August 19th, 2007
Leyland confirmed that, but it can only do so much. Leyland was not happy with his hitters’ approach today, saying they were taking strikes and swinging at balls with runners in scoring position. They tried to use baserunning to create opportunities, but they couldn’t finish them off.
Polanco had another workout with mixed results today, and while Leyland is hoping to have him back in the lineup Tuesday, he’s not as sure about it now. If he is back on Tuesday, look for Ryan Raburn to start at third base and give Brandon Inge at least one day off.
Kenny Rogers plans on throwing off the mound Tuesday to see how his elbow feels. If it’s good, he’ll throw again on Thursday or Friday. If he’s good from there, he’ll push to be activated for next week with no Minor League rehab outings.
He needs to get some more of his strength back before returning to the lineup Tuesday. "I took two ground balls [Saturday in infield practice], and it felt like I played two games," he said.
- Granderson, CF
- Casey, 1B
- Sheffield, DH
- Ordonez, RF
- Guillen, SS
- Raburn, 2B
- Rabelo, C
- Inge, 3B
- Maybin, LF
Meanwhile, Kenny Rogers was planning on playing catch this morning, which means his side session will have to wait until they’re back home this coming week. Assuming Rogers needs at least one rehab start before returning, it would now seem like the end of August for a Rogers comeback at best. How the Tigers adjust to that could be interesting. Given Andrew Miller’s low pitch count tomorrow, they could very easily end up bringing him back Friday on three days rest and keeping Jair Jurrjens in the rotation.
If that’s the case, or if Rogers needs more time into September, then what was already going to be an interesting playoff chase could have a real twist — a team trying to get back to the World Series with several talented, inexperienced kids (Miller, Jurrjens, Maybin) in their early 20s playing key roles. Baseball has seen teams ride the contributions of one or two youngsters to get into the playoffs, but three? That would be a story.