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laprimamirala
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PostSubject: more pitching woes   Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:06 pm

Trio of pitchers having shoulder issues, Nate Robertson finally sleeps and Wilkin Ramirez on fire
By JON PAUL MOROSI FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER March 5, 2008

In addition to Matt Mantei, who announced his retirement Tuesday, three Tigers have been sidelined with shoulder discomfort: left-hander Clay Rapada, right-hander Jeff Gerbe and outfielder Matt Joyce.

Rapada, who described his injury as tendinitis, said Tuesday he hasn't thrown a bullpen session in two weeks. Still, he said, "I expect to be ready by Opening Day."

Gerbe and Joyce were scratched from Tuesday's travel roster. Gerbe, the 23-year-old Shelby Township native, has missed time in each of the past two seasons with shoulder tendinitis. Joyce was told his discomfort was caused by tendinitis that should resolve within a couple days.

NOTEBOOK: On Monday, Nate Robertson had his best night of sleep (six hours) since the birth of his son, Wyatt Dale, last week.

On Tuesday, he pitched three shutout innings against Houston while using only one slider. ...

Wilkin Ramirez, the 22-year-old outfield prospect, went 2-for-2 with a towering home run Tuesday.

He's hitting .545 (6-for-11) this spring. "As dialed-in as I've ever seen him," infielder Michael Hollimon said.

"Everything he's hitting is barreled." ...

Pitching prospect Rick Porcello is scheduled to make his second appearance of the exhibition season today in Bradenton.

"The ultimate prospect," manager Jim Leyland said. "You know you've got a real nice package somewhere, but you can't open it yet."
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