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Verlander and Zumaya make team

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Verlander and Zumaya make team

Postby moochman » Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:10 pm

This according to John Lowe of the Freep:

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Welcome to Detroit, Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced Friday morning that both of the fireballing rookie right-handers have made the Opening Day club: Verlander as the fifth starter and Zumaya as an important reliever.

Zumaya will be asked "to get big outs as late as the seventh inning with the Tigers ahead, and perhaps later in tied games, Leyland said. If the Tigers dont acquire a hard-throwing left-handed reliever, then Zumaya could be the one who faces lefty sluggers like Bostons David Ortiz and Chicagos Jim Thome in the sixth and seventh innings. (The eighth inning will belong to set-up man Fernando Rodney.)

Leyland made clear he was leaning toward putting Verlander and Zumaya on the club after they each threw two overpowering shutout innings against Philadelphia on Thursday.

After the game, Leyland met with his fellow Tigers decision makers: general manager Dave Dombrowski, assistant general manager Al Avila, scouting ace Scott Reid and the six coaches.

Thats 10 people, and Leyland said all 10 agreed that Verlander and Zumaya should both be on the team. They are two of our 12 best pitchers, Leyland said.

Jason Grilli and Roman Colon, the other candidates for the rotation spot won by Verlander, remain candidates to make the team as relievers. Three spots remain open in the seven-man pen. The relievers with jobs are Rodney, closer Todd Jones, lefty Jamie Walker and Zumaya.

Verlander joins a five-man starting rotation with Kenny Rogers, Jeremy Bonderman, Mike Maroth and Nate Robertson.

Linky: [url] ... 9/60324005


I wonder what happens with Zumaya. Does he gravitate toward being the closer, or will Robertson's erratic nature open a slot for Z to start? I am very happy that we will get to see both of these talented players in the show. ;-D
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Postby Cornbread Maxwell » Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:23 pm

Good news - I hope.

I dont know if keeping Zumaya in the pen or letting him dominate in AAA for a few months is right.

I think Zumaya and Verlander will eventually form a pretty dominating 1-2 at the top of our rotation within a few years.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:24 pm

Good read. ;-D
I hope Zumaya doesn't get stuck in the bullpen.
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Postby mcqfesijiba » Sat Mar 25, 2006 9:18 am

Maybe AAA would have been better for Zumaya's long term development, but at the same time, I think Zumaya gives the team their best chance to win just by having him available.

People keep throwing the Johan Santana situation out there as a player who was broken into the big leagues in the bullpen. Maybe there were different circumstances for each, but we'll just have to see how that plays out. We can speculate all we want about Zumaya's future destination (starter or reliever), but we won't know for sure until after the fact.

Verlander is ready to be a solid contributor. I don't look at his 2 spot starts as signs of things to come at all. Being a regular and a spot starter are two completely different things. He can hopefully get more comfortable this time around.
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