Posted February 28, 2012 on
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(Eds: Updates. With AP Photos.) The last thing that Detroit Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson wants to do is to get a leg up on the season.
Jackson is making a change in his swing, forcing himself to keep his front leg down. Jackson said the change would not be drastic, but he struck out 181 times last season as a leadoff hitter and both he and the Tigers are eager for a change.
''We are excited that he's getting rid of the leg kick,'' manager Jim Leyland said. ''He knew he had to make a change and he had to want to change. We had to sell it to him.''
Jackson came to camp early to work on his new swing and he's getting positive reviews from teammates who want to see him set the table more for the powerful Tigers lineup. Of Jackson's 591 regular season at-bats last season, the 181 strikeouts were third-most in the majors. He struck out 19 times in 41 at-bats in the playoffs..
Jackson batted .293 in his rookie 2010 season after being traded from the Yankees in a multi-player deal involving Curtis Granderson, but he slipped to .249 last year.
Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon started working with his young player to adjust the swing, and Jackson has spent extra time in the batting cage.
''It isn't a big switch, but if it helps, I will do it,'' Jackson said. ''I need to get my timing down. I won't know much until I get to see how I do against live, real pitching, not just batting practice.''
The swing is also not as sweeping, much shorter than last year. Making contact and getting on base is Jackson's challenge this year, Leyland said.
Jackson is a key to the Tigers lineup, which is loaded with power hitters but not a lot of speed. Jackson has 351 strikeouts in his first two years in the majors and only 49 steals. He's only been caught 11 times.
''I have a green light, but I am still learning how to steal bases,'' Jackson said. ''I am learning how to read pitchers and I know I can't run sometimes because of who is at bat. There's still a lot to learn and I can't run whenever I want.''
Notes: RHP Joaquin Benoit is throwing without pain, Leyland said. Benoit has been suffering from stiffness in the neck . Leyland said the Tigers will be spending extra time working on double plays this spring ... the Tigers agreed to terms with five players on contracts for the 2012 season: RHPs Collin Balester, Luis Marte and David Pauley, INF Danny Worth and OF Clete Thomas.
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Manager Jim Leyland already had a good reason to like new reliever Collin Balester.
"He married a girl from Perrysburg, Ohio, my hometown," Leyland said. "So he can't be all bad."
Balester agreed it was unusual that his wife Ashley already had that connection with his new manager.
"She went to Ohio State and I met her when I was playing in Columbus...
This is a very hard article to write on the Detroit Tigers simply because there are so few DONTs on their Major League roster. This off-season they spent some big money signing Prince Fielder and have been in the discussion regarding some high profile international players. Let’s look at who you should draft and who you should let drift by.
Don’t expect anything less than an...
(Eds: Updates.) Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland has a pretty good idea who his four top starters are going to be this season.
Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, of course. Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer and Doug Fister sure seem likely to make the cut, too.
That leaves one spot, but don't ask Leyland about it. He bristled when he was asked about it Wednesday.
Delmon Young had 112 RBI's in 2010 (Twins)
** Writer’s Note ** – This article is the first of what I will call My “Player Predictions Preview”. Each article will take a different Tiger who will be on the roster out of Spring Training and attempt to predict their season. Obviously not all 25 spots are shoe ins at this point in time, so expect those last bullpen spots,...
Austin Jackson is making a change in his swing, forcing himself to keep his front leg down. Jackson said the change would not be drastic, but he struck out 181 times last season as a leadoff hitter and both he and the Tigers are eager for a change.
As it turns out, the sure way to get Ryan Raburn at his best is when he doesn't think it can get any worse.
Manager Jim Leyland and the Tigers stressed the importance of the double play today during drills at spring training.
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Clete Thomas can't point to a specific play, or a specific day, when he turned the corner on his knee injury. He's not completely sure it was a physical turning point anyway. All he knows is that, at some point, he felt like his old self again when he took the field and stepped to the plate.
Add Max Scherzer to the list of Tigers starters who began throwing earlier than usual this offseason. His reasoning for it, however, was a little different.
Manager Jim Leyland said on Monday that the Tigers' defensive drills will be accelerated starting Tuesday. "You have to speed it up to make it more game-like," Leyland said.
Tigers catcher Alex Avila repeatedly used the word "heartbreaking" Monday as he discussed the news that right-hander Joel Zumaya is lost for the season to the Minnesota Twins because of a torn elbow ligament.
The man pays the bills at Miller Park, making him admittedly biased. But Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio thinks everybody is missing the real story about Prince Fielder defecting to Detroit.