Tigers vs. Yankees: Grapefruit League opener game thread

Bless You Boys

We won’t see the Detroit Tigers on the interwebs and airwaves until Sunday, but the first game of the exhibition season is finally here. It’s somewhat fitting that Dan Dickerson gets the first call of the year as they welcome the New York Yankees into Joker Marchant Stadium at 1:05 p.m. ET today.

The Tigers will send Reese Olson to the mound for the first start of the year on Saturday, and he’ll presumably have Jake Rogers catching for him. Olson may be fighting for a rotation spot but he has a better case than most, and it’ll be interesting to see how he responds this spring after a very solid 2023 debut. It’s going to be pretty hard to keep him out of the Opening Day rotation.

Juan Soto appears set to debut with the Yankees on Sunday, so we won’t get to see that, probably to Mr. Olson’s benefit. Of course, pitchers are generally ahead of hitters at this point. Right-hander Luis Gil is set to open the game for New York.

Colt Keith and Justyn-Henry Malloy are slated to represent the youth movement for the Tigers in the opener. Those are three young players who could all play important roles this season and it’s going to be a fun camp watching them work to take the next step. Beyond the top guys, the club has a lot of interesting pitching talent in camp and hopefully on Sunday we’ll get a look at one or two of their better pitching prospects as well.

Kerry Carpenter is a little banged up with a hamstring strain, so he won’t be playing for a bit. Alex Faedo is slated to start on Sunday, with Jack Flaherty taking the bump for the first time as a Tigers on Monday at home against the Houston Astros. Recently signed infielder Gio Urshela probably won’t debut for a few more days as he gets acclimated.

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