1. When told he was complimented by Terry Francona on ESPN as being the “gold standard” of managers, Jim Leyland replied at his morning media session ‘gold or old.’
2. Leyland on Austin Jackson so far: “He’s different. I’ve been watching him. He’s shortened up his stroke, flattened his bat a little bit, and doesn’t have that big leg kick. He’s hitting line drives all over the place right now. Hopefully he’ll be able to take that into the games.”
3. Andy Oliver will start on Friday against Florida Southern. Doug Fister will start the exhibition opener on the road against Atlanta on Saturday.
Max Scherzer will start the home exhibition opener on Sunday, also against the Braves – and Justin Verlander will start on Monday at Marchant Stadium against Toronto
4. Taking the pitching plans another step, Rick Porcello will start the fourth exhibition game against Miami on Tuesday, but when a fifth-starter candidate takes the mound the next day, Leyland has already said “read nothing into who will start that game. We’re going to (flip-flop) the young guys the next time.”
5. Prince Fielder’s athleticism has impressed Leyland so far: “I kind of relate it to an offensive lineman in the NFL. They’re fast, they’re quick, they’re huge. But they are athletic. People don’t realize that.”