MLB

Mon, Apr 1, 2013 - 4:10 PM ET
 

Tigers-Twins Preview

Share This Story

   
 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP)

Batter up? More like bundle up.

The Detroit Tigers open the season on Monday in frosty Minnesota, where forecasts call for temperature in the low 30s at game time at outdoor Target Field. The wind chill is expected to be around 20 degrees. So the Tigers will need all the heat they can get from Justin Verlander's 100 mph fastballs.

''It's going to be cold but I've pitched in that kind of weather before,'' Verlander said. ''I don't think about it. It's always cold in Detroit on opening day.''

But this cold? If the forecast holds true, it has the potential to be the coldest opening day on record in Minnesota, dating to 1961. The coldest was 33 degrees in 1963. There was plenty of debate when the Twins were designing a new stadium about building one with a roof to shield them from the elements. The first three seasons in Target Field have been mostly beautiful, with few rainouts and generally warm weather once the season began.

Major League Baseball put the Twins on the road to start each of the first three seasons at Target Field, a seven-game trip in 2010, a six-game trip in 2011 and a three-gamer last year. Maybe after seeing all the warm weather the last few years, MLB's schedule makers decide to tempt fate because this is the first time the Twins will open the season at home.

''No one likes playing in the cold,'' Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. ''But at the same time, we're going to be playing opening day in a Major League Baseball game. Isn't that enough?''

Verlander will get the ball for the Tigers against Vance Worley, who came to the Twins in a trade with Philadelphia this offseason. Verlander certainly will have the money to buy himself a nice warm coat for the trip. He agreed to a $180 million, seven-year deal with the Tigers on Friday, the richest given to a pitcher.

''I think it is a great situation for him,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ''It's good for him, it's good for the organization, and it's good for the fans.''

As crazy as it sounds, the guy who is widely considered the best pitcher in the American League might be entering this season with redemption on his mind. After winning the 2011 AL MVP and AL Cy Young Award following a stellar regular season that has become almost typical, Verlander gave up five runs in four innings of his only start in the World Series, a Game 1 loss to the San Francisco Giants. The flat performance from their ace seemed to stun the Tigers, who fell to the Giants in a sweep.

Detroit added veteran outfielder, and former Twins fan favorite, Torii Hunter in the offseason to add even more punch to an offense that already is loaded with Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, who returns after spending last season on the disabled list. The expectations are there once again for another deep run.

''We are going to hit, don't get me wrong,'' Leyland said. ''This team is going to hit. When you have speed at the top of the lineup then guys like Hunter, Cabrera, Prince, Martinez, these guys are going to score runs. I like our pitching and I am satisfied with everything we have going for us.''

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wishes he could say the same. The Twins have lost more than 90 games in each of the past two seasons, with fans growing impatient about a perceived lack of investment from ownership while they play in their revenue-generating new ballpark. They have been searching for an ace for years, and there doesn't appear to be one ready to help them anytime soon.

Worley is getting the start almost by default. He was 0-1 with a 5.73 ERA in six spring training appearances, but Scott Diamond and Samuel Deduno aren't healthy enough to start the season with the big club and the rest of the rotation was underwhelming this spring as well.

''We hope to get back to where we were a couple of years ago, winning the division,'' All Star catcher Joe Mauer said. ''We're looking forward to it.''

----

AP freelance writers David Dorsey in Fort Myers, Fla., and Jeff Berlinicke in Lakeland, Fla., contributed to this report.

Tagged: Tigers, Twins, Prince Fielder, Justin Verlander

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..