Early News: Victor Martinez originally was going to be in the Tigers’ lineup on Friday, but stayed back in Lakeland to hit in the cage.
Manager Brad Ausmus said potential bad weather was a factor.
Tom Gage: But he talked about the weather being a factor with the sun shining, so what gives, Dana?
Dana Wakiji — Forecast calls for rain to start around game time, although other reports say maybe 3-3:30, so we shall see. But with Victor’s knee not 100 percent yet, they did not want him to risk it.
TG — Weather being a factor didn’t keep Justin Verlander in Lakeland. Nothing is ever a must in spring training, but a good start today would come in handy for Verlander, wouldn’t it?
DW — Although Verlander hasn’t expressed concern, I think it would make the fans feel better if he finished strong and even more if his velocity were up a little more.
TG — Fans shouldn’t leave when Verlander does, though. Lots of interesting bullpen candidates (Bruce Rondon, Kyle Ryan and Ian Krol) throwing in today’s game for the Tigers.
Who can help himself the most?
DW — Ausmus said he isn’t leaning one way or the other in terms of the lefties. Krol is considered to have the biggest upside with an easy 97 mile-per-hour fastball, but Ryan is a converted starter who can throw multiple innings and who "shows no fear", according to Ausmus.
Rondon just needs to stay healthy and do the same thing he’s been doing.
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