Lakeland, Fla. — The addition of Joba Chamberlain has altered the Tigers' bullpen battle.
Not only did it make the odds of making the team longer for right-handers Alex Wilson, Josh Zied and Buck Farmer, it also puts lefty Ian Krol in a tough spot.
Here's why: The Tigers need a long reliever and Krol is considered a three- or four-out lefty. Either Blaine Hardy or Kyle Ryan – both lefties – likely will make the squad because they can pitch multiple innings.
The five righties slated to be in the pen -- Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria, Bruce Rondon, Chamberlain and Al Alburquerque -- are three- or four-out pitchers.
The Tigers won't carry more than two lefties. So for Krol to win a spot on the opening day roster, he's going to have to outpitch veteran Tom Gorzelanny.
"Ian's looked good so far," Ausmus said. "If he is lights out (in spring), kind of like we anticipated his arm would allow him to do, we'd have to consider him."
It's only batting practice, and we've all seen the damage Yoenis Cespedes has done against batting practice pitchers in Home Run Derby competitions, but it's an impressive sight nevertheless.
With Ausmus throwing, Cespedes hit a couple towering shots over the "batter's eye" green wall that stands about 30-feet above and 420-feet away at the back fields at TigerTown.
"I think the wind was blowing a little bit," Ausmus joked.
… Both Justin Verlander and David Price threw live batting practice on Thursday and by all accounts, both threw extremely well.
"It was really getting there," said James McCann, who caught Verlander. "For the first time facing hitters, he was really good. That's the Ver we're looking for."
… Right-handed reliever Joel Hanrahan continues to get treatment on his arm. There is no timetable for when he will resume throwing.