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 Verlander & Cabrera named Pitcher & Player of May

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PostSubject: Verlander & Cabrera named Pitcher & Player of May   Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:38 am

Thursday, June 4, 2009
Marcus Thames likely to join Tigers soon
Carlos Guillen probably will be out for a while with shoulder injury
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

Detroit -- There's no specific timetable.

But it's clear Marcus Thames will rejoin the Tigers soon -- probably as soon as they face the next left-handed starting pitcher.

Thames began his injury rehab assignment to Toledo slowly. But with four hits on Monday, his progress wasn't slow anymore.

And with the Tigers looking at a barrage of left-handers in a five-game series at Chicago next week, including a day-night double-header on Monday, they'll want to stack the lineup with right-handed hitters.

Manager Jim Leyland said about Thames: "I would expect he will rejoin us soon. The reports are he's getting close."

As for sore-shouldered Carlos Guillen, however, Leyland said: "It's going to be long term. There's no question it's frustrating to him. It just appears he has a pretty worn shoulder."

Not easily

But Dan Dickerson is getting through his radio broadcasts -- despite having to prop up his left leg in the booth.

Dickerson was operated on last Wednesday, then stayed in the hospital overnight after a 3 1/2 hour operation to repair the left quad tendon he ruptured in a fall near the Tigers' hotel in Kansas City. He's looking at five weeks in a leg brace -- and a total of three months for a full recovery.

Is this the year?

Justin Verlander loves taking batting practice.

He was the first pitcher into the cage again on Wednesday, now that the Tigers' pitchers are hitting early in preparation for games in Pittsburgh and St. Louis beginning next week.

Verlander doesn't get cheated. On Tuesday he hit a ball over the fence in left.

"It's plausible that some day I could hit one in a game," he said.

But he stops short of predicting he's going to get his first hit this year. Verlander is 0-for-10 with six strikeouts in three seasons. He also has two sacrifices.

Can he hit?

"Remains to be seen," Verlander said.

Honors

Verlander and Miguel Cabrera have been named the Tigers' Pitcher and Player of the Month for May.

Verlander was chosen for his 5-0 record, his 1.52 ERA and his 56 strikeouts -- the most by a Tigers' pitcher in May since at least 1954 -- Cabrera for hitting .340 with six home runs driving in 23 runs.

tom.gage@detnews.com


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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