Welcome to Opening Day, all. Before we dive into the news and notes for this series, a plea: in today's comments, please let me know what you'd like to see from these series previews. Today's will be an example of the form I've been going with - series info / pitching probables, a few notes about the opposition, and a few notes about the Twins, basically your typical series preview capsule - but I'd like you, the readers, to actually feel like you're getting something out of these.
Probables (all games FSN)
- Monday, 3:10pm: Vance Worley vs. Justin Verlander
- Tuesday: OFF DAY IN CASE IT SNOWS MONDAY
- Wednesday, 3:10pm: Kevin Correia vs. Anibal Sanchez
- Thursday, 12:10pm: Mike Pelfrey vs. Rick Porcello
- Detroit, at the moment, has no closer. 22-year-old Venezuelan Bruce Rondon, who blasted through three levels of the Tigers' system last year, was deemed not ready for prime time. If manager Jim Leyland hears one more question about it, he may knife a media member to death. They'll probably go with Phil Coke at the end of the game for now, but nothing's set in stone.
- The Tigers' only disabled list participant is Avisail Garcia, Baseball America's #74 prospect, who may or may not be playing left field for Detroit at some point this year. Garcia's 21 and hasn't played in Triple-A yet, though, so I suppose it's a little early to start automatically writing his name on your scorecards.
- Andy Dirks will probably start the year in left field, with Garcia or Matt Tuiasosopo platooning with him. Tuiasosopo hasn't been seen in the majors since 2010 in Seattle, but he batted .283 with four homers in the spring for Detroit, so with Garcia hurt, the Tigers are giving him a shot.
- Your Opening Day disabled list: Scott Diamond (recovering from December elbow surgery to remove bone chips), Tim Wood (right rotator cuff strain, eligible to come off the DL April 8), Anthony Swarzak (broken ribs, general stupidity.)
- Justin Morneau missed a couple of days with back problems, but he had four at-bats in a minor-league game Saturday and should be good to go today.
- Joe Mauer is going to bat second. Isn't that wonderful?
- The Astros are your American League leaders this morning, after beating the Rangers 8-2 last night. This is your reminder that even a team of replacement players is a 48-win team, and there's hope for everybody, every night, no matter what.