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 From the FSN Daily Wire

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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:05 pm

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes
by Sports Xchange


Updated: April 3, 2009, 5:40 AM EST
--1B/3B Jeff Larish earned the final spot on Detroit's roster after batting .270 in Grapefruit League play. OF Brent Clevlen will open the season with Class AAA Toledo. Clevlen hit .260 this spring.

--UT Ryan Raburn and LHP Clay Rapada were optioned to Class AAA Toledo as the Tigers got closer to determining their Opening Day roster. RHPs Rick Porcello and Zach Miner have earned spots in the rotation, while LHP Nate Robertson and RHP Ryan Perry will be relievers. RHP Scott Williamson and C Dane Sardinha were reassigned to Detroit's minor league camp.
Porcello, 20, and Perry, 22, have never pitched above Class A.

--DH Gary Sheffield was released by the Tigers on March 31, leaving the nine-time All-Star with 499 career home runs and no team. It's likely Sheffield will find another job quickly, however, as he can be signed for the $400,000 minimum salary with the Tigers having to pay the remainder of the $14 million Sheffield is due this season.

Sheffield, 40, was hitting only .178 in spring training but had five home runs among his eight hits. Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Sheffield said, "It's one of those things where you move on, you know? I was surprised. I thought I was getting ready for the season. I never thought that I wasn't going to be playing with the Detroit Tigers this year. It's probably a blessing."

With the move, Marcus Thames becomes the Tigers' designated hitter.

--RHP Jeremy Bonderman, recovering from surgeries to remove a blood clot and to restore circulation to his right shoulder, will open the season on the disabled list. The move will give Bonderman time to get his fastball velocity back into the low 90s.

--OF Timo Perez, a non-roster camp invitee who enjoyed a solid spring, was reassigned to the Tigers' minor league camp. He batted .333 in Grapefruit League action.

--INF Will Rhymes, who played well last year in Class AA and the Arizona Fall League, was reassigned to the Tigers' minor league camp. He hit .182 in spring training.

--RHP Rick Porcello was removed from the March 31 game after being struck on the right side by a line drive. He pitched one inning after getting hit.

Porcello, 20, admits he's still learning. "I need to clear my head and focus on one pitch at a time," he said recently. "I know I can get guys out, but it isn't easy when you throw a lot of pitches to each hitter. It's not that I'm jumping out of my shoes. It's just that I have to take a deep breath and find that rhythm again."

--OF Clete Thomas, slowed this spring while recovering from Tommy John surgery performed was September, was optioned to Class AAA Toledo. Thomas didn't play in the field until March 25. His arm is not at full strength, but he's been long-tossing on a regular basis and is expected to be able to play when the minor league season begins.

--OF Josh Anderson was acquired from the Braves in exchange for minor league RHP Rudy Darrow, and he will serve as a backup at all three outfield positions. Anderson, 26, lost a battle to be the Braves' starting center fielder this spring. He batted .294 and stole 10 bases in 40 major league games last year.

Darrow, 25, split last season between high Class A and Class AA, going a combined 5-3 with 10 saves and a 2.02 ERA.

--RHP Joel Zumaya was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right shoulder, retroactive to March 27. "When we get him back, I want him for good," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "So we're going to take all the steps to make sure that he's ready to pitch, ready to pitch back to back, and we're in the process of doing that."

--LHP Dontrelle Willis was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an anxiety disorder. Willis, for his part, doesn't understand the diagnosis and has said he feels well. "I have no idea, but (the doctors) didn't like what they saw in the blood," Willis said. "This is not something where I'm too amped up and I don't know where I'm at, and I'm running sprints up and down the parking lot."

--RHP Justin Verlander has been confirmed as Detroit's Opening Day pitcher for the second consecutive season. "I've known it for a while, but I wasn't exactly sure," manager Jim Leyland said. Verlander won 35 games his first two seasons with the Tigers but lost 17 a year ago. "He's really making an effort to make the steps to be as successful as he can be." Verlander blanked Atlanta on two singles over seven innings March 27 in his third straight strong start after cleaning up his mechanics. He threw 75 pitches in his seven innings, a trait of his first two seasons that had ballooned to 100 through five last season. He had five shutout innings in his previous start and has allowed only one run on five hits in his last 18 innings. "He's really working hard on some things he's figured out himself and with (pitching coach) Rick Knapp," Leyland said. "He's making improvements that are good to see."

--LHP Nate Robertson might have to be moved back from his scheduled start March 30 because of a sprained thumb suffered March 25 in the first inning of his start. Robertson took a relay throw on a double-play attempt on his left thumb. He entered the weekend scheduled to throw on the side to determine whether he would be able to start. "I'm a pretty tough guy," he said after X-rays showed no break in the thumb.

--SS Adam Everett hoped to be back on the field during the weekend after spraining his left ankle sliding into second base March 25 when a pop fly dropped behind shortstop for a hit. "I want to be back as soon as possible," he said. Manager Jim Leyland said, "I thought Everett had blown his knee out at first. I don't know for sure, but I don't think he'll be out for long."

--RHP Jeremy Bonderman believes everything is present in his repertoire -- except his fastball. Bonderman has been throwing at about 88-89 mph rather than in the low 90s, as he has done in the past. "I'm as concerned as he is, but I look at the bright side," manager Jim Leyland said. "There's no pain in his shoulder. That indicates to me (his arm strength) will come back. Exactly how soon, I can't answer that. Next time? I don't know. Five times from now? I don't know. Is he going to be ready? I don't know. I'm planning to pitch him again on Sunday, but is he going to be ready? I don't know. I can't answer that. The positive sign is that he's not hurting at all. If he was down on velocity and having pain, I would be concerned." Leyland hinted that if the velocity remains down, Bonderman might stay behind to keep working rather than open the season with the Tigers.

--OF Clete Thomas returned to the outfield March 25 for the first time this spring. Thomas, who had Tommy John surgery on Sept. 11, started in right field. He played only as a pinch hitter or designated hitter in previous spring action. He is scheduled to open the season with Class AAA Toledo but likely would be the first outfielder called up should something happen to CF Curtis Granderson.

--RHP Edwin Jackson will pitch in Detroit's second game of the regular season, April 7 at Toronto. For that reason, manager Jim Leyland decided to pitch Jackson in a minor league game on March 28 rather than have him work against the Blue Jays in a scheduled exhibition game.

BY THE NUMBERS: 13 -- Strikeouts by Tigers 3B George Kell as he was winning the batting title in 1949 with a .3429 average, .0002 better than Ted Williams. It's the fewest strikeouts ever in a season by a batting champion. Kell, elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981, died March 25 at the age of 86 at his home in Swifton, Ark.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm doing you a favor. Detroit is a great place to play baseball. I can't pay you what you deserve and they can." -- A's owner-manager Connie Mack to 3B George Kell on May 18, 1946, on the occasion of trading him to Detroit for OF Barney McCosky. Kell played for Detroit until 1952 and ended his career breaking in 3B Brooks Robinson for Baltimore in 1957.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:55 pm

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes

by Sports Xchange


Updated: April 6, 2009, 6:40 AM EST
--RHP Rick Porcello tuned up for his first major league start -- Thursday at Toronto in Detroit's fourth game of the season -- with two scoreless exhibition innings Saturday in which 21 of the 26 pitches he threw were for strikes. Barely four months out of his teens, Detroit's No. 1 draft choice in 2007 jumped from Class A to the big leagues on the strength of his poise and the command of his four pitches. "He looked like he was right at home to me," manager Jim Leyland said after Porcello pitched in Atlanta. "He looked very comfortable. He certainly didn't look in awe of anything." C Gerald Laird said, "For 20 years old, it's amazing how mature he is. This (Atlanta) was kind of a different experience for him. The way he pitched, controlling his emotions, had to be a big confidence boost."
--UTL Jeff Larish made Detroit's opening-day roster (at the expense of UTL Ryan Raburn) and manager Jim Leyland intends to use him more than just occasionally. "I like him a lot," Leyland said. "He's studious and he pays attention. You always worry about young guys sitting too much, but I'll get him in there." Larish, 26, batted .260 in 42 games with Detroit last season. He can be used at the corner infield and outfield spots along with DH. He provides Detroit with needed punch from the left side of the plate and is a patient hitter, too patient sometimes. "It's hard to hit with two strikes on you all the time," Leyland said. "Going back to last year, I think I gave pitchers too much credit," Larish said. "Yeah, they're more consistent up here, but they do make mistakes. It's about capitalizing on mistakes."
--RHP Jeremy Bonderman remains in Florida on the disabled list, trying to regain his low-90s fastball in a slower than expected recovery from two surgeries last season. "Bondo's really handling it great," manager Jim Leyland said. "I've had a conversation with him and he had the approach and maturity you like to see. He knows it (pitching strength) will come back. We're not gonna rush it." Said Bonderman: "I can't put a timetable on any of it. When I'm ready, I'm ready. It's going to be a little bit. I'm not going to come up if I ain't right." The Tigers want to see more stamina and a much better fastball before they bring Bonderman back. "I need to do what's best to get my arm right," Bonderman said. "Little steps. I'll get there eventually."

--RHP Joel Zumaya, beginning the season on the disabled list while his right shoulder gets healthy, hopes he can return to the Tigers' bullpen before April turns to May. "It's just a matter of getting over a hump," Zumaya said. "I threw two innings the other day and was just fine, with my velocity in the high 90s (mph). My arm is feeling great." The Tigers want to see Zumaya throw without ill effects on back-to-back occasions -- with velocity -- before bringing him back to Detroit.

--RHP Eddie Bonine was so-so as a substitute starter for Detroit last season but the journeyman rookie looks much better working as a reliever. Bonine threw two hitless innings as a starter Thursday after being told he was on the roster as a relief pitcher. "He's been tremendous," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's a different pitcher out of the bullpen than as a starter. He's done very well. He's got that knuckleball. And he knows he's not out there long so he throws harder out of the bullpen." He was 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in five starts for Detroit when brought up in June but was put on the disabled list Aug. 11 with a shoulder strain and removed from the 40-man roster during the winter. "When we took him off (in January), I called him, didn't get him, but left him a long message, telling him what we were doing," Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said. "I told him to stay positive, work hard, and that I've seen players who were taken off the roster come back to the big leagues and have a very good career." He finished spring training with 13 1/3 scoreless innings after allowing a run in his first game. "He's done very, very well," Leyland said. "One of the big things is that he knows he won't be out there as long (as when he started), so he throws harder out of the bullpen."

--RHP Fernando Rodney was nominated to close Detroit's first game of the season, if a closer was necessary, but after that the manager says "who's effective" will be his closer. "Does that mean he's going to come in every time? I don't know that answer," Leyland said. "I wouldn't make a big deal of it that I've named him the closer because I really haven't. But he's going to close that first game, hopefully." Leyland stayed away from discussing his closer as Rodney and newcomer RHP Brandon Lyon vied for the job. Both were inconsistent but both were also working on their complementary pitches, too. "Fernando Rodney is in the best shape he's been in since I've been here," Leyland said. "I think he was messing around with a slider and it got him off-kilter in the middle of the spring. But he's throwing the ball extremely well."

--DH Marcus Thames has not had a good spring training but will inherit most of released Gary Sheffield's at-bats as Detroit's primary designated hitter. Manager Jim Leyland said, however, that he will rotate his DH through the Tigers' first series of the season, on the artificial turf in Toronto. Thames was not expected to start opening day against RHP Roy Halladay. Thames hit less than .200 this spring but was also bothered by injury. His last two seasons, Thames hit just .147 in 75 DH at-bats with six home runs and 12 RBIs. But in 2006, in 150 DH at-bats, Thames hit .293 with 11 home runs and 27 RBIs. "When they moved Carlos (Guillen) to left field," Thames said, "I thought, here we go, I'm not going to get many at-bats. And maybe they were going to make a move. Everybody thought I was going to get traded. I kept my mouth shut. You can't control anything. But I'll meet this chance head-on. That's what you work for -- to get 500 at-bats, not 200. That's what we say right now. Today's Tuesday."

--OF Josh Anderson, who lost a bid to be Atlanta's starting center fielder, was acquired by Detroit on Mar. 30 to be a backup outfielder, pinch runner and pinch hitter for the Tigers. "Josh is a young outfielder that has hit well at each level he has played," Detroit GM Dave Dombrowski said. "He has above-average speed that gives us a dimension on our club that we presently do not have." Anderson, 26, hit .294 with 10 stolen bases in 40 games with the Braves last season. Anderson will back up CF Curtis Granderson even though both are left-handed hitters. He was a fourth-round pick by Houston in the 2003 draft and has a .315 average in 61 major league games. "His forte is an extra guy," Dombrowski said.

--LHP Nate Robertson is not content with working out of the bullpen after being a starter with Detroit through most of his career. "I think the cycle of a player's time in certain places comes and goes," said Robertson, 31, noting "there's definitely a difference of opinion" in whether he's a starter or a reliever. "It's a possibility I might be going somewhere," Robertson said. "I might not be here, and I'm at peace with that." "We don't end anybody's career in the organization if we think it's best for our team and they make contributions," manager Jim Leyland said. "In my conversation with him, I explained to him the importance of the entire pitching staff, the importance of him accepting the situation with a tremendous attitude and the bulldog approach he showed me before. I'm well aware that Nate Robertson wants to start. I think he believes he's a starting pitcher. I believe that myself, if it's the Nate Robertson of 2006. I definitely believe that. I think Nate Robertson has an excellent opportunity to be a huge part of our ballclub. You don't always finish how you start. The best way to get yourself in the position where you want to be is prove that you're supposed to be in that position. If somebody would have told me in 2006 that Nate Robertson would be in the bullpen this year, I'd have told them that they were probably crazy."

--LHP Dontrelle Willis finished spring training on the disabled list after a blood test disclosed an anxiety disorder the organization said is treatable. "I'm not at liberty to discuss that," GM Dave Dombrowski said when asked what the treatment would be. "But in order to place someone on the disabled list, it has to be an accepted medical condition -- or else the commissioner's office would not accept it. And they've accepted this." After a discussion with team doctors, Willis said, "I'm always an amped-up guy, but they've seen something in my blood work they didn't like seeing. And if they don't like it, I don't like it. I've been feeling good, but we have to fix it before it gets worse. ... I want to be OK. I have kids. I just want to be fine." Said Dombrowski: "We know it can be corrected." Willis was returned to Detroit before the Tigers left for more examination. The Tigers owe Willis $10 million this year and $12 million next season, some of which could be recovered through insurance.

BY THE NUMBERS: 36.1 -- Millions in salary the Tigers are paying to three players not on their opening day active roster. Released DH Gary Sheffield is owed $13.6 million after signing with the New York Mets for the major league minimum; RHP Jeremy Bonderman, currently on the disabled list recovering from last year's shoulder surgery, is being paid $12.5 million; and LHP Dontrelle Willis is getting $10 million. Willis is on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Are we right? I think so. If we aren't, I'll be wrong. The easiest thing is to say they are not ready. But with the stuff they showed, they deserved to be on the team." -- Manager Jim Leyland on his decision to put Detroit's last two first-round draft choices, RHP Rick Porcello (2007) and RHP Ryan Perry (2008) on his opening-day roster.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:56 pm

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch
by Sports Xchange


Updated: April 7, 2009, 4:00 AM EST
Regular left fielder Carlos Guillen served as the Tigers' designated hitter for the season opener Monday night, and Marcus Thames was expected to be in that spot for Tuesday's second game of the year.
"This stuff is really tough on Guillen's hamstring," Leyland said of the artificial playing surface in the Rogers Centre, Toronto's home park. "He's our left fielder, but this was a no-brainer. We start on this stuff, and we'll get it out of the way early, and we won't have to worry about it anymore. I'm not going to take any chances."
Guillen will be the DH in one more game this series, Leyland said, with right fielder Magglio Ordonez also DH'ing for a game.

"We're going to have probably two or three different DHs, two more for sure in this series," Leyland said. "That's good. That's that flexibility we're talking about."

The fourth outfielder, Josh Anderson, started in left in the opener, and Leyland plans to have his utility infielder, Ramon Santiago, start at second and short in the series.

Catcher Matt Treanor will also play in one game, probably Thursday's afternoon contest, which follows a night game.

Infielder/outfielder Jeff Larish also is expected to see action in one game, possibly Wednesday against the other right-hander the Blue Jays will start in the four-game set.

BLUE JAYS 12, TIGERS 5: RHP Justin Verlander thought he had his problems from last year figured out this spring. On opening night, it wasn't so. Toronto roughed up Verlander for four runs with two out and nobody on in the first and scored eight runs in 3 2/3 innings overall.

CF Curtis Granderson had a solo home run and 3B Brandon Inge a two-run opposite-field home run for most of the Tigers' offense.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:43 pm

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes
by Sports Xchange


Updated: April 8, 2009, 4:40 AM EST
--DH Marcus Thames is expected to get more at-bats this season, which would give him an opportunity to live up to the front office's predictions he would have more than 30 home runs if he batted 500 times in a season. His ratio of one home run per 12.64 at-bats last year was the best in the majors. He drilled a low inside fastball down the third base line for an RBI double Tuesday in the seventh inning. Thames had 26 home runs last season in 316 at-bats.

--UT Jeff Larish made Detroit's opening-day roster (at the expense of UT Ryan Raburn), and manager Jim Leyland intends to use him more than just occasionally. "I like him a lot," Leyland said. "He's studious and he pays attention. You always worry about young guys sitting too much, but I'll get him in there." Larish, 26, batted .260 in 42 games with Detroit last season. He can be used at the corner infield and outfield spots along with DH. He provides Detroit with needed punch from the left side of the plate and is a patient hitter, too patient sometimes. "It's hard to hit with two strikes on you all the time," Leyland said. "Going back to last year, I think I gave pitchers too much credit," Larish said. "Yeah, they're more consistent up here, but they do make mistakes. It's about capitalizing on mistakes."

--RHP Jeremy Bonderman remains in Florida on the disabled list, trying to regain his low-90s fastball in a slower than expected recovery from two surgeries last season. "Bondo's really handling it great," manager Jim Leyland said. "I've had a conversation with him and he had the approach and maturity you like to see. He knows it (pitching strength) will come back. We're not gonna rush it." Said Bonderman: "I can't put a timetable on any of it. When I'm ready, I'm ready. It's going to be a little bit. I'm not going to come up if I ain't right." The Tigers want to see more stamina and a much better fastball before they bring Bonderman back. "I need to do what's best to get my arm right," Bonderman said. "Little steps. I'll get there eventually."

BY THE NUMBERS: 36.1 -- Millions in salary the Tigers are paying to three players not on their opening day active roster. Released DH Gary Sheffield is owed $13.6 million after signing with the New York Mets for the major league minimum; RHP Jeremy Bonderman, currently on the disabled list recovering from last year's shoulder surgery, is being paid $12.5 million; and LHP Dontrelle Willis is getting $10 million. Willis is on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:34 pm

White Sox and Tigers washed out
Associated Press

Updated: April 14, 2009, 3:20 PM EST
DETROIT (AP) - After their game Tuesday was rained out, the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox took advantage of the unexpected day off to rework their starting rotations.

Detroit pushed back 20-year-old rookie Rick Porcello from Tuesday to Sunday in Seattle, leaving Armando Galarraga in place to start Wednesday's series finale against the White Sox. That delayed Porcello's home debut and gave Detroit a four-man rotation for at least 10 days.
Zach Miner, who allowed eight runs in 3 1-3 innings during Monday's 10-6 loss to Chicago, will move to the bullpen for Detroit, which has scheduled off-days Thursday and Monday.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland didn't speak to reporters after the postponement. He was unhappy with Miner on Monday, a cold and windy day.

"Both starters had a bad day, but ours was worse than theirs," Leyland said after the game. "I doubt that he would have had that performance on a normal day, but that's not an excuse."

Tuesday's game was postponed after a wait of just 10 minutes. A light rain was falling and showers were forecast for the rest of the day.

Chicago left Jose Contreras in place to start Wednesday and pushed back John Danks to Thursday against Tampa Bay.

The White Sox need to figure out how to fill the opening in center field created when Dewayne Wise separated a shoulder making a diving catch on Monday. Wise is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Chicago purchased the contract of Jerry Owens from Triple-A Charlotte, but manager Ozzie Guillen had Brian Anderson in Tuesday's lineup.

"We're going to start out with Brian, and hopefully he'll do the job," Guillen said. "If not, I'll give Jerry a shot. I need a center fielder."

Chicago also agreed to a minor league contract with Scott Podsednik, released by Colorado on April 1. Podsednik, who played for Chicago from 2005-2007, hit .253 for the Rockies last season. He will report to Charlotte
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:11 pm

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes
by Sports Xchange


Updated: April 16, 2009, 5:20 AM EST
--DH/LF Carlos Guillen's sore right Achilles tendon might be scrambling manager Jim Leyland's plan to rotate Detroit's designated hitters. Guillen made his fourth start of the season as the Tigers' DH on Wednesday, most on the club, and hasn't appeared in the outfield since leaving Sunday's game after straining his foot running out a double. Guillen is unsure how the soreness will affect his ability to play left field, but it was clearly affecting his ability to run when he grounded into a double play in the seventh. "Who knows? I have to see, day by day, how it feels," he said. Guillen said he began feeling pain in the Achilles in the season-opening series at Toronto.
--No makeup date for Tuesday's rained out game between Detroit and Chicago was immediately announced. The Tigers and White Sox have common days off April 30, June 15 and June 22. They could also schedule a day-night doubleheader on one of Chicago's other two trips to Detroit this season, July 24-26 and the final weekend of the season, Oct. 2-4.
BY THE NUMBERS: 5 -- Games in which slugging 1B Miguel Cabrera played before striking out for the first time this season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I have family members out of work. So I know what it's like. You hope they understand you have a great appreciation of what they're going through and that things will get turned around. We're always supposed to give our best effort, whether people are working or not working, whether times are tough or not. That's what we do for a living. But you like to perk them up a little bit. There's a silver lining in the clouds when you have a sports team doing well. People can get away for a few hours and forget their frustrations." -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland, speaking on opening day in Detroit on the tough economic times in Michigan and around the country.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:16 pm

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch
by Sports Xchange


Updated: April 17, 2009, 4:00 AM EST
The real ace of the Tigers pitching staff isn't going against the Seattle Mariners on Friday -- he pitched Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox.
Justin Verlander gets the nominal title of the top pitcher in the rotation because he won 35 games in his first two seasons, many of them in dominating fashion, and he throws a fastball that tops out at about 97 mph, a couple of ticks lower than when he first joined the Tigers.
Armando Galarraga throws a peak fastball of about 93 mph, and then only on occasion, but his spinners, darters and sliders seldom see the heart of the plate, which is something Verlander couldn't say last year.

Verlander allowed eight runs in his first start this season and three in his second (two unearned). He had six walks and 12 strikeouts. Galarraga allowed one run in his two starts combined with three walks and 13 strikeouts.

Look at last season, too.

Verlander worked 201 innings and allowed 195 hits with 87 walks and 163 strikeouts. He was 11-17 with a 4.84 ERA.

Galarraga pitched 178 2/3 innings with 152 hits, 61 walks and 126 strikeouts. He was 12-7 with a 3.73 ERA.

Verlander has thrown a no-hitter; Galarraga almost did.

The difference seems to be that Galarraga has gone through arm trouble and some difficult outings. It taught him how to pitch; in other words, to make every pitch move, to mix them up and make adjustments within games.

Verlander might have taken a significant step in that direction this spring when he changed his delivery slightly, softening his landing foot and dropping his arm angle a hair. And he could have made another advancement in his latest start when he threw mostly fastballs that ranged from 92-97 mph with just a sprinkling of changeups and curves.

There's no question Verlander has better stuff. But there should also be no question that right now Galarraga pitches better.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:08 pm

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes
by Sports Xchange


Updated: April 20, 2009, 7:00 AM EST
--C Matt Treanor has a shot at becoming rookie RHP Rick Porcello's personal catcher. Treanor, still looking for his first hit of the season in 11 at-bats, has caught both of the 20-year-old's Major League starts. The first was a no-decision but Sunday Porcello earned his first win with seven innings of five-hit ball, retiring the last 14 he faced. Treanor most often catches day games after night contests to give regular C Gerald Laird a rest but if he and Porcello continue to work well together it just might be that Manager Jim Leyland will keep the combination going. Leyland managed the late RHP Mark 'The Bird' Fidrych when he was trying to make a comeback in the minors and remembers that another low-hit backup catcher, Bruce Kimm, caught every one of Fidrych's starts as he was going 19-9 in 1976.
--1B Miguel Cabrera reached his 26th birthday Saturday with a total of 179 home runs, exactly as many as Hank Aaron had on his 26th birthday. He Cabrera has 45 more RBI than Aaron did when he turned 26 but 22 less than Ty Cobb at the same age, 24 more home runs than Willie Mays did at 26 and 239 more RBI than Mays at the same age. Ken Griffey Jr. had 10 more home runs than Cabrera when he turned 26 but Detroit's first baseman has 10 more RBI than Griffey did.
BY THE NUMBERS: 179 -- Career home run totals of both Hank Aaron and 1B Miguel Cabrera on their 26th birthdays. Cabrera turned 26 on April 18.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I had a great career. Some people call it a year; I call it a career. My career is still going on. Because of writers and fans, that's why." -- Mark 'The Bird' Fidrych, 54, who suffocated to death April 13 when his clothing got caught in an auxiliary drive shaft while he was working under his 10-wheel dump truck, in a 2001 interview. Fidrych went 19-9 and was Rookie of the Year for the Tigers in 1976 but won just 10 more games due to what later was diagnosed as a torn rotator cuff.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:21 am

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch
by Sports Xchange



Updated: April 21, 2009, 3:20 AM EST
Every season starts out the same -- teams searching tentatively for an identity.
It takes time to sort out whether a team is going to have the kind of pitching staff it hoped it would during the winter and spring.
Can we hit? Do we play defense? Who are the leaders? What does our rotation look like? Can we shut teams down at the end of games?

The last two years for the Tigers, the general answers have been, "No, no, depends on what day it is, mediocre to poor, and yes (2007)/no (2008)."

Manager Jim Leyland said in spring training his Tigers would be a good team, but he always says that.

The organization felt it would hit, which is why it went hard after upgrading the defense. And with plenty of veterans there appears to be no shortage of leaders, although the team will feed off 1B Miguel Cabrera offensively.

The key questions entering the season were starting pitching and the bullpen.

It appears the Tigers will have a solid starting threesome of righties Justin Verlander, Armando Galarraga and Edwin Jackson. All three have had lights-out moments and in general their starts have given the Tigers a chance to win.

Rookie righty Rick Porcello looks like a keeper and there are enough bodies to give Leyland hope he'll be able to find a consistent fifth starter before the season's done.

The front end of the bullpen is questionable but so far the back end has given the team reason for hope.

Righty Fernando Rodney appears to have taken hold of the closer's role (3-for-3 in saves, one base runner allowed so far this season) and righty Ryan Perry, the hard-throwing No. 1 2008 draft choice, looks like someone who can be useful anywhere from the middle to late innings as he learns the nuances of being a big-league reliever.

Lefty Bobby Seay is emerging as a late-game force and potential setup man. He's improved steadily over the last three seasons.

What would really firm up the bullpen is a healthy and effective righty Joel Zumaya, who could rejoin the team from a rehab assignment within a week.

The traditional evaluation period in Detroit is the first 40 games. But as the Tigers near the 20-game mark, some positive signs are showing.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:15 pm

Rotation:

Justin Verlander
Armando Galaragga
Edwin Jackson
Jeremy Bonderman
Rick Porcello
DOMINANT

Bullpen:

Fernando Rodney
Joel Zumaya
Bobby Seay
Ryan Perry
Zach Miner
Brandon Lyon

Dunno how many others we can have. But that looks good on its own.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:01 pm

you wrote off Nate outta the bullpen?
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:00 pm

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch
by Sports Xchange


Updated: April 22, 2009, 5:00 AM EST
It has to cheer Dontrelle Willis and the Tigers a lot to finally have some good news to rebuild his hopes on.
Willis pitched seven innings in his first rehab appearance, and while he gave up four runs Tuesday, it was the lack of walks that was most heartening in his performance for high Class A Lakeland.
He did not walk a batter in his first outing since being placed on the disabled list in late March with an anxiety disorder -- a malady about which he remains unclear.

Willis was throwing first-pitch strikes. He was throwing strikes period, 58 of 75 pitches in fact, and he retired the first nine batters he faced. And though he gave up four runs, two were unearned. The only extra-base hit was a two-run home run.

His next stop will be Class AA Erie, where Willis is scheduled to start Sunday. If he does well there, and in a presumed assignment for Class AAA Toledo, he could come up to give the Tigers a left-handed presence their rotation currently lacks.

Detroit invested a three-year contract in Willis that still has two seasons to run. It wants him to succeed, and now it appears as though he might have a chance.

ANGELS 4, TIGERS 3: Detroit's relief pitching had been sturdy since the first two games of the season, but it broke down at the end of Tuesday's defeat. Brandon Lyon lost on an RBI double in the eighth off the center field wall by Gary Mathews Jr. Detroit got a pair of home runs from Curtis Granderson leading off the first and third innings. Armando Galarraga started for the Tigers but struggled with his command and left after five innings with the score tied, 3-3.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Thu Apr 23, 2009 12:01 pm

laprimamirala wrote:
you wrote off Nate outta the bullpen?

Whoops. Forgot about him. How many people do we have in the pen?
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:00 am

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes
by Sports Xchange



Updated: April 23, 2009, 4:20 AM EST
--RHP Justin Verlander was plagued by the big inning twice Wednesday night as he continues to struggle to put his sometimes dominating skills together on a consistent basis. "We're trying to avoid the one inning where things kind of snowball a little bit," pitching coach Rick Knapp said before Verlander allowed three runs in the first on a home run and three runs in the fifth. The Los Angeles Angels wisely slapped Verlander's outside fastballs to the opposite field and jumped on his fastballs down the middle of the plate. He seems to be getting too many pitches in the heart of the plate. Foul balls and two 30-pitch innings combined to push his pitch count to 100 and force him from the game after the fifth inning.

--SS Adam Everett returned to the starting lineup Wednesday night after missing nearly a week of action. He missed most of last week with a severe case of the flu, and INF Ramon Santiago drove in 11 runs in his absence, drawing the start Tuesday night even though Everett was ready to play. Santiago went hitless Tuesday, however, so Everett returned to action and contributed a bloop RBI single behind shortstop in the seventh. He showed his defensive value with a backhand flip to second to start a double play in the seventh.
--C Matt Treanor has a shot at becoming rookie RHP Rick Porcello's personal catcher. Treanor, still looking for his first hit of the season in 11 at-bats, has caught both of the 20-year-old's major league starts. The first was a no-decision but Sunday Porcello earned his first win with seven innings of five-hit ball, retiring the last 14 he faced. Treanor most often catches day games after night contests to give regular C Gerald Laird a rest but if he and Porcello continue to work well together it just might be that Manager Jim Leyland will keep the combination going. Leyland managed the late RHP Mark 'The Bird' Fidrych when he was trying to make a comeback in the minors and remembers that another low-hit backup catcher, Bruce Kimm, caught every one of Fidrych's starts as he was going 19-9 in 1976.

BY THE NUMBERS: 179 -- Career home run totals of both Hank Aaron and 1B Miguel Cabrera on their 26th birthdays. Cabrera turned 26 on April 18.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:04 am

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes
by Sports Xchange



Updated: April 28, 2009, 5:00 AM EST
--LHP Dontrelle Willis took another step forward Sunday when he worked six successful innings for Class AA Erie. Willis, on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder, allowed just three hits in six innings. He did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, when he gave up two runs on a leadoff home run and two doubles. He left with Erie leading 7-2 in a game it won 8-4.

--RHP Scott Williamson was released from the Class AAA Toledo farm club so the Tigers could option down RHP Eddie Bonine, who was bumped with the return of RHP Joel Zumaya from the disabled list. Williamson, 33, signed a minor-league contract in January but did not make the club in spring training. He had struggled at Toledo, posting an 11.81 ERA in five games. He has not pitched in the majors since 2007.

--C Matt Treanor was placed on the disabled list Sunday and may miss 2-3 months of the season (or more) with a torn labrum and impingement in his right hip. He had surgery last October for the three tears in his left hip -- officially listed as "sports hernia" surgery -- but was increasingly bothered by pain in the same area in spring training and said he really started to feel it April 17 in Seattle. Surgery is now expected this week. "I tried everything I could (other than surgery)," he said. "I thought I did the right thing by trying to get through that and continuing to play without having surgery right off the bat. I didn't want to jump the gun and think I just had to get surgery. I was hoping to get to the All-Star break and maybe get another injection and finish up the year. I thought I would be able to get through it." He was hitless in 13 at-bats over four games. "I was feeling decent up until I got to Seattle," Treanor said. "It wasn't getting any better. After I played, I had to lift my legs up to get them in bed. I wasn't doing anybody any good."

--C Dane Sardinha's contract was purchased from Triple-A Toledo on Sunday, and he flew to Kansas City to find himself in the starting lineup. Sardinha threw out a runner (Coco Crisp) trying to steal in the fifth after stroking a sacrifice fly to center that scored the eventual winning run in the top half of the inning. Sardinha, who hit .231 in five games for the Mud Hens, was brought up when backup C Matt Treanor was placed on the disabled list with a hip problem that will require surgery. "I really like Sardinha," manager Jim Leyland, a former catcher, said of his new backup, who took a .143 batting average for 19 Major League games into Sunday's contest. "He's an excellent catcher. We don't expect a lot of offense from him. I'm not sure anybody expects a lot of offense from their backup catcher."

--RF Magglio Ordonez finally got his first extra base hit of the season Saturday night, driving a solo home run in the ninth inning of a 9-1 Detroit win at Kansas City after his first 17 hits of the season went for singles. A couple of those singles were the product of Ordonez's lack of speed but mainly they're the result of his hitting the ball where it's pitched instead of trying to yank everything over the left field wall. "About time, huh?" Ordonez said with a grin after the game.

--RHP Ryan Perry continues to impress with his ability to get hitters out and handle increasingly more pressurized situations. Sunday, he was brought in to start the eighth inning with a 3-1 lead and got three outs with only a walk marring his two-strikeout inning. Perry has pitched eight times already this year and by early May might exceed his innings total (14 1/3) of his first pro season, 2008.

--RHP Zach Miner returned to the starting rotation Saturday night and pitched just long enough to win his second game of the season. However with a day off Thursday it is likely Manager Jim Leyland will skip over Miner the next time through the rotation as he elects to keep RHPs Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson, Rick Porcello and Armando Galarraga in turn. Leyland wants Miner to be more aggressive in throwing strikes and attacking hitters. "He better," Leyland said. "He's got to get over that (not getting ahead of hitters), and I think he can. But if he doesn't, it's going to be tough for him to be a starting pitcher." Miner threw 83 pitches, 42 of them strikes, while holding Kansas City to three singles in five innings. "The balls I was getting hit were on the ground, which is always a good sign for me," said Miner, who got a key double play in the third while RHP Juan Rincon was warming up in the bullpen. "It seems like early they had some good swings on my changeup, which is a big pitch for me. I had to adjust a little bit, some more breaking balls and more sliders than I normally would."

--RHP Joel Zumaya returned to Detroit's active roster Saturday night with a scoreless ninth inning in a 9-1 Tigers' victory in Kansas City. It was Zumaya's first appearance since Aug. 12 of last season, when a stress fracture in his right shoulder shut him down. He was bothered by muscle soreness in back of his shoulder this spring and was not activated until working back-to-back scoreless innings in Triple-A last week to prove he could handle that chore without undue soreness. Zumaya gave up two harmless singles Saturday after his first two pitches were gunned at 101 and 98 mph. "He's gonna need his curveball," Manager Jim Leyland said after Zumaya's return. "They centered it pretty good off him. Those days (of getting by on just a blazing fastball) are over. They see so many of 'em now." "I'm fine," Zumaya said. "I had jitters -- a lot of jitters. But it's good to have a few jitters in this game."

--LHP Nate Robertson worked consecutive games during the weekend. He gave up just one walk in two-thirds of an inning Saturday after allowing three hits and a run in 1 1/3 innings the previous night in a 10-5 Detroit loss. "I think he wants to be a starting pitcher," Leyland said. "But I take my hat off to him. He's busted his (tail), his attitude has been great, and I appreciate that." Robertson is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA covering five games.

--RHP Eddie Bonine was optioned to Triple-A Toledo on Saturday to make room for RHP Joel Zumaya on the Detroit roster. The move was primarily made because Bonine, 27, had an option left whereas most of the other members of the Tigers' bullpen do not. "I like him a lot," manager Jim Leyland said. "Under different circumstances, he wouldn't be going back down. I think he can do a creditable job for what we're asking him to do. I think he can handle that job." Bonine was 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA in four relief appearances this season with eight innings pitched.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Base hits, all singles, by RF Magglio Ordonez this season before he finally collected his first extra-base hit of the season, a solo home run in the ninth inning April 25 at Kansas City.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We told him after the first inning, particularly in the second inning, that you just can't keep pumping it up here because that don't work. So he started using some other things effectively and then your fastball is that much better because his fastball is very good with a lot of late movement. I take a real positive from his standpoint out of this game." -- Manager Jim Leyland on the adjustments made by rookie RHP Rick Porcello in his April 24 start at Kansas City. Porcello took his second loss but retired 10 in a row after giving up three runs on a pair of home runs in the first two innings.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:15 pm

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch
by Sports Xchange


Updated: April 28, 2009, 5:00 AM EST
Justin Verlander changed things up a little and wound up getting his first victory of the season.

Verlander has had quality stuff most of the time this season but one bad inning had been his undoing in three of his previous four starts.
Monday night, though, he showed a sizzling fastball, a quality changeup and a curveball that except for two flat pitches was diving into the dirt.

"He was throwing an easy 93, 94, 95 (mph)," manager Jim Leyland said, "and when he needed a little extra, he got it.

"You know, he's had two outstanding starts besides this one."

In the first three innings, Verlander got the first few of his nine strikeouts by starting hitters with fastballs most of the time, then going to the curve with two strikes. Next time through the order Verlander reversed the pattern and it seemed to work against the Yankees hitters.

"I was thinking, 'Just go out there and do what you do,'" Verlander said. "Don't think negatively, think positive."

Verlander gave up two singles to start the fourth and eighth innings. He worked out of the first jam with a fly out and two strikeouts. Lefty Bobby Seay came in to take care of the second situation.

"I felt like I went out that last inning and kind of overthrew," said Verlander, who threw 79 of his 110 pitches for strikes.

His fastball was moving away from the heart of the plate instead of into it and his curve looked like a strike until it got to the plate and dove down.

"He was electric," said right fielder Magglio Ordonez, who backed his starter with a two-run home run.

TIGERS 4, YANKEES 2: A simple little drag bunt, plus strong pitching, was the key to the Tigers' fifth win in their first six home games this season.

CF Curtis Granderson beat out a drag bunt against LHP CC Sabathia in the sixth inning Monday night to set up 2B Placido Polanco for an RBI double and RF Magglio Ordonez for a two-run opposite field home run in a three-run inning that dealt the Yankees their fourth loss in a row.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Wed Apr 29, 2009 5:53 pm

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes
by Sports Xchange



Updated: April 29, 2009, 5:20 AM EST
--LHP Bobby Seay got a night off Tuesday after working three straight games. Seay got three straight outs Monday and has not allowed a run in 10 appearances covering 7 1/3 innings. After RHP Justin Verlander gave up consecutive singles to begin the eighth inning, Seay was brought in to face two left-handed hitters in the next three New York Yankees batters. He got LF Johnny Damon on a fly to left, 1B Mark Teixeira to fly out to left and struck out DH Hideki Matsui on three pitches to end the threat.

--OF Josh Anderson was the starting left fielder, an indication manager Jim Leyland intends to temporarily platoon him with UT Ryan Raburn. Anderson bats left and Raburn is a right-handed hitter. They will share left field as long as LF Carlos Guillen requires DH'ing to minimize the strain on his sore right Achilles tendon. Anderson has been a bright spot for Detroit with his speed, hitting ability and defense, but he misplayed a potential double-play flyout in the seventh that let in the first two runs of the game.
--LHP Dontrelle Willis took another step forward Sunday when he worked six successful innings for Class AA Erie. Willis, on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder, allowed just three hits in six innings. He did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, when he gave up two runs on a leadoff home run and two doubles. He left with Erie leading 7-2 in a game it won 8-4.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Base hits, all singles, by RF Magglio Ordonez this season before he finally collected his first extra-base hit of the season, a solo home run in the ninth inning April 25 at Kansas City.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We told him after the first inning, particularly in the second inning, that you just can't keep pumping it up here because that don't work. So he started using some other things effectively and then your fastball is that much better because his fastball is very good with a lot of late movement. I take a real positive from his standpoint out of this game." -- Manager Jim Leyland on the adjustments made by rookie RHP Rick Porcello in his April 24 start at Kansas City. Porcello took his second loss but retired 10 in a row after giving up three runs on a pair of home runs in the first two innings.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:08 pm

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch
by Sports Xchange



Updated: April 30, 2009, 3:40 AM EST
The education of rookie right-hander Rick Porcello continues.
Porcello got through the Yankees' lineup once without damage Wednesday night, but the second time the veteran- and left-handed-laden lineup used its experience on the 20-year-old prospect.
"He didn't throw enough strikes, basically," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

The Yankees laid off Porcello's sinkers, forcing him to bring the ball up to where they could beat on it.

New York scored seven times in the fourth, six of the runs charged to Porcello.

Catcher Gerald Laird remarked that Porcello is going to have to rely on his curve more, something that he's had on-and-off success doing.

Major league pitchers need to mix it up more. And if one pitch isn't working, they need to adjust quickly instead of stubbornly trying to fix it.

His teammates, and opponents, have been impressed with Porcello's uncommonly placid demeanor. His ability also draws praise.

But the fact he had only 125 innings of pro pitching experience beyond high school definitely shows. He'll be getting his experience at the major league level.

YANKEES 8, TIGERS 6: A late Detroit rally Wednesday night was not enough to overcome a seven-run Yankees fourth inning. CF Curtis Granderson hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning to narrow the score after New York lit up RHP Rick Porcello. 3B Brandon Inge had an RBI double, while C Gerald Laird and 2B Placido Polanco also drove in runs.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri May 01, 2009 8:01 pm

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes
by Sports Xchange



Updated: May 1, 2009, 4:02 AM EST
--INF Ramon Santiago is doing well as a part-time player, so manager Jim Leyland is giving him more time as the alternate to regular SS Adam Everett. Santiago got the start Wednesday and went 1-for-3, but Everett is expected to return to the starting lineup Friday when the Tigers return to action.

--RHP Ryan Perry got himself into a jam Wednesday and manager Jim Leyland allowed him to get himself out of it. Perry, roughed up a little the night before at the start of a 10-run Yankees inning, was brought into a lower-pressure situation Wednesday. He got two quick outs in the eighth before walking the bases loaded. Leyland sent pitching coach Rick Knapp out to challenge Perry, and the 2008 No. 1 draft choice got a forceout to end the inning. Perry has walked 10 in his 7 2/3 innings, but he's only been scored upon twice in his 10 appearances.

--2B Placido Polanco finished April with 10 doubles, three shy of the club record for the month since records began being kept on a consistent basis in 1954. "He's got the right approach to the game," manager Jim Leyland said. "He takes a personal challenge with the pitcher each at-bat. I really believe that. It's overused, the ultimate professional, but if you watch Polanco, he's like an old shoe. He does the same thing every single day. He's real comfortable. He prepares every day, takes his groundballs. He works the same. He goes through his routine. He gets ready to hit. He presents himself with a challenge to the pitcher each day. So even when he's struggling, you feel good about him, because you know that if anybody can flare one into right or get a runner over to third, it's him. He never gives in."

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Base hits, all singles, by RF Magglio Ordonez this season before he finally collected his first extra-base hit of the season, a solo home run in the ninth inning April 25 at Kansas City.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We told him after the first inning, particularly in the second inning, that you just can't keep pumping it up here because that don't work. So he started using some other things effectively and then your fastball is that much better because his fastball is very good with a lot of late movement. I take a real positive from his standpoint out of this game." -- Manager Jim Leyland on the adjustments made by rookie RHP Rick Porcello in his April 24 start at Kansas City. Porcello took his second loss but retired 10 in a row after giving up three runs on a pair of home runs in the first two innings.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Mon May 04, 2009 10:01 pm

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch
by Sports Xchange


Updated: May 4, 2009, 4:41 AM EST
Stat mavens and cynics pooh-pooh it, but most players don't.

A big defensive stop or a pitcher masterfully working out of a jam in a tight game can very often tilt a decision one way in favor of the defensive team.
Justin Verlander was locked in a 1-1 battle Sunday with Cliff Lee. A walk, double and an intentional walk left the bases loaded with Indians in the top of the seventh.

But Verlander, his fastball topping out at 101 mph when he was well over 100 pitches, got a fly out to short right, his 11th strikeout of the game and a force at second to escape the jam with the score remaining tied.

Detroit responded with doubles by the light-hitting Dane Sardinha and Curtis Granderson to break the tie, then got an insurance run on a groundout to second by Placido Polanco and a single up the middle by Magglio Ordonez.

Players are human beings. Outstanding feats stimulate them. You could look in the Detroit dugout after Verlander closed out his last inning and see players smiling and jumping around.

They took that to the plate with them against last year's Cy Young award winner.

Sometimes that infectious attitude doesn't result in anything positive. But over time, it can't hurt.

TIGERS 3, INDIANS 1: C Dane Sardinha and CF Curtis Granderson stroked consecutive leadoff doubles in the seventh inning Sunday to break a 1-1 tie and back up the 11-strikeout pitching of RHP Justin Verlander. 2B Placido Polanco failed on a bunt attempt but then grounded slowly to second to get Granderson to third and he scored on a single up the middle through a drawn-in infield by RF Magglio Ordonez. Verlander gave up just two hits in seven innings. RHP Bobby Seay got two outs in the eighth, RHP Joel Zumaya finished the inning by serving up a lineout to short and RHP Fernando Rodney pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth sav
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue May 05, 2009 7:57 pm

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes
by Sports Xchange



Updated: May 5, 2009, 4:00 AM EST
--LHP Clay Rapada might be a better late inning option to get a left-handed hitter out than LHP Nate Robertson but his results have been mixed since being brought up as an additional option out of the bullpen. Rapada came in Monday night during the seventh inning with three runs already in to face the top of the Minnesota lineup, heavily tilted to the left side. CF Denard Span greeted him with a single to left center, loading the bases, then switch-hitting 2B Alexi Casilla lined a two-run single to left center. Rapada retired C Joe Mauer and 1B Justin Morneau, both left-handed hitters, but the damage was done.

--3B Brandon Inge's streak of reaching base in every game this season ended Monday night. Inge went hitless in four at-bats and did not walk. He had been on base in the Tigers' first 24 games.

--RHP Justin Verlander was solid for the second consecutive start Sunday, taming Cleveland on just two hits and striking out a major league high of 11 batters. "Justin was brilliant," manager Jim Leyland said. "Bases loaded, none out, no runs, tremendous. He answered some questions, answered some critics." Verlander hit a batter and issued a walk in the third, allowing a run on a single. Leyland called the situation "a test" and said Verlander showed some progress by holding the Indians to one run. Verlander retired 10 in a row until walking the leadoff batter in the seventh. Cleveland loaded the bases with nobody out but Verlander retired the next three batters without a run scoring. He threw 121 pitches but was throwing harder at the end -- 99-100 mph -- than his 92-93 in the first inning. "This is certainly the best I've felt in a while," Verlander said. "This is why I worked so hard in the spring to get back to my natural arm angle. It wasn't easy -- I felt like I was throwing sidearm for a week when I had only moved it an inch -- but it is paying off."

--2B Placido Polanco did one of those little things that don't show up in the box score in the seventh inning Sunday, which is why manager Jim Leyland sings his praises. CF Curtis Granderson had just doubled home the tie-breaking run and Polanco's assignment was to get the runner over. "We put the bunt on, then took it off," Leyland said, "and he hit a ground ball to second to move him over." The unsung move paid off when RF Magglio Ordonez grounded an RBI single up the middle.

--C Matt Treanor's bad news is likely good news for C Dane Sardinha. Treanor, backup to C Gerald Laird, underwent surgery Thursday to remove a bone spur from his right hip and post-operative indications were the rehabilitation time means the reserve will probably miss the rest of the season. Detroit brought Sardinha up to take Treanor's place on the roster and is now the primary backup to Laird. Manager Jim Leyland likes Sardinha's game despite the fact he isn't much of a hitter.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Career grand slams for SS Adam Everett after hitting a home run with the bases loaded Saturday against Cleveland. Everett's only other slam came for Houston against Cincinnati on July 9, 2003.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I can't stand the Yankees, man, and I'm going to go right after them. There are little things about them I can't stand. They're just the Yankees." -- RHP Joel Zumaya, returning from the disabled list to work two scoreless innings against the Yankees on April 29, his third game of the season.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Wed May 06, 2009 7:20 pm

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch
by Sports Xchange



Updated: May 6, 2009, 4:40 AM EST
Tigers manager Jim Leyland has mentioned for a couple of years that he felt center fielder Curtis Granderson would one day bat in the middle of the lineup. That day came Tuesday.

"I have a totally different lineup today," Leyland announced before Detroit took its revamped batting order out and beat Minnesota 9-0.
He took Granderson out of the leadoff spot and plopped him fifth, hoping to provide cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera with protection he hasn't been getting (not that he needs it).

He inserted Josh Anderson into left field and put the speedster at the top of the batting order. Second baseman Placido Polanco remained second, but outfielder Clete Thomas was brought up from the minors and hit third.

Magglio Ordonez was used as the DH Tuesday and spotted sixth, the first time with the Tigers he has not batted third or fourth.

Third baseman Brandon Inge was seventh, catcher Gerald Laird eighth and shortstop Ramon Santiago ninth.

Detroit put left fielder/DH Carlos Guillen on the disabled list to get his sore right shoulder and Achilles tendon healthy, and the team sent lefty Clay Rapada back to Class AAA Toledo.

"I just don't think you can just keep waiting and waiting and waiting," Leyland said. "If things really aren't working and you've got a couple guys struggling, change it up a little bit.

"We're just trying to get something going. We're trying to shake it up a bit and get something going. And I obviously tried to get a little speed up top."

The Tigers have been scuffling offensively. Ordonez has just two extra-base hits, both home runs. Guillen was stuck at .200, and Laird has cooled off.

"We won't win if we don't get Guillen and Magglio going," Leyland said.

Anderson won't be in the lineup Wednesday because the Chicago White Sox are scheduled to start left-hander Mark Buehrle. Outfielder Ryan Raburn will get those at-bats, but Leyland will have to choose another leadoff hitter.

TIGERS 9, TWINS 0: Rookie RHP Rick Porcello and two relievers combined on a five-hitter Tuesday night and Detroit's revamped batting order produced nine runs. Manager Jim Leyland yanked CF Curtis Granderson out of the leadoff spot and put him fifth, inserting OF Josh Anderson into leadoff playing left field. Granderson hit a home run and so did 1B Miguel Cabrera, both coming in the fourth. Anderson had an RBI single, and Thomas, who also doubled and singled, hit a two-run triple. Porcello was strong for seven innings, allowing just four hits with no walks and three strikeouts. LHP Nate Robertson pitched the eighth and RHP Juan Rincon the ninth.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri May 08, 2009 7:10 pm

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch
by Sports Xchange



Updated: May 8, 2009, 4:00 AM EST
Dontrelle Willis is on his way back to the Tigers, and Jeremy Bonderman might not be far behind.

The bullpen will be under pressure because a cut or two will have to be made. The rotation has been doing fairly well.
Willis will be activated Wednesday to start in Minnesota in search of his first victory since the Tigers acquired him from Florida two winters ago. Zach Miner goes to the bullpen, and a move will be made with another reliever at that time.

The most convenient move would be to option rookie Ryan Perry to the minors because of his inexperience. But that's a longshot because he's making remarkable progress.

The real tough decision will come late this month or early in June -- if and when Bonderman is deemed ready to return to Detroit.

He will not go to the bullpen. And the convenient move of optioning rookie Rick Porcello to the minors probably won't happen, not as long as he turns in gems like the one he threw Tuesday night against Minnesota. He showed three quality pitches, mixed them up and had control of each of them.

There will be pressure on the other starters to produce, mostly Willis. Sure, the Tigers have a lot of money tied up in the veteran. But they aren't going to keep pitching him if the other starters are better.

"I'm looking forward to having problems putting everything together," manager Jim Leyland said. "It's fun right now. The bottom line is you have to win games. But I'm excited. There's a lot of anticipation with young players playing, and I think it's good. I love action. It's good."

WHITE SOX 6, TIGERS 0: RHP Armando Galarraga was roughed up for five runs in the first inning Thursday, and that was all Chicago LHP Mark Buehrle needed, as he set down the first 19 batters in order.

The Tigers only produced three hits. They left the bases loaded in the seventh after 2B Placido Polanco doubled to left to become the first Detroit baserunner. The Tigers also stranded two in the ninth against RHP Bobby Jenks.

Galarraga only allowed six hits, but his two walks in the first inning both scored. Rookie RHP Ryan Perry pitched two hitless innings of relief and showed a productive slider to go with his fastball.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Mon May 11, 2009 5:47 pm

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch
by Sports Xchange


Updated: May 11, 2009, 3:40 AM EST
Adjustments are a big part of every season.

Pitchers change things up on a daily basis. Batters have to adjust to how pitchers are working them. General managers have to tinker with the rosters throughout the season. And managers have to meld those changes into a cohesive roster.
"You usually don't finish the way you start," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I'm looking forward to having a problem of trying to figure out how to put our pitching together."

Leyland had to figure out how to work lefty Clay Rapada into his left-handed bullpen members, Nate Robertson and Bobby Seay, when he was brought up recently.

Then when Rapada was sent down and both infielder Jeff Larish and outfielder Clete Thomas were brought up, the manager had to figure out how they would now fit.

"I'm loving it," Leyland said after Thomas and Larish were added. "I don't sleep much at night. I love action. And this is action.

"It's fun right now. The bottom line is you have to win games. But I'm excited. There's a lot of anticipation with young players playing, and I think it's good. I love action. It's good."

Fitting left-hander Dontrelle Willis into the rotation won't be a big deal because right-hander Zach Miner was only holding down the fort for the southpaw or righty Jeremy Bonderman anyway.

Deciding how to reconfigure the bullpen will involve some late-night chats prior to Wednesday's move.

TIGERS 5, INDIANS 3: RHP Rick Porcello checked Cleveland on five hits and a run over five innings Sunday and Detroit completed a sweep of the slumping Indians. DH Jeff Larish hit a leadoff home run in the second to trigger a four-run inning. SS Adam Everett added a sacrifice fly and CF Curtis Granderson hit a two-run single. Everett added an RBI single in the fourth, the 25th by Detroit shortstops this season for the major league lead in that category. "Sometimes you're fortunate enough to catch an outstanding hitting team when they're not hitting. I'm sure they're not swinging the bats the way they will be. The next time we see them, they might be hitting the ball all over the place."
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Mon May 11, 2009 9:04 pm

Quote :
Everett added an RBI single in the fourth, the
25th by Detroit shortstops this season for the major league lead in
that category.

R. Santiago A. Everett

best shortstop team in the majors in RBIs!!!


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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue May 12, 2009 12:40 pm

Who's the first one? I can't see it in school.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue May 12, 2009 12:56 pm

Ramon Santiago!
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue May 12, 2009 2:15 pm

The second one is him, then the third is Everett. What's the first pic?
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue May 12, 2009 4:13 pm

smilie claping hands


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue May 12, 2009 10:04 pm

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes
by Sports Xchange


Updated: May 12, 2009, 4:20 AM EST
--RHP Rick Porcello was struck by a thought during the weekend as he got his first look at Cleveland's Progressive Field: "It was cool to be in the same town where my grandfather played," Porcello said. His mother's father was Sam Dente, a shortstop who played on the Indians' 1954 squad that won 111 games and lost in the World Series to the New York Giants. Dente died in 2002, when Porcello was barely a teen-ager. "I only met him twice," Porcello said. "I was real young, so I never got to talk to him about baseball. I'm kind of disappointed in that regard, but it's still pretty cool to have a grandfather that played in the big leagues."

--C Gerald Laird is one of several Detroit players fighting through a hitting slump. The veteran catcher was hitless last week and now has just one hit in his last 32 at-bats after Sunday's 0-for-3. But he contributed to the Tigers' 4-0 victory at Cleveland on Saturday night with a simple groundout. It came with one out and runners at second and third, however, and drove in the first run of the game. "I know I've been struggling," Laird said, "but you have to continue to grind it out and bear down. I was able to muscle it to short to score a run." A prolonged at-bat that included several barely foul liners to right his last time up might be a prelude to the slump's end later this week.

--1B/3B Jeff Larish is seeing the benefits of making a short return to Class AAA Toledo. The reserve corner infielder was Detroit's DH Sunday and hit his second home run of the season after collecting his first major league triple the night before. Larish got a rare start at first base Saturday night with 1B Miguel Cabrera serving as Detroit's designated hitter. "I really think with Larish, you're seeing the benefit of him going to Toledo and getting to bat for two weeks," manager Jim Leyland said. "I know that was part of the reason they sent me down, to get comfortable at the plate and help whenever I can," Larish said.

--LHP Bobby Seay had a tune-up performance Sunday in Cleveland. Seay, who if he's used will be facing the left-handed hitting sluggers in the heart of Minnesota's lineup Tuesday and Wednesday, worked a 1-2-3 seventh against the Indians and then retired the two batters he faced in the eighth before being relieved.

BY THE NUMBERS: 25 -- RBI by Detroit's two shortstops through Sunday, most of any team in the majors. Backup SS Ramon Santiago had 13 and regular SS Adam Everett 12.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "This is not experimental and it's not developmental. This is the big leagues. He's going to the rotation and we expect everybody there to help us win games. The expectations are no higher on him than anyone else." -- Manager Jim Leyland, on the scheduled return Wednesday to the Detroit rotation of LHP Dontrelle Willis, who has been out all year with an anxiety disorder.
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