At the start of spring training, the possibility existed that the Detroit Tigers’ top two hitters might miss the start of the 2015 Major League Baseball season. With only a little more than a week left before Opening Day, however, Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez look ready to rock.

Both Cabrera, who has been recovering from offseason ankle and foot surgery, and Victor Martinez, who needed surgery in February after tearing the meniscus in his left knee, were back in the lineup together on Thursday. Oh, and each hit a home run to lift the Tigers to a 6-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

With Detroit down 3-2 in the sixth, Cabrera hit this low-lining laser off the Baltimore Orioles’ Tommy Hunter that somehow cleared the left-field wall to tie it up:

The drive was especially impressive because Cabrera managed not only to turn on a fastball down and in, but also shoot it out with a swing that initially looked like it might have resulted in a hard ground ball.

Two innings later, Martinez’s two-run knock—a much more majestic rain-maker to right—came against Kevin Gausman and broke the deadlock:

Martinez and Cabrera combined for three hits and five RBI—the first three of the spring for Cabrera and first two for Martinez—in the victory. Detroit also went with a lineup that should be very similar to its Opening Day one-through-nine now that the club’s two biggest bats are back.

The Tigers lost some of their once-dominant pitching when they traded Rick Porcello and let Max Scherzer walk. But their offense—now featuring Yoenis Cespedes, who also homered Thursday, and J.D. Martinez for a full season—is going to be dangerous as long as Miggy and V-Mart are healthy.

Given the talent influx in the AL Central, which houses everybody’s popular preseason pick, the Cleveland Indians, the much-improved Chicago White Sox and, oh, by the way, last year’s AL champion Kansas City Royals, Detroit is going to have to rely on its stalwart sluggers.


Orioles, Chris Tillman Talking Extension?

Chris Tillman made some headlines Thursday, and not just for holding the mighty Tigers offense in check for much of the game, allowing just two earned on five hits with a 4-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 5.1 frames, thus becoming the first starter to pitch into the sixth inning this spring.

Tillman also has been the subject of speculation that he could be inking a long-term extension:

While that report is promising, it doesn’t mean that a deal of any sort is imminent, even with the theoretical Opening Day deadline.

In fact, that’s just what the soon-to-be 27-year-old told Brittany Ghiroli of “We’re not going to continue that into the season. We’ve got two weeks [left] for the most part.”

For the O’s, there’s no real rush, as Tillman remains under team control through the 2017 season. Then again, he did lead a starting rotation that was one of just four to sport a sub-3.00 ERA in the second half of last season. In that span, the right-hander had a brilliant 2.33 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.


Yasiel Puig Stays Red-Hot

Yasiel Puig is trying to give Kris Bryant a run for his money. The Los Angeles Dodgers’ star outfielder powered a 9-6 win by homering for the second day—and his third game—in a row, this time smashing a two-run shot off Brad Penny (yep, that Brad Penny), now of the Chicago White Sox.

After a slow start to spring that saw his batting average sitting at .174 through his first nine games, Puig has gone 6-for-15 with three long balls and eight RBI in his past five contests.

That’s certainly a promising sign for the Dodgers, who need the uber-talented but streaky outfielder to work on being more consistent and picking up the offensive slack that left when the team let Hanley Ramirez sign with the Boston Red Sox and traded Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres.

Remember, amid an MVP-caliber first half in 2014, Puig went into a power-outage funk from late May into early September, hitting just two homers in 88 games, including one 33-game homerless drought.


David Robertson Battling Arm Soreness

While it’s not necessarily a major concern (yet?), it’s also never a good thing when a club’s new $46 million closer has allowed 11 baserunners and four earned runs in his first 4.2 frames this spring—and is dealing with a bout of forearm soreness, according to Colleen Kane of The Chicago Tribune.

For what it’s worth, Robertson isn’t worried. “I don’t think anything is wrong,” Robertson said via Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. “I’m not going for MRIs or anything like that. I just got a little soreness. This late in the season, I don’t want to sit there and push something and end up being injured for the start of the season.”

After a pair of disappointing seasons but a busy—and buzz-y—offseason, the Chicago White Sox have a lot riding on 2015 after trading for Jeff Samardzija and signing Melky Cabrera, Adam LaRoche and Zach Duke in addition to Robertson.

While Robertson might not be the most important of those newbies, he does have the task of trying to straighten out a bullpen that hung a 4.38 ERA in 2014, the third-worst in baseball. To do that, he’ll need his full health.


Rangers’ Opening Day Nod Goes to Gallardo

Born in Mexico, Yovani Gallardo grew up a fan of the Texas Rangers. It made for a good story, then, when the 29-year-old was traded to them this offseason. Now that Gallardo has been announced the club’s Opening Day starter, per Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, it makes for an even better narrative.

Gallardo will be starting his sixth straight opener, the last five of which came with the Milwaukee Brewers, the team he tops in strikeouts all time.

“It’s definitely an honor and a privilege to get that ball in Game 1,” Gallardo said. “To have the opportunity to go out there and start Game 1 for a team that I grew up watching as a young kid definitely means a lot more.”

If nothing else, this is the silver lining to the black cloud that has been ace Yu Darvish’s torn ulnar collateral ligament and subsequent Tommy John surgery this spring.


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