Worth noting

• The Tigers, who made the 2 1/2-hour trip to Port St. Lucie on Thursday to face the Mets, will make a three-hour trek to Jupiter on Saturday to play the Cardinals. Next week, they must make two lengthy trips to Viera against the Nationals. But Leyland is not complaining.

"You're talking to a guy who spent 18 years in the Minor Leagues," the Tigers manager said. "My first bus ride to join the Tigers (1964) was 1,200 miles. When you've ridden a bus from Montgomery, Ala., to Evansville, Ind., a three-hour bus ride is a piece of cake."

• Opening Day hurler Justin Verlander will make his next start in a Minor League game, pitching for the Toledo Mud Hens against Syracuse, the Nationals' Triple-A affiliate, on Saturday.

• Octavio Dotel (Dominican Republic) is the only player on the Tigers' Major League roster who is still participating in the World Baseball Classic.

"We're going to have plenty of time to get our guys ready for the regular season," Leyland said. "If it [the Classic] is good for baseball, it's good. The commissioner is a lot smarter than I am."

• Leyland had words of praise for Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who returns this season after managing San Antonio in the Double-A Texas League last year.

"As a guy who managed in the big leagues [Toronto (2005-08], got fired, then went down to Double-A, that shows me something," Leyland said. "He could have sat out. But he went down and managed Double-A. That was really impressive."

Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.