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 From the FSN Daily Wire

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laprimamirala
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:30 pm

September 4, 2008

--DH Gary Sheffield made his major league debut 20 years ago Wednesday at Tiger Stadium. Sheffield was brought up as a teenager by the Milwaukee Brewers to play shortstop when Dave Sveum got hurt. Sheffield marked the anniversary with an RBI single in the fourth as Detroit was taking a 3-1 lead. He went down for an off-speed pitch and lined it into center field. Sheffield also singled in the eighth and scored on a home run by 3B Mike Hessman.

--RHP Zach Miner's fifth inning Wednesday showed one of his drawbacks as a starter. The other five innings he pitched showed off his strength. Miner allowed hits to the first three batters he faced in the fifth, and the Angels wound up scoring four runs to take a 5-3 lead. He doesn't have a "go to" pitch he can call on to overpower a hitter or set up to get a strikeout. But when he's mixing his four pitches up, as he was most of the game, he can work effectively. The Angels appeared to be attacking his off-speed stuff when they were scoring in their big inning. But for a complementary starter, Miner has done a very good job. "Zach hung in there," manager Jim Leyland said. "He made a couple of bad pitches, probably not his best choices."

--2B Placido Polanco did a nice job on an outside pitch in the first inning, grounding a hit-and-run single to right that set up Detroit's two-run rally. He also had a two-run double in the fifth and an RBI single in the seventh.

--1B Miguel Cabrera got some unwelcome respect Wednesday night -- a pair of intentional walks. Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Detroit's second run of the first inning after driving in three runs against Los Angeles the night before. So the Angels intentionally walked him the next two times he batted with a runner in scoring position. Cabrera leads the league in home runs and RBIs since the All-Star break with 15 and 53, respectively.

--3B Carlos Guillen apparently won't be ready to play again until next week. Manager Jim Leyland said he doesn't want to play Guillen on Minnesota's artificial turf even if he says he ready to play.

--3B Mike Hessman, a member of the U.S. Olympic bronze-medal team, hit a game-sealing two-run home run in the eighth inning Wednesday and also made several sparkling defense plays that gave the Tigers a chance to beat the Angels. Hessman fouled off several pitches before going down to take a low fastball over the left-center-field wall for his two-run home run, his fifth for Detroit in his career and his ninth in the majors. "Hessman was one of the stars of the game," manager Jim Leyland said, "even before the home run, with the plays he made at third base. He fouled off a couple of pitches, and that helped him hit that home run."

--RHP Kyle Farnsworth showed a nice high-90s fastball that he worked inside and out plus an excellent slider that let him earn the win in Detroit's 9-6 victory over Los Angeles. Farnsworth was brought in after LHP Clay Rapada gave up a tiebreaking run in the top of the seventh. He cleaned up that inning, worked a scoreless eighth and was rewarded when Detroit scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to take a 7-6 lead. It wasn't perfection because he allowed three hits, but his fastball and slider got him out of trouble when it was necessar
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:10 pm

Septmeber 8, 2008

--C Dusty Ryan put up a nice week of firsts -- first major league game, first start and first hit (a home run). Ryan became the eighth Tiger to make his major league debut when he caught the ninth inning Thursday and struck out in the bottom half of the inning. He got the nod to catch RHP Chris Lambert, whom he had worked with three times at Class AAA Toledo, on Sunday and lined a fastball over the baggie in right field for a two-run opposite field home run in his first turn at-bat. The eight players to make their debut with Detroit are the most on the club since 12 did so in 2002. RHP Fernando Rodney and INF Ramon Santiago are the only two of the 12 left with the Tigers. In addition to Ryan and Lambert, also breaking in with the Tigers this year were RHPs Eddie Bonine and Freddy Dolsi, IF Michael Hollimon, 1B/3B Jeff Larish plus OFs Matt Joyce and Clete Thomas.

--RHP Chris Lambert has started three games for Detroit and improved his performance in each one. Lambert pitched five innings Sunday after working 2 2/3 and then four innings in his first two. He's had to work with less than perfect defense in each start and an error by 3B Mike Hessman in the second inning set up an unearned run for Minnesota. The Twins scored two in the third, but Lambert made C Joe Mauer and 1B Justin Morneau hit excellent pitches; Mauer rifling a an ankle-high breaking ball to left for an RBI single and Morneau pulling a curve off his shoetops for a run-scoring triple. He threw a lot of breaking pitches and changeups early and spotted his fastball a little better later. "Lambert did a good job of using his pitches and threw his off-speed pitch when he was behind in the count," manager Jim Leyland said.

--1B Miguel Cabrera, only 25, reached the 1,000-hit plateau Sunday when he led off the sixth inning with his 32nd home run of the season. Cabrera had singled earlier in the game, and his home run was another opposite field shot for the right-handed batter.

--RF Magglio Ordonez is heating up again and could put himself back as a serious contender for his second consecutive batting title. Ordonez hit a solo home run and a single Sunday to complete a seven-day period in which he went 13-for-27 to raise his average to .319. Again, the telling note on Ordonez is that he's hitting everything where it's pitched and not trying to pull everything.

--CF Curtis Granderson didn't score any runs Sunday after passing 100 Saturday for the second year in a row, but he did collect three hits and drive one in. Granderson has increased his walk total for the season and has a chance to wind up with fewer than 100 strikeouts after fanning 174 and 141 times the previous two seasons. His manager says Granderson has progressed to the point where he could hit lower in the lineup but probably won't because he does such a good job leading off.

--LHP Bobby Seay rebounded from an ugly previous outing to wade through Minnesota's tough group of left-handed hitters allowing just one run in two innings Sunday. Seay, who allowed eight runs (five earned) his previous appearance, had his curve breaking across the plate on its way outside and his fastball in the 92-93 mph range as he protected a lead that was one run when he entered the game and two runs when he threw his final pitch.

--RHP Kyle Farnsworth worked a scoreless eighth inning Sunday, his seventh such in a row. Farnsworth has been mixing his slider in with his fastball and working his fastball to both sides of the plate with the same velocity. He has given up eight hits and one walk while striking out 10 over those seven innings. "I have been pitching in more, that's for sure," Farnsworth said. "I'm being aggressive and have not made mistakes over the plate. That's a big difference."

--RHP Fernando Rodney is making a bid for serious consideration as Detroit's closer next season. Rodney faced four batters in the ninth inning Sunday and stranded the runner he allowed, converting his 10th save of the season in 14 chances but ninth in a row. Rodney had the bases loaded and one out Saturday night but got the last two outs to earn a save. "I don't care who you are," C Brandon Inge said, "if Rodney makes his pitches, you're not going to do much with them." Since Aug. 5 he has converted nine straight save chances with a 2.12 ERA. He has struck out 24, walked eight and given up eight hits in 17 innings.

--LHP Nate Robertson will return to the rotation for one start, replacing LHP Kenny Rogers on Tuesday night against Oakland. "I want to make it clear there's nothing wrong with Kenny's arm," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's had a sore hip. I think he needs to freshen up his body a little bit and get his hip a little better." Leyland said Robertson's return will "most likely" be one start. "We're obviously going to do some tinkering with our rotation the rest of the way."

--LHP Dontrelle Willis and RHP Freddy Garcia will throw some more practice innings Monday at Comerica Park against Detroit hitters who need extra swings. Manager Jim Leyland sounds as if he's changing his mind and that he might let Willis return this season. "I would hope so," was Leyland's response Saturday when asked about Willis starting again before the end of the season. "Obviously there will be a moment at some time when he has to pitch." Leyland also said he hopes Garcia, still on a minor league contract, can pitch for Detroit this year. "You can split a game if that's the route you choose to take," Leyland said. "But I don't know how that will play out."

BY THE NUMBERS: 56 -- RBIs by Miguel Cabrera in July and August, who has exceeded 100 RBIs in each of his first five full seasons of major league play.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:58 pm

September 9, 2008

--RF Magglio Ordonez is now a genuine threat to win his second consecutive A.L. batting title. Ordonez went 3-for-3 with two walks Monday night to lift his average to .323, only five points from the leader. He's on a 13-game hitting streak and he's taking nice controlled swings, hitting the ball to right and right-center when warranted. He yanked his home run to left, but his single and double went to center and right-center.

--DH Gary Sheffield hit two home runs and is just four away from 500 for his career. The homers came off fastballs (3-2 and 3-1) in the first and second innings. The Tigers have 18 games remaining, and Sheffield has hit 11 home runs in 45 games since the All-Star break. Despite his well-publicized hitting problems, he has driven in 50 runs this season.

--RHP Zach Miner struggled through the first inning with 40 pitches and paid for it in the fifth. Miner managed to limit Oakland to two runs in the first, and the Tigers came back with 12 runs over the next four innings to take a commanding lead. Miner labored again in the fifth, and manager Jim Leyland had to take him out with one out after a career-high 110 pitches. He thus did not qualify for the victory. Miner had trouble with his control in the first and fifth innings.

--RHP Aquilino Lopez has had a problem with inherited runners this season. More than half have scored. Monday, he came in with the bases loaded, walked the first batter he faced and gave up a two-run single to the second. Manager Jim Leyland promptly took him out in favor of LHP Casey Fossum, which meant he couldn't get credit for the victory.

--3B Carlos Guillen has not played since Aug. 25, and it now appears he might not be able to return for some time. Guillen, who has been bothered by a pinched nerve in his back, has progressed to the point where he was able to run, throw and do some light swinging with an athletic trainer over the weekend at Comerica Park while the Tigers were in Minnesota. He has not faced a pitcher yet, however, and will start hitting off a tee as soon as he's able. The Tigers have set no timetable for his return. They are platooning Mike Hessman, who hits right-handed, and Jeff Larish, who bats left, at third in Guillen's absence.

--LHP Casey Fossum came in and choked off an Oakland rally, getting the last two outs of a five-run inning and adding two shutout innings to earn the victory. Fossum was able to take advantage of a heavily left-handed hitting Athletics lineup. "To me, that was the key to the game," manager Jim Leyland said. "He came in and shut them down."

--3B Mike Hessman is part of a platoon at third base in the absence of regular 3B Carlos Guillen, recovering from a pinched nerve in his back. Hessman made the record book Monday night when he was hit by a pitch twice in the same inning. It's a feat that has happened to only one other American League batter, CF Brady Anderson of Baltimore in 1999. Hessman also hit a towering home run to left-center in the eighth, his second HR with the Tigers this season.

--LHP Dontrelle Willis threw about 80 pitches and RHP Freddy Garcia neared 70 as both threw practice innings to Tigers players in need of extra batting practice. "They both were good," manager Jim Leyland said. "They were both over the plate." Willis said, "I had good command, threw some good changeups. Last time I didn't throw too many good changeups. It was good work." Garcia said, "It was good. It feels better than last time." Leyland and general manager Dave Dombrowski will now meet and decide what the next step is
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:33 pm

applaud M. Ordonez M. Cabrera :sheff: :hessman:


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:15 pm

September 10, 2008

--LHP Dontrelle Willis will make his first start since June 9 next Monday night when he opens at Texas against the Rangers. Manager Jim Leyland said Willis, who worked a simulated game Monday, will also make another start at some point. The Tigers have spent the summer trying to simplify Willis' delivery somewhat in an effort to help him regain his control.

"I'm really excited," Willis said Tuesday. "(It's been) a lot of hard work. Just really happy that (Leyland) is happy with my progress. I'm just going to go out there, have fun and do what I've been doing."
"I think it's great," Leyland said. "Now we're to this point. I'm all for it. He's throwing the ball good. We'll see how it plays out. I don't want to make a big hoopla out of Dontrelle pitching. I think that would be the worst thing I could do. I think the fact of the matter is he's ready to go out and compete. He's not being judged negatively or positively."

Willis is 0-1 with a 10.32 in five appearances this season.

--RHP Freddy Garcia will have his contract purchased by Detroit so he can start for the Tigers on Wednesday in Texas, the first of two projected starts he will make for them.

"I think they're both ready," manager Jim Leyland said of Garcia and LHP Dontrelle Willis, who will start Monday. "Freddy's not as close as Dontrelle because of major surgery, but I think Freddy could win a game today. He knows how to pitch. The big thing with him is, 'How soon does his total arm strength come back?'"

"It's great to be back in the big leagues this year," Garcia said. "When I started doing the rehab, I didn't think I'd be able to come back because I couldn't move my arm. I've worked really hard to get back to pitching. It's a lot of hard work, man, and I'm glad I'm here with Detroit and they're giving me a shot to pitch."

--LHP Nate Robertson, pitching under the pressure of knowing his future is on the line, retired the first eight batters he faced Tuesday night and showed a much better slider and control of his fastball. He went seven innings, didn't walk a batter and struck out six with four hits. Robertson threw 21 pitches in the first inning, mainly due to a lengthy first at-bat, then settled into a routine of two to three pitches per hitter. He threw 60 of his 79 pitches for strikes. "You don't want to take a chance," manager Jim Leyland said of why Robertson, who hadn't started in more than two weeks, came out after seven innings. "It was great for him to do what he did." Whether Robertson will start again is up in the air.

--RHP Fernando Rodney saw his string of nine consecutive save conversions end Tuesday night. He was brought in during the eighth inning to protect a 2-1 lead with a runner on second and one out -- and gave up a triple and a sacrifice fly to deal himself a loss. The sin that irritated his manager was an 0-2 fastball right down the middle that went for the triple. It was 95 mph, but it was right over the fat part of the plate.

--C Dusty Ryan is going to get a few starts over the next two weeks so Detroit management can get a line on how he handles major league action. Ryan started Tuesday, with regular C Brandon Inge shifting to third so he could field some of the groundballs LHP Nate Robertson likes to throw. He also doubled on a fastball and looped a single to left on a breaking ball. His hitting has come on this year, and he's got some size (6-foot-5) and power. "You can get a feel for him," manager Jim Leyland said of giving him a few more starts. "You can get a feel for him as a person, what kind of thought process he has, how he handles himself behind the plate." Inge will continue to be the regular catcher, but Ryan will get some spot starts down the stretch. "I want to look at him," Leyland said.

--3B Brandon Inge went from behind the plate to third base Tuesday night in the absence of regular 3B Carlos Guillen, still battling his sore back. Manager Jim Leyland wanted to get a look at C Dusty Ryan but he also wanted Inge's slick glove to suck up the groundballs LHP Nate Robertson gets when he's pitching. Inge had two hits and lined into a double play. He's been driving the ball the other way more recently, which is what Leyland wants to see.

--CF Curtis Granderson is hitless in two games against Oakland entering Wednesday afternoon's game but is still getting good at-bats. He lined out once and hit a sharp grounder to first that was turned into a force in the ninth inning Tuesday night.

--SS Edgar Renteria is making a late bid to remain on Detroit's roster next season. Renteria has had a decent second half of the season. He drove in both of Detroit's runs Tuesday night with a sharp line single to center in the second inning. He's been better defensively, although his range isn't what it used to be. Detroit could buy out next season for $3 million or it could decide to pick up his $11 million option.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:59 pm

September 11, 2008



--RF Magglio Ordonez was held out of the starting lineup Wednesday due to a stiff back. He pinch-hit in the ninth inning Wednesday and hit a long flyball to center that was caught and turned into a game-ending double play. His 13-game hitting streak ended Tuesday night.

--RHP Armando Galarraga might be getting worn out as his rookie season draws to a close. Galarraga, who walked six and gave up just three hits in six innings in his previous start, gave up eight hits and a walk in four innings Wednesday and now has two losses and a pair of no-decisions in his last four starts. He hasn't won since mid-August. "He looks like he's starting to burn out a little bit," manager Jim Leyland said. "We'll see how it plays out -- he's going to get an extra day before his next start, but he might be running on empty." Galarraga's fastball was largely in the 88-89 mph range, only rarely reaching the 92-93 he's been hitting most of the season, and his slider had good bite on it only a couple of times. Galarraga has pitched 164 1/3 innings this season versus the 159 he threw in the Texas organization last year.

--LHP Bobby Seay, whose walk of the leadoff batter in the eighth inning precipitated Oakland's winning two-run rally Tuesday night, came out determined to wipe away that memory Wednesday afternoon. Seay was brought in to pitch at the start of the sixth, faced six batters and fanned five of them with his sharp curve and low-90s fastball.

--RHP Chris Lambert has been placed in the Detroit bullpen in the wake of manager Jim Leyland's decision to give LHP Dontrelle Willis and RHP Freddy Garcia at least one start each before the season ends. Lambert made his Detroit debut as a reliever Wednesday, facing two batters in the fifth inning and retiring both. He doesn't have a great "out" pitch, so relief might not be the best slot for him. On the other hand, he throws strikes with a variety of pitches and might be an effective long reliever.

--INF Ramon Santiago gave SS Edgar Renteria a day off Wednesday. Santiago has been a useful backup middle infielder and Manager Jim Leyland sees that as his role with the Tigers.

--UT Ryan Raburn began Wednesday's game at second base, switching over to third briefly before exiting for a pinch hitter. The idea was to give 2B Placido Polanco a game off, which, combined with Thursday's day off would give both he and SS Edgar Renteria two days off before this weekend's series with Chicago's White Sox. Polanco ended up pinch-hitting in the eighth and stayed in the game to play second in the ninth.

--RHP Kyle Farnsworth has not pitched since the weekend in Minnesota due to a slight groin strain; Farnsworth said he felt it in his last outing but pitched through it. It was still bothering him Monday, so he told manager Jim Leyland about it. He is listed as day-to-day.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:39 pm

September 15, 2008

--RHP Justin Verlander should take something positive away from Sunday's effort at Chicago, even though he tired at the end. Verlander dialed down his fastball and got better late life and was more effective than he has been in recent starts. His fastball was mostly in the low 90s and occasional a tick or two higher but he also showed a good curve and changeup. The White Sox touched him for a run in the fifth, a solo home run in the seventh and two more runs on three straight solid hits after he'd retired the first two batters in the bottom of the eight. "I thought Verlander was very good," manager Jim Leyland said. "...I thought he pitched very, very well. He pitched a good ballgame. We didn't do much for him."

--RF Magglio Ordonez singled and hit a home run Sunday in the first game of Detroit's doubleheader at Chicago. Ordonez drilled a LHP Bobby Jenks fastball into the center field seats with a man on in the ninth for the Tigers' only runs of the first game. He added a single to right in the second game to end the doubleheader batting .323.

--C Brandon Inge was not with the Tigers on Sunday, flying instead to Lynchburg, Va., for the funeral of his grandfather, Sam Inge. He was to rejoin the Tigers on Monday in time for Detroit's game at Texas. The Tigers still had two catchers with them, Dane Sardinha and Dusty Ryan. "He was a big baseball influence for me," Inge said of his grandfather. "He got my dad into baseball and he played in college. He's the main man in our family, and so it's a heavy loss. He was a very good man." Sam Inge died Friday following a long illness. Inge said his grandfather was an Army infantryman who fought in World War II under Gen. George Patton.

--C Dusty Ryan started both games of Sunday's doubleheader for Detroit in the absence of C Brandon Inge as Tigers' manager Jim Leyland opted to play him in two games against a contender fighting for first place. Ryan caught RHP Justin Verlander in the first game and LHP Kenny Rogers in the second. He didn't get a hit but he walked twice and showed some patience at the plate.

--LHP Kenny Rogers might be nearing the end of his career. The 43-year old was roughed up in the fifth inning for five runs Sunday in the second game of a doubleheader after allowing two runs in the first four. Rogers skipped a start to rest a sore hip but he was about the same in terms of effectiveness. His fastball was 86-89 mph and that isn't enough to make his off-speed pitches effective for very long. Symptomatic of the way things have gone: he went 3-2 on LF Brian Anderson in the fifth but his changeup wasn't down enough and the outfielder drilled it for a two-run home run. He's gotten behind on batters but isn't able to blow the ball by anybody and has left pitches out over the plate too much of the time.

--3B Mike Hessman hit a two-run home run in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader after not playing in the first. Hessman now has three home runs in limited at-bats since being a September roster addition. Manager Jim Leyland says Hessman should be in the big leagues but it's going to be tough for him to stick in Detroit because 3B Carlos Guillen is ahead of him.

--3B Carlos Guillen is still out of action as recovery from a pinched nerve in his back continues to be slow. There remains no solid estimate on when or if he can return to action.

--LF Marcus Thames sat on a fastball, got it and drilled it to left center for a grand slam Sunday that capped a five-run eighth inning to tie the second game score at 7-7. Thames might have read that RHP Octavio Dotel was having trouble throwing his breaking ball for a strike and was waiting on the first decent fastball he knew he would eventually see and take his best shot at it.

--RHP Kyle Farnsworth was reached for a tiebreaking, game-determining grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning of Sunday's second game. It was a 96 mph fastball that was low in the strike zone but over the heart of the plate. Farnsworth had been pitching well for two weeks but home runs have plagued him since rejoining Detroit at the end of July.

--DH Gary Sheffield needed two RBIs Sunday to tie Chicago White Sox coach Harold Baines for 27th place on the career RBI list but didn't get any in two games. Baines drove in 1,628 runs in his career, which began and ended with the White Sox. He is now Chicago's first base coach. "He's been a great player for the last 20 years," Baines said of Sheffield. "He deserves what he gets."

--CF Curtis Granderson, who has been in a week-long slump, leads the American League with 52 runs scored in 53 games since the All-Star break. Granderson hit a home run in the eighth inning of the second game Sunday to show he might be coming out of his slump.

BY THE NUMBERS: 29 -- Victories through Sept. 14 by the five projected members of Detroit's starting rotation. The breakdown: RHP Justin Verlander (10), LHP Kenny Rogers (9), LHP Nate Robertson (7), RHP Jeremy Bonderman (3), LHP Dontrelle Willis (0).

QUOTE TO NOTE: "This has happened to us way too many times this year. Walked the guy to lead off the eighth inning... 0-2, giving guys a fat pitch to hit. You can't make these mistakes, and that's why we've lost so many games from the seventh inning on." -- Manager Jim Leyland, after his bullpen squandered a 2-1 lead Sept. 9 by walking a leadoff batter and giving up an RBI triple on an 0-2 fastball right down the middle (followed by a tiebreaking sacrifice fly).
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:01 pm

September 16, 2008

--LHP Kenny Rogers, 1-8 with a 9.00 ERA since July 28, may have thrown his last pitch with Detroit, if not in the Majors. manager Jim Leyland met with Rogers following Sunday's game and told him he won't pitch again. "We're not going to pitch Kenny any more this season," Leyland said. "We're just shutting him down. We had a nice talk after the game and we're just going to shut him down." Rogers was charged with seven runs in 4 2/3 innings Sunday at Chicago and had allowed at least six runs in four straight starts. He missed his previous start with a sore hip. Rogers, 43, becomes a free agent at season's end. The Tigers probably won't re-sign him and he could retire. He finished the season with a 9-13 ERA and 5.70 ERA in 30 starts.

--LHP Dontrelle Willis got mixed reviews for his first start since June 9. Willis lasted five innings and left with a 5-3 lead but he also threw 90 pitches and more than half of them were balls. He walked five but struck out four and only gave up two hits, one a three-run home run that followed two of the walks. Willis walked the first batter he faced on four pitches but retired the next three and worked a 1-2-3 second. He gave up a bloop single and a walk in the third but got out of the two-out jam. His wildness was around the strike zone and his pitches had good movement. His curve and changeup were better than his fastball in terms of control. He is scheduled to start Sunday in Cleveland. "I thought overall, he pitched good," manager Jim Leyland said. "Progress. I thought he handled everything very well."

--DH Gary Sheffield is only three home runs away from 500 after belting his 497th Monday night. Sheffield lined a fastball over the fence just inside the foul pole in the fourth with two teammates on. He game up later with the bases loaded and one out and struck out on an outside breaking ball. Sheffield has 17 home runs this season.

--RHP Gary Glover spoiled a nice run of 8 1/3 scoreless innings Monday by giving up a grand slam. Glover entered in the sixth and gave up a single, hit a batter and walked one to load the bases. He got a visit from pitching coach Chuck Hernandez and his next pitch, a low fastball, was lined over the center field wall for a grand slam.

--RHP Kyle Farnsworth, who served up a game-deciding grand slam Sunday, was battered around in the eighth inning Monday at Texas. Farnsworth was brought in to protect an 8-7 lead but walked the first batter and gave up a single to the second. He gave up an RBI double to tie the score with the possible lead run being thrown out at the plate. However the next batter lined an RBI single to right and Farnsworth then served up a two-run triple before being relieved.

--LF Matt Joyce reached base five times Monday night to give Detroit management more reasons to look at him for a roster spot next season. Joyce pulled a single and a double to right while also walking three times. Because he bats left-handed, Joyce will have a chance to win a roster spot next year.

--SS Edgar Renteria was held out of the lineup Monday due to a sore pectoral muscle. He may miss a game or two. He was replaced in the lineup by IF Ramon Santiago.

--C Brandon Inge returned to action Monday after missing Sunday's doubleheader to attend the funeral of his grandfather in Virginia.

--3B Carlos Guillen would like to "finish on the field" this season but it may not happen. Guillen tried taking ground balls at third base but had to quit after he was unable to throw with any effectiveness. He said he can swing comfortably from the left side but not the right. "I don't know if I can, it just depends if I feel good," Guillen said of a possible return. Manager Jim Leyland said that Guillen would not come back as a designated hitter. "If he's able to hit, I'd assume he'd be able to field," Leyland said. "I'd like to get him back out there, but I don't know how long it's going to be."
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:28 pm

September 17, 2008

--1B Miguel Cabrera is still lurking on the fringes of the league RBI race. Cabrera rammed a single to left in the first inning to drive in his 118th run of the season. Minnesota's Justin Morneau (126) and Texas' Josh Hamilton (124) are the only two AL players ahead of Cabrera.

--RHP Zach Miner continued his bid for a 2009 rotation spot with 7 1/3 strong innings at Texas. He gave up both of his runs in the third and fourth, wiping out a 1-0 Detroit lead, but he protected a 4-2 lead once his teammates handed it to him. Miner retired the last 11 batters he faced until being relieved after having thrown his 104th pitch of the game. He struck out three but walked only one and allowed just five hits.

--RF Magglio Ordonez singled to right and left his last two at-bats to hike his batting average to .324 and remain in the running for his second straight AL batting title. He also grounded into a double play in the first, his 25th of the season.

--RHP Fernando Rodney is having trouble with leadoff walks and 0-2 pitches. That combination haunted Rodney for the second consecutive game, as he dropped to 0-6 for the season. Rodney walked leadoff batter Michael Young in the ninth on a 3-2 pitch (an appeal on an earlier two-strike checked swing was denied), gave up a single and then was touched for a two-run triple on an 0-2 pitch -- a high fastball -- again. Two intentional walks loaded the bases, and the game ended on an 0-2 single over drawn-in LF Matt Joyce's head.

"Michael Young was struck out," manager Jim Leyland said. "Everybody thought that, including Michael Young, who was walking away from the plate. That doesn't give us any excuse for not winning the ballgame. We didn't close it out. That's been the case all year."

--INF Ramon Santiago started a second consecutive game at shortstop for Edgar Renteria.

Renteria took some groundballs before the game but still reported some soreness in his chest muscle. Renteria may be out another game or two.

--C Dusty Ryan got another start behind the plate with C Brandon Inge shifting to third base. Ryan, who threw out two runners Sunday, threw out one Rangers runner Tuesday. Ryan is drawing praise for his catching ability and the way he calls a game for his pitchers. The Tigers want to see if he can challenge for a backup catcher role next season. Ryan has shown a little hitting ability, too, lining a fastball to center in the seventh to drive in a run.

--C/INF Brandon Inge was the replacement for 3B Carlos Guillen, who has his sights set on playing this weekend. Inge has performed well when moved out from behind the plate. His hitting didn't suffer as he whistled an RBI single to center in the seventh on which two runs scored after an error on the throw as Detroit erased a 2-1 deficit.

--RHP Freddy Garcia makes his first start since June 2007 when he takes the mound at Texas on Wednesday. "I'm looking forward to it," manager Jim Leyland said. "I'm sure he's looking forward to it, too. He's a veteran pitcher who knows how to pitch."
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Thu Sep 18, 2008 5:10 pm

September 18, 2008

--RHP Freddy Garcia turned in a solid five-inning start, allowing one run on two hits and retiring the last nine batters he faced. Garcia threw 59 pitches and touched 90 mph with his fastball, although it generally was in the 87-88 range. He struck out three and walked only one as his offspeed pitches and forkball were consistently around the strike zone. Garcia will get another start next week. Garcia last pitched in the majors on June 8, 2007 for Philadelphia, and two months later he underwent major shoulder surgery. The only run he allowed was unearned, helped by a two-base error on a single.

--LHP Nate Robertson couldn't get through three innings of relief and had to be relieved with two out in the eighth inning. Robertson entered at the beginning of the sixth and gave up a two-out hit. He got the first two outs in the seventh but then gave up a single and two walks as a prelude to a two-run inning. Pitching with a huge lead where all he had to do was get the ball over the plate, Robertson ended up walking four in 2 2/3 innings. His slider again deserted him, and then he began to be tentative with his fastball as well. He allowed a run in the eighth and came out with runners on second and third.

--1B Miguel Cabrera drilled a three-run home run to center in the sixth inning and left the game a triple shy of the cycle. Cabrera is challenging for the AL home run lead at 34 and has 85 RBI in his last 87 games. Cabrera had a four-hit game and has made an excellent adjustment to the change in leagues between seasons.

--C Dusty Ryan was behind the plate, and a contributing factor might have been that he was familiar with RHP Freddy Garcia. Ryan caught Garcia in one of his Toledo appearances and for both of the faux games the veteran pitched at Comerica Park while he was getting ready to return. Ryan had two infield hits to the left side, a double to left-center to drive in two runs and a single to center to complete a 4-for-5 game. He's getting fooled by off-speed stuff once in a while, but he has shown the ability to make adjustments at the plate.

--3B Brandon Inge played third base in place of injured 3B Carlos Guillen for the second consecutive game. Manager Jim Leyland wanted another opportunity to look at rookie C Dusty Ryan and kept Inge in the lineup by putting him at his old position. Inge had a two-run double over the center fielder's head in the first inning.

--SS Edgar Renteria returned to the starting lineup after missing two games because of a sore left pectoral muscle. Renteria was still bothered by the injury but felt it had recovered to the point where he could play anyway.

--RF Magglio Ordonez is making a run at his second consecutive AL batting title. He went 3-for-5, which lifted him into a tie for first with Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia at .326. He also drove in four runs and has 95, giving him a good shot at 100 for the seventh time in his career.

--2B Placido Polanco was not in the starting lineup so he could get two days off for the price of one. The Tigers are off Thursday, and manager Jim Leyland has recently been resting Polanco the game before a day off.

--3B Carlos Guillen is targeting Friday at Cleveland for his return to the lineup. He's been stepping up his workouts and said he feels better.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:02 pm

Quote :
--RF Magglio Ordonez is making a run at his
second consecutive AL batting title. He went 3-for-5, which lifted him
into a tie for first with Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia at .326. He also
drove in four runs and has 95, giving him a good shot at 100 for the
seventh time in his career.

bow applaud


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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:25 pm

please please please
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:36 pm

September 19, 2008

--Manager Jim Leyland will be watching his Tigers play at Cleveland from the stands or press box this weekend after getting served with a three-game suspension by Major League Baseball for arguments with umpires Monday and Tuesday at Texas. The announcement was made Thursday afternoon. He was also fined an undisclosed amount. Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, who has taken over as manager when Leyland has been ejected from games, is expected to act as manager of the Tigers during the series.

--RF Magglio Ordonez is tied for second in the AL batting race as he goes for his second straight title. Minnesota's Joe Mauer is batting .327, just ahead of Ordonez and Boston's Dustin Pedroia, both at .326. "There are 10 more games left, and I have to finish strong," Ordonez said. "I need to get at least 15 more hits. We'll see. It won't be easy."
Said Detroit manager Jim Leyland: "What a great story that would be for the Tigers, to have batting championships back-to-back. I think he's got a chance. What a feather in his cap that would be."

The last player to win consecutive American League batting titles was Boston's Nomar Garciaparra in 1999 and 2000.

--RHP Fernando Rodney has to make some changes to rate consideration as Detroit's closer next year. He throws a high-90s fastball and a great changeup but still gets hit at times because his location is poor. On the plus side, he had nine saves in a row. On the minus, he has blown six saves. "It's a matter of making good pitches and doing things by design," manager Jim Leyland said. "I think Rodney's combination most of the time needs to be fastball up and changeup down. He has to be able to bounce one intentionally and to put one up out of the strike zone intentionally. I'm not sure he can do that right now."

--LHP Nate Robertson, who gave up three runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief Wednesday night, will start next Wednesday against Kansas City at Comerica Park. Manager Jim Leyland said LHP Dontrelle Willis will take LHP Kenny Rogers' place and join RHP Armando Galarraga, RHP Zach Miner and RHP Justin Verlander as the pitchers he will send against Tampa Bay. Robertson turned in a strong start before his relief outing and needs another one to bolster his chances of being in Detroit's rotation next year even though he will be in the middle of a three-year deal.

--1B/3B Jeff Larish turned down winter baseball because he's getting married in December. Instead, Larish accepted an assignment to the Arizona Fall League, where he can get more experience at third base and help with his wedding arrangements at the same time.

--DH Gary Sheffield drew a walk in the second inning Wednesday night, making it 62 consecutive games in which the Tigers have had a player issued a base on balls. The last time that happened for Detroit was 1996.

--RHP Freddy Garcia, who will start next week against Kansas City, had to sign a major league contract with Detroit before pitching Wednesday night. To make room for him on its 40-man roster, the Tigers transferred RHP Joel Zumaya to the 60-day disabled list. Zumaya has a stress fracture in his shoulder.

"It was a thing of beauty because it was like riding a bike for him," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said of Garcia, who allowed one unearned run in five innings. "He had the mound presence and is such a competitor and a pitcher. His velocity was better than I expected it to be overall."

Said the 32-year-old Garcia: "I am really happy. I let people down last year (in Philadelphia) when I could not pitch. And right there, I proved I could. It's hard work, man."
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:15 pm

Last Stretch, Kids. A week from today, No More Tigers Baseball for the Season

September 22, 2008

--LHP Dontrelle Willis took a step back in his comeback Sunday with a six-walk performance at Cleveland in which he was unable to pitch past the second inning. Willis was very effective against the two left-handers the Indians had in the lineup (0-for-4, three strikeouts), but he was all around the plate against the right-handers. He gave up five hits in 2 1/3 innings with four strikeouts. Willis walked five in five innings in his other start this month and only gave up three hits. He walked the bases loaded in the first Sunday and gave up a bases-clearing triple to 1B Ryan Garko. His fastball was consistently outside, way inside or near the dirt, and Willis ended up throwing three wild pitches. He is supposed to start this weekend against Tampa Bay, but that plan may be changed. "I didn't get the job done," Willis said. "I was battling my control. That's pretty much the game. I'm going to keep fighting and try to get guys out."

--SS Edgar Renteria needed a triple in his last at-bat to hit for the cycle, but he struck out swinging in the eighth. Renteria is making a late bid to get his $11 million option for 2009 picked up by Detroit, which could buy him out for $3 million.

--RF Magglio Ordonez is falling behind in his effort to claim a second consecutive AL batting crown. He's behind 2006 winner Joe Mauer (.330) and Dustin Pedroia (.324). Ordonez went hitless Saturday and managed only one hit in three official at-bats Sunday, an RBI groundball single up the middle in the ninth inning, to leave his average at .323.

--LHP Clay Rapada had another tough outing Sunday in his effort to reserve a spot for himself in Detroit's 2009 bullpen. Rapada has had problems facing left-handed hitters recently, his strong point, and against Cleveland in the final Detroit road game of the season, he was charged with two runs on two solid hits and a walk in one inning of work.

--RHP Freddy Dolsi made a nice adjustment Sunday in his inning of work, the seventh. After giving up solid base hits on fastballs, Dolsi started going more to his slider and got out of the inning unscathed. It's the sort of thing he'll have to stay up on in order to figure in the Tigers bullpen next spring.

--RHP Fernando Rodney pitched his first inning Sunday since blowing two saves in back-to-back appearances last week. Rodney worked a perfect eighth inning at Cleveland in a game that essentially was already decided.

--C Dusty Ryan is getting an extended period of playing time to make his case for being on Detroit's roster next year, thanks in part to the pinched back nerve that is sidelining 3B Carlos Guillen. The absence of Guillen has let C Brandon Inge shift back to third base and permit the Tigers to view Ryan behind the plate to evaluate his breakout season in the minors. Ryan started at catcher Sunday for the ninth time in 12 games. Detroit minor league field coordinator Mike Rojas, a former minor league catcher, managed Ryan during his first professional season with Class A Oneonta, N.Y. Ryan signed in May 2004 after being a draft-and-follow junior college choice in 2003. "He has not done badly for a 48th-round pick, has he?" Rojas said. "He just absorbed everything we threw at him that first year. He's a smart kid, a good worker and he won't let anything affect him." Ryan went 0-for-2 Sunday and was pinch-hit for in the ninth, but he did draw a walk on a 3-2 pitch in his final at-bat. He may strike out some, but he also shows patience at the plate.

--C Brandon Inge played third base the entire Cleveland series in the absence of injured 3B Carlos Guillen. Inge has now started four recent games at third so C Dusty Ryan can get looked at while working a stretch of consecutive games.

--3B Carlos Guillen had his back examined by another specialist late last week with the same diagnosis as before: there's nothing major that's wrong except the pinched nerve that has sidelined him since Aug. 25. "The first opinion concurred with the second opinion," manager Jim Leyland said. "Carlos will be fine. There are no serious issues and we are thrilled to death to find that out. I don't know about the rest of the season, but there were no serious issues, no major problems."

The chances of him playing again this year are slim because of the missed time and his inability to get serious work done due to the condition of his back.

"I find it hard to believe that I could expect him to get back into playing shape by the time this season's over," Leyland said. "If he feels like he'd like to pinch-hit, or feels like he'd like to play a game, certainly I would honor that."

Guillen is batting .286 with 10 homers and 54 RBIs in 113 games.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:04 pm

September 23, 2008

--DH Gary Sheffield, handed a four-game suspension Monday for his part in a Friday brawl in Cleveland, spent the weekend trying to get to his 500th career home run before the season ends. "I know I could've walked in two situations -- which I wasn't about to walk," said Sheffield, who is three home runs shy of 500. "I was going to take shots to hit the ball out of the park. I swung at two bad pitches. That's the way it goes. This late in the season, that's what I need to do, to get (the milestone) out of the way. I don't want the conversation to be about my personal stats. I'd rather for it to happen, be over with, and then go out and win more games." He accepted his suspension and began serving it Monday, expecting to return Friday against Tampa Bay. "Obviously, we're not in the playoffs," Sheffield said. "So the better thing is to get it over now. That way it doesn't linger into next year and (then I can) start out with a clean slate." He also vowed to settle up against the Indians, who he felt took advantage of him. "I've been in a lot of brawls, not including me, where I have been the peacemaker," Sheffield said. "When you get into brawls -- when somebody's back is toward you -- you pull each other apart. That is what you're supposed to do. But when guys take cheap shots, I take that personal. When I find out who they are, they are going to have to deal with me... They're going to be penalized by me. Don't worry. You'll see. I'm not one of those guys to sit there and talk about what I'm going to do. I'm just going to do what I'm going to do."

--1B Miguel Cabrera was taken out of Detroit's game with Kansas City after batting in the second inning. Cabrera had grounded out and looked like he was hurting as he ran to first and then came back to the dugout. He told head trainer Kevin Rand he was experiencing upper back tightness so manager Jim Leyland removed him from the game. 1B/3B Jeff Larish replaced him. Cabrera was listed as day-to-day.

--RHP Zach Miner was a little more wild than usual Monday night but still pitched well enough to give Detroit a chance to win. Miner walked four and was charged with four Kansas City runs. He had a good sinker and a changeup but the first three batters he faced had hits and he was behind, 1-0, before he got an out. He walked the leadoff man in the seventh and was taken out, with the runner eventually scoring. Miner is still in the running for a rotation spot next year. "Too many pitches," manager Jim Leyland said, "but he gave us a chance to win the game."

--C Dusty Ryan caught his sixth straight game Monday night as the Tigers continue to evaluate him as a 2009 roster possibility. Ryan had a single in three at-bats and shows possibilities as Detroit's backup catcher next year. He's had some troubles with passed balls (seven in three games) that are worrisome.

--3B Brandon Inge started at third base for the sixth straight game Monday night in the absence of regular 3B Carlos Guillen. Manager Jim Leyland is getting another look at how much Inge means to Detroit's defense as he regularly makes at least one play a game that saves a run or keeps a runner off the bases. He is expected to be the Tigers' No. 1 catcher next year but that doesn't mean it's going to turn out that way, given that Detroit will reshape its roster between seasons.

--RHP Gary Glover didn't complete his assignment for the third straight appearance Monday night, walking a batter with the bases loaded. Glover had allowed four runs on five hits and a walk in his two previous games. He was brought in with runners on second and third and nobody out in the seventh and struck out his first batter before walking the only other batter he was allowed to face.

--IF Michael Hollimon will not be able to return to action until roughly midway through the 2009 season following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Dr. James Andrews performed the operation in Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday. Detroit head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said the recovery time for Hollimon will likely be 6-9 months. Hollimon, 26, played 11 mid-year games with Detroit at shortstop and second base, batting .261 with one home run and two RBIs in 11 games with the Tigers. After being returned to Class AAA Toledo, Hollimon struggled to a .154 batting average. "Now that you look at it," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said, "you've got to believe that the injury had something to do with it." The switch-hitter dislocated his shoulder in Spring Training and began feeling soreness that progressively got worse in June. "July, it became worse," Hollimon said. "Ultimately, in August it became so bad that I had to take myself out of a game -- and I just don't do that. I had to alter my stance, hitting-wise, because it was difficult to hold my hands up and away from my body. It undoubtedly affected me. It just wasn't a good situation to be in." Hollimon was scheduled to play in the Arizona Fall League but will be replaced by 2B Will Rhymes.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:28 pm

Quote :
Ryan had a single in three at-bats and shows
possibilities as Detroit's backup catcher next year. He's had some
troubles with passed balls (seven in three games) that are worrisome.

Well, if the pitchers weren't so darn wild, he would not have as much trouble!


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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:44 pm

I agree! he's doing the best he can given the pitching!
MARK, O MARK where are you?
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:57 pm

I put "The Bird" back as my avtr since the tigers seem to do better then! Also, it reminds me of pitching excellence!


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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:26 pm

September 24, 2008

RHP Freddy Garcia had a mixed second start for Detroit on Tuesday night with six strikeouts in five innings but three home runs allowed that scored four runs. Garcia was mostly 87-89 mph with his fastball, but when he got it over the plate, it went out of the park twice. His other pitches were excellent, especially his changeup and slider. On balance, he showed enough to be able to help somebody's rotation next year.

--DH Miguel Cabrera, as planned, served as Detroit's designated hitter Tuesday night rather than play first base. "It's not because of the sore back or anything," manager Jim Leyland said. "I mean, if he can't play (first), he won't play at all. It's not something where he could DH or not play. He could play." Leyland had planned to have Cabrera DH even before he had to come out of Monday night's game with upper back tightness. Leyland plans to spread the DH duties around while DH Gary Sheffield serves his four-game suspension.

--LF Marcus Thames gets slotted against many of the game's harder throwers because of his quick bat and ability to hit fastballs. It almost paid off Tuesday night when he hit a flyball to the warning track slightly to the left of center field with two men on base in the fourth inning. Had it been pulled a little more, it could have pulled Detroit up to within a run at 4-3. Thames, who missed the weekend games due to a death in the family, was 1-for-2 in the game.

--SS Edgar Renteria is trying to hit his way into Detroit's 2009 plans. Renteria doubled to left in the fourth inning Tuesday night and ended the evening with a .271 average. Moreover, he's hit the ball with some authority, something he did not do for a long stretch in the middle of the season. Whether the Tigers want to live with his diminished range at short is something the club will have to answer between seasons.

--LHP Casey Fossum pitched two scoreless relief innings Tuesday, which was good. But he also walked a left-handed batter, a no-no for a left-handed relief specialist. Fossum has had trouble with lefties recently and that's not impressive.

--LHP Dontrelle Willis says he's open to manager Jim Leyland's suggestion he pitch winter ball. "I'm all for it," Willis said. The wheres, whens and how longs have yet to be ironed out.

"We'll make it work. We'll get it done. I haven't logged a lot of big league innings. But I've thrown the whole year. You've just got to play it smart."

"I think it (would be) very beneficial," Leyland said. "He's working his way back. You certainly see some positive signs, and you see some signs that he's not totally over the hump yet, so you want to try to work that through if you can."

--1B/3B Jeff Larish started at first base Tuesday night in place of Miguel Cabrera. Larish doubled in the second and was thrown out trying to score on a single to left. He's looked like a rookie at the plate very often, but there are occasions when his power shows and his ability to read a pitcher comes through.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:22 pm

September 26, 2008

--SS Ramon Santiago was manager Jim Leyland's choice to lead off with slumping CF Curtis Granderson not starting against a left-hander. Santiago responded with a home run his first two times up and later cheered Leyland with a single up the middle. He's scheduled to start again Friday with SS Edgar Renteria out with a sore left pectoral muscle. "If he lives in the air (flyballs), he won't hit much," Leyland said. "But he was swinging pretty good and got a couple out."

--RHP Armando Galarraga finished his rookie season with a strong start, a sign Detroit is correct to count on him to help anchor its rotation next season. Galarraga, pitching with extra rest in his last two starts, improved to 13-6 despite giving up three home runs in his 7 2/3 innings of work. After giving up a first-inning home run he allow no hits and just two walks to the next 19 Tampa Bay batters, using a sharp slider and a fastball he was able to spot effectively. He gave up a solo shot in the seventh and a three-run blow that chased him in the eighth. "My body feels strong," Galarraga said. "My arm, my shoulder feel strong. This is really important for me. I'm happy I got the win the last time I pitched this year."

--3B Mike Hessman has to be getting somebody's attention with his power. Hessman hit a solo home run in his only at-bat, giving him five in just 27 official at-bats this season. He's also looked well above average defensively, and even though he had a disappointing Olympics he has established himself as a power hitter over the past few Class AAA seasons. At 30, he still has time to carve out a major league career with somebody, if not Detroit.

--RHP Fernando Rodney earned a four-out save, even if he did have a slight resemblance to his predecessor, Todd Jones. Rodney was brought in for the last out of the eighth after 2B Ben Zobrist tagged RHP Armando Galarraga for a three-run home run to cut Detroit's lead to 7-5. He walked the first batter he faced, a trait he has displayed too often this season, but nicked the outside corner with a changeup for a called third strike to end that threat and closed the game by leaving a runner at second, this time with a strikeout on a high, 99 mph fastball.

--SS Edgar Renteria sat out with a sore pectoral muscle, an injury that has bothered him for the better part of two weeks and probably will keep him out of the lineup Friday as well.

--2B Placido Polanco was held out with a sore back. UT Ryan Raburn replaced him in the lineup and made a stellar defensive play to get the first out of the ninth. He made a leaping grab of a line drive in the tip of his glove and that gave RHP Fernando Rodney the impetus to close out the game.

--C Dusty Ryan hit a solo home run in the fifth inning to continue his impressive September showing. Ryan, who will need work on blocking the ball, is being urged to play winter ball to put into play things he's learned since coming up to Detroit.

--CF Curtis Granderson didn't start. It was a day game following a night contest, but the main reason was that Granderson has not been hitting for more than a week and Tampa Bay was starting a left-hander. As soon as LHP Scott Kazmir was lifted, however, manager Jim Leyland sent Granderson up to bat. Granderson responded later with a solo home run, his 21st of the season.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:04 pm

September 29, 2008

--RHP Zach Miner retired the first 12 batters he faced but wound up with a no-decision when Detroit's bullpen blew another lead in the late innings. Miner's changeup was excellent and helped him to six strikeouts in his six-plus innings. Miner was relieved after the first two batters reached base in the seventh, allowing three runs on four hits. Miner's role with the Tigers next year is still uncertain. His preference would be to start and he might be better suited to that role, but circumstances might dictate he opens the year in the bullpen.

--3B Brandon Inge will enter 2009 as Detroit's regular third baseman, manager Jim Leyland revealed Saturday. Inge has been the de facto regular third baseman for the better part of two weeks. Leyland believes Inge's glove plays better at third than behind the plate, and he certainly will be a better hitter as an infielder. Inge began the season as a utility player off the bench but wound up as the regular catcher after C Ivan Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees. Inge's preference is to play third.

--IF Carlos Guillen will be moved to left field for 2009, manager Jim Leyland said Saturday. It will be Guillen's fourth position in three years. Guillen was Detroit's regular shortstop until he was informed at the end of the 2007 season he would be moved to first base. That transformation didn't last long before Leyland moved Guillen to third, shifting 1B Miguel Cabrera across the diamond. Guillen was the club's regular left fielder for two games -- until UT Brandon Inge suffered a strained left oblique and had to go on the disabled list -- before moving back to third. He did not play in September because of a pinched nerve in his back, but club officials believe he'll be healthy in the spring.

--CF Curtis Granderson hit an opposite-field, three-run home run in the third inning, then drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth for a four-RBI game. Granderson slumped at the end of the season and will finish below .300 after being well above that mark the first two weeks of the month.

--LHP Casey Fossum has a tenuous hold on a roster spot for 2009 and didn't help himself again Sunday. He entered the game with runners on first and second in the seventh and, following a passed ball, got a strikeout and walked a batter before getting out of the inning with a double play. But in the eighth, two left-handed batters sliced singles to left against him, and he walked the last batter he faced to give Tampa Bay a chance to erase a 5-3 deficit. Fossum's inability to dominate left-handed hitters limits his effectiveness as a relief pitcher.

--RHP Chris Lambert is trying to show the Tigers he deserves a long relief spot in the bullpen next year. He mixes his pitches well but lacks a go-to pitch to get a key out, which might work against him. He worked the last two innings Sunday. He gave up a leadoff single in the 10th, but that batter was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double. He gave up a game-deciding home run to UT Ben Zobrist in the 11th on a swing-back fastball that caught just a little too much of the inside part of the plate.

--SS Edgar Renteria had to be taken out of the lineup in the middle of the game when his sore left pectoral muscle began acting up again. If Renteria is unable to play Monday, manager Jim Leyland will have UT Ramon Santiago at shortstop and UT Ryan Raburn playing second. Regular 2B Placido Polanco missed Saturday and Sunday games because of a sore left ankle he jammed while scoring early in Friday night's game.

--LHP Dontrelle Willis didn't get a decision Saturday night, but he did end a disappointing winless season with an encouraging start. Willis walked two and gave up a two-run double in the first with one out but gave up a walk and only one run over his 5 1/3 innings. He threw first-pitch strikes to half the 24 batters he faced and wound up with 95 pitches, 56 of which were strikes. "He kept his composure," manager Jim Leyland said. "I saw progress. That's the way I looked at it. The thing I liked, he didn't let it get away from him." Willis has decided he will not pitch winter ball.

--DH Gary Sheffield hit second in Detroit's lineup, the first time he's batted in that position since July 14, 1990 with Milwaukee. The idea was to maximize his number of at-bats to give him possibly an extra shot at hitting his 500th home run, but Sheffield didn't make it. Sheffield, who went 0-for-2 with two walks Saturday, entered the game needing one home run to become the 25th player to reach 500 in his career. "It's one of my theories to have some pop in the second spot," manager Jim Leyland said. "With Placido (Polanco) out, I'm going to go with that theory."

BY THE NUMBERS: 319 -- Career saves by Todd Jones of the Tigers, 235 of which came with Detroit and are the franchise record. He retired ranked 14th on the all-time saves list.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm just thankful I get to go out my way, because not enough players, not enough people do. I'd rather go out on my terms than grind it to the bitter end and have to rip the uniform off my body. As far as the 2008 Tigers go, (Manager) Jim (Leyland is not the Lone Ranger. I'm just as much a Tonto as anybody else is. So when you guys come up with reasons why this team didn't do what it was supposed to do, you're looking at one of them also. And as a player, I regret the fact that I wasn't able to go out there and take my medicine from the fans and from the media. Because it's important to finish what you started." -- RHP Todd Jones, shouldering his share of the blame for Detroit's season when announcing his retirement Sept. 25.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Tue Sep 30, 2008 5:31 pm

September 30, 2008

(Welcome to the offseason, Tiger Fans! As long as there's a Tiger-related thread on the Wire, I'll post it!)

DETROIT (AP) - Boosted by the big deal for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis, the Detroit Tigers started the season as a popular pick to contend for a championship.

The Tigers finished the year competing only for the dubious distinction of being baseball's biggest bust. A loss against the Chicago White Sox dropped Detroit (74-88) to a last-place finish in the AL Central.
Team owner Mike Ilitch approved a payroll of about $139 million, getting outspent by only the New York Yankees, trying to get back to the postseason after missing it in 2007.

Instead of repeating their run to the World Series from two years ago, the Tigers limped home in the AL Central.

"We're embarrassed. I'm embarrassed," manager Jim Leyland said. "Mr. Ilitch stepped to the plate. When you get paid big, you're supposed to play big and manage big. That's just the way it is. When it doesn't happen, people have the right to call you on the carpet."

Leyland will be back for at least another season, but pitching and bullpen coaches - Chuck Hernandez and Jeff Jones - were fired. The team has decided not to exercise its option to bring back shortstop Edgar Renteria, choosing to give him $3 million instead of $11 million to return.

That move adds shortstop to the list of needs that includes finding a catcher or two and pitching help, particularly in the bullpen.

Leyland said Brandon Inge will be the regular third baseman next season after starting this year as a utility player and Carlos Guillen will be shifted from third to left field.

"We've got a big job in front of us," Ilitch said. "I know in a year, year and a half, I'll be OK. But I'm just concerned about this next year, making sure that we make the right decisions to go forward with who we have, and then we'll go from there."

Ilitch recently said he's not afraid to spend money, but this might not be the offseason to throw millions around like he did last winter.

"I don't know if this year is the year to go after people," Ilitch said.

The Tigers know they have some position players to build around.

They gave Cabrera a $152-plus million contract after acquiring him last winter and the 25-year-old first baseman. He hit an AL-high 37 homers, finished third in the league with 127 RBI and hit nearly .300 while playing almost every game.

"We have one of the most dynamic young players I've ever seen," Leyland said.

Curtis Granderson, a 27-year-old outfielder, became the first Tiger to lead the league in triples since Ty Cobb did it nine decades ago. He hit an AL-high 13 triples and scored 112 runs, trailing only Boston's Dustin Pedroia in the league.

Outfielder Magglio Ordonez followed up his AL batting title with a .317 batting average, finishing fourth in the league. Second baseman Placido Polanco hit .307 and was solid in the field.

Rookie right-hander Armando Galarraga came out of nowhere to be the team's best starter, going 13-7 with a 3.73 ERA.

"There have been some good things," Leyland said. "But not enough."

The bad outweighed the good, no doubt, for the Tigers.

Ace Justin Verlander was 11-17 with a 4.84 ERA after becoming the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter, start a World Series game, be a Rookie of the Year and an All-Star in his first two full seasons.

Willis, acquired along with Cabrera, was 0-2 with a 9.38 ERA and spent much of the season away from the team trying to figure out how to throw strikes.

Pitchers Jeremy Bonderman, Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney had their seasons stunted by injuries. Nate Robertson, Kenny Rogers and Todd Jones simply didn't pitch as well as they had previously for the Tigers.

The Tigers ranked among baseball's best offensively, but among the worst on the mound and in the field.

"If you summed everything up, pitching and defense is the name of the game and we haven't been good at either one," Leyland said.

Tampa Bay pitcher Troy Percival, a former Tiger, said what happened in the Motor City proved baseball games can't be won with dollars and cents.

"You can buy a talented team, but you can't guarantee anything beyond that," Percival said.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Mon Oct 20, 2008 5:41 pm

Updated: October 20, 2008, 2:00 AM EST

Rick Knapp was hired Oct. 17 as the Tigers' pitching coach. He replaces Chuck Hernandez, who was fired after the season. For the past 12 years, Knapp has been the Twins' minor league pitching coordinator. He has no major league experience.

--SS Edgar Renteria, who sat out the Sept. 29 makeup game at Chicago with a sore pectoral muscle, was informed by Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski that Detroit will buy out his option year for $3 million, making him a free agent. "We need to get better defensively at shortstop," Dombrowski said. "We have advised him that we are not going to pick up his option for next year -- not closed the door on it, but we're also going to explore options." Renteria hit .270 in 138 games with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs. He hit .294 after the All-Star break. Detroit traded RHP Jair Jurrjens and CF Gorkys Hernandez to Atlanta last winter to acquire him even though it "knew Renteria's range at shortstop wasn't the same," Dombrowski said.
Renteria has expressed an interest in coming back, even at a greatly reduced salary. He can handle the job on an everyday basis. "I feel comfortable here," Renteria said. "I feel embarrassed, because I'm the kind of player that I love to win, and this year, we didn't play the way we have to play. I feel embarrassed for myself. I'm not talking about anybody else. It's just myself, and I feel disappointed. That's why I want to come back and show I'm ready to go."

--C Dusty Ryan has shown enough that Detroit feels he could at least open the 2009 season on the major league roster, but the Tigers prefer to have a veteran to at least split time with the rookie. "Do I think we could get by (with Ryan)?" Leyland said. "Probably. Would it be the best thing? Probably not."

"It might be Dusty Ryan," GM Dave Dombrowski said. "We've got to bring some young guys in here."

One of his weaknesses, though, is blocking balls in the dirt, and he was unable to corral three wild pitches in the sixth inning of the season finale. He needs work on his footwork and the angle of his glove hand.

--RHP Freddy Garcia walked the first two batters he faced and allowed an RBI single in the season finale but then settled in and gave up just one more hit in his five-plus innings of work before leaving with a stiff shoulder or neck. Garcia's control was a little wobbly in the early part of the first, but then his fastball got up to a peak of 92 mph and his curve, slider and changeup had much better bite as he ended with 72 pitches, three walks and three strikeouts. He walked the leadoff batter in the sixth, and Dewayne Wise stole second on the second pitch to the next batter. Garcia grabbed the right side of his neck, and manager Jim Leyland came out. After consultation with the pitcher and trainer Kevin Rand, Leyland took him out of the game. The exact nature of the injury and whether it was related to his shoulder surgery of 2007 was not immediately known, but Garcia was not acting as if it were anything too serious in the dugout.

--RHP Armando Galarraga was used in relief for only the second time this year in the season finale. He was brought in to face a right-hander with a man on second and nobody out in the sixth and threw two wild pitches while walking RF Jermaine Dye. Galarraga last started four days earlier against Tampa Bay, so it wasn't a stretch bringing him into the game. He was warmed up in the first inning while RHP Freddy Garcia was struggling. Dye was the only batter he faced.

--RHP Gary Glover got off to a good start with Detroit when first brought in after being let go by Tampa Bay, but his career-long pattern of inconsistency was in evidence for most of September. Glover was brought in to a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the sixth inning of the season finale, and the first pitch he threw ended up being a grand slam for White Sox 2B Alexei Ramirez. Glover's attempt at a sinking fastball was way too high in the strike zone, and Ramirez threw up his hands in celebration before the ball was five feet off his bat. Glover finished the inning and the next without additional damage.

--3B Brandon Inge showed in the season finale why he'll be playing third base again next season. Inge leaped into the seats to grab a foul popup early in the game and then rifled a fastball off the fence in left for an RBI double to tie the score at 1-1 in the fifth. Inge has unmatched fielding skills, and the club feels he'll hit better playing third than he would as a catcher.

--SS Ramon Santiago will be a fallback shortstop for Detroit next year if the Tigers are unable to find a one- or two-year alternative. GM Dave Dombrowski said Santiago could end up platooning at short on a "mix-and-match" basis because he believes the Tigers' long-term solution at the position is SS Cale Iorg, the club's sixth-round choice in 2007. Iorg, 23, spent two years on a Mormon mission and was regarded as the best defensive shortstop in the Florida State League in his return to baseball this summer. "Cale Iorg is going to be a superstar," GM Dave Dombrowski said, "and real soon."

--2B Ryan Raburn turned in another good fill-in job in the season finale while subbing for injured 2B Placido Polanco. Raburn had two singles and a squib hit that was thrown away by White Sox RHP Gavin Floyd for a run-producing error that gave Detroit a short-lived 2-1 lead in the sixth inning. Raburn also made a miscue in the eighth that let in Chicago's last run.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- Errors by UT Brandon Inge this season. He played third base, catcher, left field and center field during the course of the season and didn't get charged with a miscue until the Tigers' 159th game, when he muffed a popup at third base.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You can't wash away in four days that we've underachieved. But the point that is important is that we were still playing and playing hard." -- Manager Jim Leyland, on the way his team finished its season.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri Oct 31, 2008 5:08 pm

Hey Gang! Tigers notes don't come every day now, so I post 'em when I get 'em!

October 31, 2008


--RHP Jeremy Bonderman hopes to begin throwing again this month as he comes back from having a rib removed to clear up circulatory problems in his right shoulder. Bonderman was 3-4 while pitching just 12 games for Detroit last season before being sidelined by a blood clot in his shoulder. He visited the Tigers on several occasions last season, and all of his checkups showed expected progress toward a healthy return.

--RHP Gary Glover was outrighted to Class AAA Toledo on Oct. 30 but elected to become a free agent. Glover was picked up as a minor league free agent Aug. 9 after being released by Tampa Bay and was brought up to Detroit after a weekend at Toledo. He was 1-1 with a 4.43 ERA in 18 games for the Tigers. Glover is eligible to sign with any organization, including Detroit.

--C Dane Sardinha was outrighted to Class AAA Toledo and elected to become a free agent Oct. 30. Sardinha had two terms with Detroit this season but hit just .159 with three RBIs in 17 games. He hit just .202 for Toledo. Sardinha showed excellent catching and throwing skills but appeared overmatched at the plate. He is eligible to re-sign with the Tigers as well as any other organization.

--SS Edgar Renteria was officially notified Oct. 30 that Detroit is buying him out of his 2009 option for $3 million. Renteria was obtained from Atlanta a year ago for RHP Jair Jurrjens and OF Gorkys Hernandez, but his defensive skills have diminished and he had trouble hitting much of the first half of the season before finishing strong. Overall, Renteria batted .270 with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs in 138 games for the Tigers. Detroit told Renteria before the season ended it would be buying him out of his option year ($11 million) but might wind up signing him for a much lower amount.

--C Vance Wilson faces an uncertain future as he comes back from his second Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Wilson's contract ran out after the World Series and because his second operation didn't take place until early summer, his possible return to action probably won't be until May or June. He indicated at the time of his surgery he'd like to sign with the Tigers since they paid him essentially to rehab for two years. Wilson hit .283 for Detroit in 2006, the last year he played, and he'll be 36 on Mar. 17. Detroit may sign him to a minor league deal with a higher salary if he can return to the Tigers.

--1B/3B Jeff Larish has been playing more first base than third for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League, but his hitting has been decent. Detroit wanted him to play winter ball but placed him in the fall league because Larish is scheduled to get married in early December. Larish had a streak of six straight games with an RBI recently while hitting .281 with a home run and 13 RBI in his first 15 games. Teammate RHP Zach Simons, also a Detroit farmhand, blogged that "watching him go about his day-to-day business, you kind of get a feel for what it's like at the big-league level. He's a true professional and a great hitter."

--CF Curtis Granderson rounded out his week-long trip to China on behalf of Major League Baseball with a visit to the Great Wall. Granderson, whose parents accompanied him, visited MLB's Play Ball! Schools during his visit, conducting clinics, answering questions and helping practices. His final day involved a coaches clinic at a Beijing university. For the visit to the Great Wall, Granderson wrote in the Detroit News, "We had the option of either walking to the top of our section or taking the ski-lift. Taking the lift was a great suggestion, because once we made it to the top, there was even more walking. If you ever make it to the Great Wall, I would suggest the lift, because once you do make it to the top, you want to be able to walk around up there, instead of exhausting all your energy trying to walk up it."

--2B Will Rhymes, 25, Detroit's 27th-round selection in the 2005 draft out of William & Mary, is trying to overcome the "too small" label on his way through the farm system. Rhymes is 5-foot-9 and maybe 160 pounds but has some speed and the ability to get on base that he hopes will let him play bigger than his size. Rhymes was hitting .333 through his first 12 games for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League with a .362 on-base percentage. He played at the Class AA level for Detroit this season and hit .306 to earn a brief bump to Class AAA.

--RHP Mike LaLuna, 22, undrafted out of New York Tech as a shortstop, recently signed with Detroit after becoming a top prospect as a relief pitcher for Sussex of the independent Can-Am League. LaLuna was a good collegiate shortstop with a weak bat but threw a 94 mph fastball at an independent league tryout camp and was quickly signed. He did pitch 23 collegiate innings but is still very raw. His fastball held up during the summer, and he added the beginnings of a nice slurve. He showed good poise as a setup man and impressed with his ability to take instruction.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 -- Different stints former major league pitcher Jeff Jones has served as Detroit's bullpen coach since joining the organization in 1989 (1995; September 1998-1999; Sept. 7, 2000; April 9, 2002; 2007-present).

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We are pleased to have Jeff Jones on the coaching staff for the upcoming season. Jeff has done a tremendous job for the Tigers organization over the years. After talking with both Jeff and (new pitching coach) Rick Knapp this week in Detroit, we felt Jeff was the best fit to be the club's bullpen coach." -- Detroit manager Jim Leyland on the turnaround concerning Jones, who was fired along with pitching coach Chuck Hernandez just before the season ended but rehired to return as bullpen coach Oct. 30.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:02 pm

Will Rhymes seems to be doing well.

Jeff Larish is doing very well in the AFL. The Solar Sox are tied for 1st. And, when our Tigers are playing they win. When they are sitting, they normally lose! Go Mesa Solar Sox!



“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   Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:22 pm

You scared me when you said, "Mesa"....

BAD FLASHBACK!!
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:23 pm

Go Will "Busta" Rhymes!!
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:31 pm

saw him play in Toledo...he was doin' jes fine!
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:06 pm

November 7, 2008

--1B Miguel Cabrera was selected Tiger of the Year by the Detroit Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Cabrera overcame a slow beginning to his first American League season to lead the league with 37 home runs while driving in 127 runs and batting .292. His 331 total bases tied for the league lead. The Tigers locked him up long-term even before the season began. He opened the year at third base, but he and Carlos Guillen were quickly swapped across the diamond. Cabrera, 25, is also the fifth-youngest player to reach 1,000 hits for his career.

--RHP Armando Galarraga was named the Tigers' Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association. Galarraga led American League rookies with 13 wins and 126 strikeouts, and he was third with a 3.73 ERA. He ranked second among AL pitchers with a .226 batting average against. His 126 strikeouts are the most by a Tigers rookie right-hander, two more than RHP Justin Verlander posted in 2006.

--SS Edgar Renteria, whose 2009 option was bought out for $3 million by Detroit, has filed for free agency but could still wind up re-signing with the Tigers. Detroit could offer arbitration to Renteria, but as a Type A free agent he could wind up getting more than the $11 million the Tigers would have had to pay for picking up his option. "We're looking to improve our defense," GM Dave Dombrowski said, "so any consideration will have defensive discussions. They're all intertwined, but I think it's also one where you look at them independently, too. You look at the best players you can." Declining defense is one reason the Tigers chose to buy out Renteria's option.

--RHP Kyle Farnsworth has filed for free agency, and Detroit is not likely to make an attempt to bring him back. Farnsworth was obtained in a trade-deadline deal with the New York Yankees for C Ivan Rodriguez. He was 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA for the Tigers and didn't pitch in September after reporting he had a bad back. Detroit is not expected to offer arbitration to Farnsworth.

--LHP Casey Fossum has filed for free agency, and it's doubtful Detroit will offer him a contract for 2009. Fossum was an early-season pickup as a free agent and wound up getting into 31 games for the Tigers, posting a 3-1 record and a 5.66 ERA. He pitched well in long relief but faltered in later-inning roles, especially later in the season. Fossum also had problems with left-handed hitters as the season wore on.

--SS Cale Iorg, 23, is the chief reason Detroit isn't seeking a long-term solution at shortstop for 2009. Iorg, chosen in the sixth round of the 2007 draft after spending two years on a mission for the Mormon church, played his first full season of pro ball at high Class A Lakeland last summer and was regarded as one of the top prospects in the Florida State League. He hit .251 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs. He confirmed that he probably could handle defense at the major league level right now but still is green at the plate.

"Ideally and probably he is not ready now," GM Dave Dombrowski said. "But he just did so very well in the Instructional League that he caught our eyes even more so. We're not counting on Cale being on our club next year, but we are not 100 percent closed on doing that. Though, we are comfortable with Ramon Santiago at shortstop and whoever else might play with him."

The Tigers may hope Iorg hits well enough in Class AA this spring that he can come up early and take over. The club could open with Santiago at short and see what happens, or it could bring in a veteran for one season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 126 -- Strikeouts by RHP Armando Galarraga last season, two more than RHP Justin Verlander posted in 2006 and the most by a Tigers rookie.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We have flexibility to do some things. I don't have flexibility to do tons of things, but I have flexibility to do some things. Sometimes you trade young players for young players. We've got plenty of finances that are attributed to our ballclub. Now we just have to make them work better for us." -- GM Dave Dombrowski, on what lies ahead in the reshaping of Detroit's roster this offseason.
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PostSubject: Re: From the FSN Daily Wire   Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:29 pm

November 14, 2008

RHP Armando Galarraga finished fifth in the voting for American League Rookie of the Year. Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria was a unanimous winner, and Chicago White Sox 2B Alexei Ramirez finished second. Galarraga actually received more third-place votes from than any other candidate (nine), but Boston OF Jacoby Ellsbury and Kansas City SS Mike Aviles beat him out with their share of second-place selections. Ellsbury and Aviles finished third and fourth, respectively. Galarraga took a 12-4 record into late August before finishing with a 13-7 mark and 3.73 ERA. Among his highlights, he took a shutout bid into the ninth inning on May 28 against the Angels, and he took a perfect game into the seventh inning in a July 23 win at Kansas City. Galarraga finished second to Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka among all AL pitchers in batting average allowed (.226) and hits per nine innings (7.66).

--C Dusty Ryan got off to a slow start in the Puerto Rican Winter League, batting .118 through his first four games, but it was his defense that Detroit sent him there to improve. Ryan looks as if he'll be able to hit major league fastballs, but his blocking of breaking balls in the dirt and side-to-side blocking ability looked in definite need of improvement as he jumped from Class AA to the majors in September. "Just continued improvement is what it amounts to," GM Dave Dombrowski said of what he's looking for out of Ryan. "He was really in Double-A most of the year. That's why we think he's going to continue to improve. That's why many, many players play winter ball."

--LHP Kenny Rogers, unsure if he'll pitch again, formally filed for free agency Nov. 11, the day after he turned 44 years old. Rogers has not informed the Tigers whether he's interested in coming back again or whether he'd be agreeable to the sort of contract Detroit would require if he does. Rogers told Detroit at the end of the season he would only return to the Tigers, and he also volunteered to sit out the majority of September while the club looked at other rotation candidates. Rogers went 9-13 with a 5.70 ERA in 30 starts for Detroit in 2008. He was 6-6 with a 4.55 ERA before the All-Star break but fell off sharply thereafter, posting a 7.93 ERA and allowing 83 hits in his last 59 innings.

--SS Ramon Santiago may inherit the starting job for Detroit next season even though the club feels he's not strong enough to handle the load full time. Santiago, 29, is an excellent defensive player with a strong shortstop's arm. He hit more than .300 through much of 2008 before tailing off in the final month to finish at .282 in 58 games.

"We've said it many times," GM Dave Dombrowski said. "We like him. But there's a difference between playing somebody every day. You're talking 150 games, and that's a lot of baseball at the major league level. Our gut instinct is that he would have a hard time handling that. You never know, but it's a gut instinct. I'm not saying that as we weigh our options that it might not be something that ends up happening. We have different spots we're trying to fill, and only so much cash involved."

Detroit does not figure to increase its payroll, already one of the highest in the majors, significantly for 2009. Santiago was Detroit's regular shortstop in 2003 and hit .225 in 141 games.

--LHP Macay McBride, who didn't pitch in the majors last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in the spring, has agreed to terms with the club on a 2009 contract that will pay him the league minimum in the majors ($400,000) or $113,300 in the minors. McBride, 26, was acquired from Atlanta early in 2007 and posted a 6.11 ERA in 20 games for Detroit that season.

--RHP Yorman Bazardo, who entered spring training a year ago as a rotation or long-relief possibility, has been allowed to become a free agent by Detroit. Bazardo made just three early-season appearances for the Tigers, posting a 24.00 ERA by allowing eight runs in three innings, before being sent to the minors for the remainder of the year. He looked promising in 2007 when he went 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 11 games over several stints with Detroit.

BY THE NUMBERS: .226 -- Opposing batting average allowed by RHP Armando Galarraga, second lowest in the American League among all pitchers. Galarraga finished fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's a good player, but more than two or three games a week, I worry that he would wear down. And I worry what that would do to his offense. But, you never know. We might have to go in that direction." -- Manager Jim Leyland, on SS Ramon Santiago, whom the Tigers don't feel has the durability to handle 140 games a season at shortstop.
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