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 Hitting duties on deck for Tigers hurlers

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GoGetEmTigers
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PostSubject: Hitting duties on deck for Tigers hurlers   Sun May 11, 2008 2:43 pm

05/10/2008 3:32 PM ET
Hitting duties on deck for Tigers hurlers
With Interleague Play looming, pitchers practice at plate
By Scott McNeish / MLB.com

DETROIT -- Still a week away, Tigers pitchers have started preparing for their additional responsibility during Interleague Play.

The Tigers will travel to Arizona for a three-game set on Friday. With the series being staged at a National League ballpark, Detroit will play by NL rules, meaning Tigers pitchers Justin Verlander, Nate Robertson and Armando Galarraga must hit.

Verlander did so under the watchful eye of manager Jim Leyland and hitting coach Lloyd McClendon before Saturday's game against the Yankees at Comerica Park. He worked on bunting down the baseline for several minutes and then took about 25 full swings, spraying balls to all fields. Since Verlander has a reputation as a solid all-around athlete, his ability to make consistent contact wasn't much of a surprise.

His coaches praised the way he swung the bat.

"Actually, Verlander didn't look too bad," Leyland said.

Galarraga and Robertson will take batting practice when the team ventures to Kansas City on Tuesday.

Leyland doesn't expect much offensive production from his hurlers, considering their hitting history. Of the three pitchers starting in Arizona, only Robertson has a career hit, which occurred in 2006. Verlander has no hits in six at-bats, and Galarraga has no Major League at-bats.

"They'll probably make outs, but it would be better if they made productive outs," Leyland said. "Best-case scenario: There's a guy on third, and hopefully, they put the ball in play."

Jeremy Bonderman was the only pitcher to record a hit with the Tigers last season in Interleague Play. Then there's offseason acquisition Dontrelle Willis. Having played five years in Florida, hitting every five days, Willis owns a .234 career average with eight home runs and 35 RBIs in 351 at-bats. Last year, he hit .286 with two homers, two doubles, three triples and seven RBIs.

But Willis won't make the trip to Arizona, because he will be on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment as he continues his return from a hyperextended knee.

Leyland admitted that he isn't thrilled to be sending his pitchers to the plate. When he managed in the NL in Florida, Pittsburgh and Colorado, he never felt comfortable with his pitchers taking hacks.

"The thing is," Leyland said, "they'll hit one hard or hit one out or something, and they'll pull a rib cage muscle. I've seen pitchers do it before. I've had a couple of them pull a side muscle before trying to hit it out -- even in the National League when they're hitting almost every day. When they hit every day, they may think it's OK to play long ball once in a while, and they'll pull a rib cage muscle screwing around trying to hit a homer."

Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: Hitting duties on deck for Tigers hurlers   Tue May 13, 2008 3:53 pm

The pitchers might end up HELPING our pitiful offense!!
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PostSubject: Re: Hitting duties on deck for Tigers hurlers   Tue May 13, 2008 4:01 pm

GoGetEmTigers wrote:

Jeremy Bonderman was the only pitcher to record a hit with the Tigers last season in Interleague Play.

Another dumb reporter....


So doubles by Maroth don't count as hits? Or was Mike Maroth an outfielder last season?


Also, isn't Bonderman, not Verlander, pitching in the Arizona series?


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PostSubject: Re: Hitting duties on deck for Tigers hurlers   Tue May 13, 2008 4:53 pm

GET RID OF THE DH!

LET PITCHERS HIT
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PostSubject: Re: Hitting duties on deck for Tigers hurlers   Tue May 13, 2008 4:54 pm

Not like we see Complete Games anymore!

Most Tigers Starters done by the 6th or 7th inning most nights.

By their third at bat; you could PH for them anyway.


LET THEM HIT
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