March 30th, 2007

What a day

Talk about closing out 6 1/2 weeks in Lakeland with a bang.

Losing Rogers for half a season is undoubtedly huge, and with four established starters now instead of five, it could even up the Tigers’ pitching staff with the White Sox while closing the gap with the Twins. But what the Tigers arguably gained with a new deal for Guillen is something. I don’t know what it will mean in 2011, when Guillen could be a 36-year-old converted shortstop playing second or first base or the outfield or something, but it means plenty now.

Signing Jeremy Bonderman and Brandon Inge to long-term deals was one thing. Signing Guillen was another. He’s at the peak of his game now, and he could’ve been one of the more sought-after free agents on the market who might have easily topped $12 million a year from another major-market team. He took less to stay with the Tigers. The club gave more to gave him some insurance. And there you have a deal.

I told somebody today I could’ve never have imagined three years ago that guys would’ve wanted so badly to re-sign with Detroit for less than market value. I feel like I’m watching what used to be a small-market club become a major-market club, which is pretty impressive in a metro area you keep hearing is shrinking.

Rogers out three months

Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers is expected to miss three months after undergoing surgery Friday to remove a blood clot and repair two arteries in his left shoulder.

It was a worse-case scenario for what was originally hoped to be a relatively minor procedure, and it ends up becoming a potentially major blow to Detroit’s defense of its American League championship.

The 42-year-old Rogers was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with what was then listed as a fatigued arm. The original diagnosis was a blood clot, but the Tigers hoped it would be easier to repair. Pitcher Craig Dingman, for example, missed just a few weeks this spring after doctors removed a blood clot from his shoulder.

President/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Thursday that they hoped it wasn’t a long-term injury. Those hopes were dashed once Rogers had further examination from Dr. Greg Pearl, a specialist based out of Baylor University.

"The treatment of the blood clot was done a little bit differently," Dombrowski said.

Dr. Pearl had previous experience with Rogers, having performed surgery to clear an artery in the same shoulder back in 2001. Friday’s surgery removed a clot and repaired both the axillary and brachial arteries. The brachial artery runs down the arm before splitting into two arteries. The axillary artery runs in the middle of the shoulder.

Rogers will be under complete rest for about a month and is expected to resume throwing in 6-8 weeks. Given that timetable, Dombrowski said it would be "probably three months until you would anticipate him" pitching for the Tigers again.

Chad Durbin, who was moved out of the bullpen to replace Rogers in the rotation for at least one start, will remain the team’s fifth starter with the longer-term injury, Dombrowski said.

"I can’t look you in the eye and say Chad Durbin’s as good as Kenny Rogers," Dombrowski said. "But it doesn’t mean he can’t fill the role of a fifth starter and win enough ballgames to get us to the point where Kenny comes back or somebody else in ready. That’s why you have depth in the organization."

Vance to DL

Listed as a sore elbow, but he says it feels like some sort of pinched nerve. Mike Rabelo is recalled to take his place.

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