Sanchez could be X-factor in Tigers’ rotation

Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez talks about the work he put in during the offseason to keep his shoulder and body healthy for 2016 That was three years ago, when Sanchez led the American League in ERA (2.57) and tied his career high with 202 strikeouts. He also set a franchise record that April with a 17-strikeout game against a Braves lineup that included new teammate Justin Upton . Opening Day coverage That 2013 season was the last time Sanchez made more than 25 starts. He started 29 games that year, covering 182 innings, but has made 46 starts over […]

Castellanos primed for breakout

A look back at some of Nick Castellanos’ best highlights from 2015 He will be coming off a season in which he posted an .800 OPS after the All-Star break, behind only Miguel Cabrera , Ian Kinsler and J.D. Martinez . Opening Day coverage Castellanos heads into likely his final season before arbitration eligibility, a threshold that sometimes leads teams to make long-term evaluations on players. He falls into the area between the star-studded middle of Detroit’s batting order and the lower third, which has struggled in recent years. He’s in prime position for RBI opportunities whether he has […]

Consistency key as Rondon seeks roster spot

Bruce Rondon has had an up-and-down 10 innings this spring, giving up 13 hits and 10 runs while striking out 13. (AP) LAKELAND, Fla. — Bruce Rondon has the right attitude in Tigers camp, by all accounts. He has the right support group, by the account of new closer Francisco Rodriguez . "He’s coming along, working hard," Rodriguez said. Now he needs the right pitch. If Rondon does not open the season in a Tigers bullpen that could use his arm — and other healthy arms, for that matter — it’s the pitching that could be the deciding factor. […]

McCann, McGehee, Salty power offense

3/27/16: James McCann launched his third Spring Training home run against Mike Fiers in the 3rd inning LAKELAND, Fla. — Jason Castro , A.J. Reed and Jon Singleton all homered as part of a balanced Astros offense in support of Scott Feldman , Luke Gregerson and Mike Fiers to send Houston’s split squad to an 8-3 win over Detroit on Sunday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium. Castro’s two-run homer in the third inning was one of seven Astros hits off Tigers starter Mike Pelfrey , who suffered a spat of ground-ball singles his first trip through the order before […]

J-Up turns in perfect day behind Verlander

3/26/16: Justin Upton goes 4-for-4 with two home runs, three runs scored and two RBIs in the Tigers’ 6-5 win over the Phillies "I was just reacting. That’s a plus when you’re seeing the ball well, even the offspeed pitches," said Upton. "That’s part of the plan." 3/26/16: Justin Verlander pitches five-plus innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out two vs. the Phillies Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander made his fifth start of the spring. He allowed seven hits, three runs and one walk and struck out two in five-plus innings. "Overall, it’s a […]

2016 AL Central Preview: The Royals eye a third consecutive AL title

The CBS Sports division previews roll on with the AL Central! Can the Royals win another division title, and possibly a third straight AL pennant? Could this be the year rosy projections finally pan out for the Indians? Are the White Sox contenders after a second straight aggressive offseason? Will the Tigers reclaim AL Central supremacy after some winter remodeling? What are the Twins’ chances, coming off a surprising 2015? Let’s take a look. Teams are listed in order of projected finish. Projected lineups and rotations courtesy of RosterResource.com. More previews: AL East Kansas City Royals Projected lineup Projected […]

Tigers option hot-hitting Moya to Triple-A

3/13/16: Steven Moya hits a home run to right field in the top of the 4th, allowing Nick Castellanos to score and tie the game at 4 Though Moya didn’t come to camp with a roster spot to win thanks to Justin Upton ‘s arrival, the towering 24-year-old had something to prove after a learning experience of a 2015 season at Toledo. More than pure numbers, Moya wanted to show the improved pitch recognition and deliberate plate approach that led to an impressive winter ball season in the Dominican Republic. "I just want to go up every single at-bat, […]

Back injury to land Norris on DL

3/22/16: Daniel Norris is forced to leave his start against the Blue Jays in the 1st inning after experiencing lower back tightness DUNEDIN, Fla. — Daniel Norris , once the frontrunner in the Tigers’ fifth-starter competition, will open the season on the disabled list after being diagnosed with three non-displaced fractures in his spinous process, a series of bony protrusions that extend from the spine. It doesn’t mean he has fractured vertebrae, though it means he has more than the back tightness that was initially hoped. "It sounds a whole lot worse than what it is," Tigers head athletic […]

Castellanos launches first spring homer

Nick Castellanos is batting .324 with four RBIs in 14 Grapefruit League games. DUNEDIN, Fla. — The Blue Jays and Tigers were swinging early and often on Thursday afternoon, as both R.A. Dickey and Matt Boyd were hit around in their respective starts in Toronto’s 6-4 victory at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Boyd, who was selected by the Blue Jays in the sixth round of the 2013 Draft and was part of last year’s trade for David Price , tossed 3 1/3 innings and surrendered four runs (three earned) on seven hits, two walks and three strikeouts. He gave […]

MLB pledges record $2.8M to B.A.T.

Jake Peavy, Bob Uecker and Ryne Sandberg speak about the Baseball Assistance Team, a non-profit organization that helps those in need The Baseball Assistance Team announced Wednesday that Major League Baseball players, coaches and managers from all 30 clubs have pledged a record $2.8 million during the organization’s Spring Training fundraising tour. The donations — which go to members of the baseball family in need of assistance — represent a six percent increase from last season. The Baseball Assistance Team has made the Spring Training fund drive in 14 consecutive seasons and has raised nearly $23 million during that […]