The Detroit Tigers did something today that I haven’t seen before. They let GM Dave Dombrowski overtake the team’s official Twitter feed and answer some pointed questions from fans. To Dombrowski’s credit I thought he answered with great candor and revealed some fairly useful information.
Here is a quick rundown of what was discussed:
Regarding shortstop: He said that Jhonny Peralta is this team’s shortstop and that he is already working hard this offseason in preparation of that role.
Regarding the #5 spot in the rotation: He gave Drew Smyly a pretty obvious edge of landing that job out of camp and said he is very comfortable with Smyly in the rotation.
About Nick Castellanos: He will most likely start the season as the everyday left fielder in AAA but will have the chance to compete for a roster spot this spring.
About Avisal Garcia: He will need a lot of at-bats, wherever he plays. Reading between the lines, he is slotted for right field in Toledo.
In reference to Andy Dirks: Dirks is the primary left fielder but the Tigers will be on the lookout for a complimentary right-handed bat.
What to do in National League parks: Victor Martinez will not catch at all so Jim Leyland will have the job of finding a way to get Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and VMart in the lineup. Now THAT should be interesting.
About the closer role: Dombrowski thinks Bruce Rondon is a special talent and has a good chance to become this team’s closer with a strong camp.
About the utility man jumble: He feels that there is room for both Danny Worth and Ramon Santiago on the 25-man roster.
In regards to lefties in the bullpen: Said he is open to adding another lefty arm but noted that Darin Downs did a really good job when he got his chance.
When you add it all up the general message sticks to the theme of the Detroit Tigers basically being a complete team right now. Some tweaks will likely be made but don’t expect anything earth-shattering.
Despite Kansas City adding James Shields and Wade Davis, and a strong 2012 from the White Sox, the Tigers remain the clear team to beat in the AL Central as presently constructed.
Smart money is on Dombrowski letting the season’s first 4 months play out and assessing his team’s needs once more at the July 31st deadline.
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