Eager to avoid complacency, the Detroit Tigers took the field for a five-inning simulated game against minor league players on Sunday afternoon as reported by George Sipple of The Detroit Free Press.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland and the organization brought in a number of youngsters from Detroit's Instructional League club in Lakeland, Fla., and hit Comerica Park's diamond for a scrimmage that did not feature umpires and allowed catchers to call balls and strikes.
Arguably the most intriguing player to hit the field on Sunday was struggling closer Jose Valverde, who came in from the bullpen in the bottom of the first inning. After striking out Austin Jackson to open the frame, Valverde then yielded a walk to Andy Dirks before back-to-back singles to Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder drove home the game's first run.
The performance marked yet another frustrating outing from the right-handed reliever, and likely did not help Leyland gain any extra confidence in his veteran pitcher heading into the World Series. Aside from Valverde's struggles however, Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel did manage to toss a 1-2-3 inning, while both Alex Avila and Don Kelly each belted home runs.