Found February 25, 2012 on Fox Sports Detroit:
LAKELAND, Fla. Tigers manager Jim Leyland doesn't miss a thing, even if others do. While reporters have asked him about nearly everyone in camp, there was one name that had not come up until Leyland brought it up himself Saturday morning -- David Pauley. In case you also forgot, Pauley was the left-handed reliever that came from Seattle along with Doug Fister in the trade that sent Charlie Furbush, Casper Wells, Chance Ruffin and Francisco Martinez to the Mariners. With the Mariners, Pauley dazzled, going 5-4 with a 2.15 ERA. But with the Tigers, Pauley fizzled, going 0-2 with a 5.95 ERA in very limited action, just 19 23 innings in 14 games. "He's got a track record that was pretty good at Seattle," Leyland said. "I'm not one of those guys you get a player and maybe he doesn't come in like gangbusters right away and you just write him off or forget about him. That's not the case. He can potentially be a big part of our team." Leyland didn't just tell reporters that, he also made a point of telling Pauley the same thing. "Of course there's a confidence level there, to know that you're back and know that they have trust and belief in you," Pauley said. "You are who you are. It helps make our job a little bit easier." It probably didn't make the transition easier for Pauley when he didn't get to pitch until a week after the trade, Aug. 24 against Tampa Bay. That made it 10 days between outings. In September, Pauley only pitched seven times, including a span from Sept. 3-12 in which he did not go at all. Of course, that was a time when the starters pitched late into games, usually getting to Joaquin Benoit in the eighth and Jose Valverde in the ninth. But Pauley had already pitched 54 13 innings in 39 appearances before "He might have been a little tired," Leyland said. "Coming over to a new team, sometimes it just clicks right off the bat. Sometimes it takes time with guys. Whole new new surroundings, thrown into a pennant race right away, I think sometimes that's different for guys." Pauley, 28, admitted that jumping from a non-contender to a playoff chase was a bit intimidating. "When you go from a situation that we were in Seattle, where we were all just playing to better ourselves, it was a pressure-free situation and then to come over here and be in a pennant race, you want to do that much better to show that you want to be a part of that situation," Pauley said. Pauley did not appear in the postseason, leading him to wonder what was going to happen this season. "It was an offseason of a lot of questions," Pauley said. "You can only control what you can control. So I just had to look at it as kind of, I didn't do what I could, I have to show that I'm better, if it's here or if it's somewhere else. You always play for the person that you're with at that time." Pauley spent the offseason in St. Joseph, the southwest corner of Michigan. His wife, Samantha, and her family are all from the area. "Being in Michigan, this year was good because it didn't get too cold," Pauley said. "It wasn't too bad at all. We really didn't get any (snow). At times they were calling for 10-12 inches, we were getting two. Usually when they call for 10, we would get 15. It was a very, very mild winter." It was also an exciting winter for Pauley as his family got bigger. Son Cameron was born Jan. 6, joining daughter Emme, who turns three in June. Pauley is hoping for some job excitement as he aims to contribute to a long playoff run for the Tigers this season. "This is a great group of guys and they're all here for one reason -- to win and to go further than what we did last year," Pauley said. "It's something special." Welcoming group Many of the Tigers have already remarked that it seems like Prince Fielder has been part of the team for a while as he has fit in seamlessly. Leyland believes that is a tribute to his team. He related a conversation he had during Saturday's workout with non-roster invitee Matt Young, who was with the Atlanta Braves last season. "He came in today and he said the first day he walked in, everybody was shaking hands with him, acting like he'd been here forever," Leyland said. "We really got a good group." Point of emphasis Leyland has a few things that he likes to emphasize with his players. One of those thing is "working hard and working smart." Leyland saw that in action Saturday during batting practice. Alex Avila was in a group with Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Delmon Young and Brennan Boesch. "What I liked about that group today is Alex Avila's in that group and he didn't change his stroke at all, trying to start hitting it like those guys are hitting it," Leyland said. "He's hitting it all over. He can turn on it, too, but he had a great batting practice." Avila, 25, has plenty of power. He hit 19 home runs last season. But he's not considered a power hitter. "He can hit them over the fence whenever he wants but that's not his stroke," Leyland said. "He's trying to keep his stroke going. That's smart. That's working hard and working smart. "That's what I'm talking about. He would have worked hard if he was just trying to hit them out and hit a few out but he wouldn't have worked smart. He worked smart."

Notebook: Benoit has stiff neck

LAKELAND, Fla. -- This early in camp, the Tigers have been very healthy, knock on wood. But manager Jim Leyland said after Sunday's workout that Joaquin Benoit did not throw as planned. "He had a stiff neck," Leyland said. "He's fine, but we're not taking any chances with him." Benoit said he was fine when he arrived Sunday morning. "When...

Smyly in mix for Tigers rotation

LAKELAND, Fla. -- One day you're growing up in Arkansas and the next you're at spring training, working out with the American League MVP and Cy Young winner. It didn't happen quite that fast for lefty Drew Smyly. It just seems like it. Smyly, 22, was the Tigers' second-round pick in the June 2010 draft. His ascension in the system has been rapid, considering he...

Pauley aims to show Tigers he belongs

The low point for David Pauley came in those 10 days last August sitting in the Tigers' bullpen. The combination of deep outings from Tigers starters, a formidable late-inning corps and a rough outing in mid-August put Pauley on the shelf.

Porcello hopes earlier throwing will translate into late stamina

Rick Porcello had a great July, winning all five starts for the Tigers. It was the month that turned a mediocre season into a good one, and it was only natural for the 23-year-old right-hander to wonder what might happen if he could start a season that way. That idea is what shaped his approach to spring training.

Locating curve ball a priority for Turner

Jacob Turner and Patrick Leyland got to know each other as high schoolers facing each other in summer ball. They had an ongoing dialogue Saturday morning on one of the back fields at Tigertown.

Marksmanship of Tigers pitcher Doug Fister transfers to sharp control on mound

"The sniper has special abilities, training and equipment. His job is to deliver discriminatory highly accurate rifle fire against enemy target." --Field Manual, Sniper Training, Department of the Army

Boesch excited to pick Prince's brain

Brennan Boesch has never been afraid to talk about hitting and learn from teammates. But he has never had a left-handed-hitting slugger to chat up like Prince Fielder.


PECOTA is the player performance projection system developed by Nate Silver and subsequently purchased by Baseball Prospectus.  I don’t have any documented support for this, but I think that it is safe to say that it is widely regarded as the best player forecaster around.  Before we get into the Tigers projections, realize that PECOTA is  useful tool, and the best around,...

Inge embraces 'second' chance with Tigers

Brandon Inge wants to play for the Tigers. He isn't going to play at third base, so he had to try to play somewhere. Second base was the open spot. If he's going to play, this is his shot.

Video: Blonde bombshell Kate Upton preaches proper finger mechanics to Justin Verlander for MLB 2K12.

Blonde bombshell Kate Upton teaches finger mechanics to  AL Cy Young award winner MVP Justin Verlander who graces the cover of 2K Sports MLB  2K12.  His mission to gain entry to the “Perfect Club” where anyone can win a million dollars. Click the link to see how it went down.   

Miner looking for major role with Royals

Right-hander Zach Miner has a substantial big league background -- 157 games with the Detroit Tigers -- and he's trying to make it back with the Royals.

Gloves change as positions do for Tigers

Many baseball players are superstitious about their gloves, but the Tigers' Ryan Raburn will take any old hand-me-down, as long as it feels good. He uses an infield glove that was given to him by former Tiger Adam Everett a couple of years ago, at the end of the season. "I used it all last year," Raburn said.

Tiger Spring!

RSBS Special Correspondent and Wikipiebenga Creator, Mark “Pie” Piebenga reports: As soon as Victor Martinez went down, I thought, “well, season’s over.” [1] But then the Tigers won the Fielder sweepstakes (at a cost that boggles the mind: apparently Little Caesar’s is a pretty lucrative organization. Everybody reading this please buy a five dollar Hot N Ready so they...
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