won't be treated gently again   Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:25 am

"And while injuries were the basis for a bizarre sports disaster, poor conditioning was another enemy. People such as Edgar Renteria showed up overweight, and slow, bad bodies conspired with overconfidence to reduce the season to rubble."

You can count Magglio in there, unfortunately. Everyone seemed to look a little more alive yesterday~except

"Carlos Guillen has never looked sturdier as he prepares for fulltime work in left field."
uh, check out my rapper boy in the TigerFest pic! Looks like he just woke up!

Image hosted by servimg.com
Back to top Go down
View user profile
mrsrabelo
Erie SeaWolf
Erie SeaWolf
avatar

Female
Number of posts : 2284
Age : 25
Favorite Current Tiger(s) : Jeff Larish | Fish: Mike Rabelo | Rockie: Jason Grilli | Bullpen catcher: Scott Pickens
Reputation : 0
Registration date : 2007-10-05

PostSubject: Re: Tiger pitchers won't be treated gently again   Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:50 pm

*shakes head* Uncle Carl, uncle carl... Haha I Heart him!
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.myspace.com/hotpinkangel09
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Tiger pitchers won't be treated gently again   

Back to top Go down
 
Tiger pitchers won't be treated gently again
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Guess who won the Tiger Cup Golf Challenge???
» Review: Tiger Shark Putter Grips
» Food for Thought - What's stopping you from being a Tiger Woods
» Target Line or Tiger Line
» Tiger Woods' Latest Swing

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
DETROIT TIGER FANS! :: Tiger Talk :: Breaking News-
Jump to: