March 11th, 2008

For those of you with HDTV

FSN Detroit announced today that 103 of its 152 Tigers telecasts this season will be in HD, up from 60 last year. Seventy-two of those will be home games (including the first four games of the season), with 31 others on the road.

This should be a nice tradeoff for not having an over-the-air affiliate. After watching games in HD the last couple years, it really is a very good sport for it.

Four walks for Willis

He wasn’t really wild, but his location was just a little off, missing the corner on pitches. He had some long at-bats besides the walks, to the point where he reached his pitch count with one out in the third instead of getting through the inning or into the fourth. Probably no cause for worry, just something to deal with. To his credit, his only out of the third was a nice offspeed pitch to send down Jay Bruce swinging.

Thames scratched

He has a sore left pectoral muscle. Ryan Raburn is starting in his place.

Sheff in lineup, Jay Bruce makes trip

This will be Sheffield’s first session in five days, even though it kind of feels longer than that with all the attention given to his sore legs.

Here’s the lineup for the split-squad game against the Reds:

  1. Rodriguez, C
  2. Inge, CF
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 3B
  6. Guillen, 1B
  7. Thames, LF
  8. Sizemore, 2B
  9. Santiago, SS

It’ll be a good day for the third spot in the order, since the Reds brought youngster Jay Bruce on the trip. It’s a split squad for them, too, and their lineup actually doesn’t look half-bad.

  1. Corey Patterson, CF
  2. Norris Hopper, LF
  3. Jay Bruce, RF
  4. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
  5. Joey Votton, 1B
  6. Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B
  7. Paul Bako, C
  8. Juan Castro, SS
  9. Chris Kroski, DH

I can’t really tell you much about the split-squad game at Winter Haven, since I’m not there. That game is on MLB.TV if you’re interested.

Injury/closer updates

Fernando Rodney threw off flat ground today, not off a mound. Tigers coaches were debating which way to go on that, but in the end, they decided to play it safe. He did stretch out his long tosses.
Todd Jones is not hurt, but he is throwing a bullpen session right now with coaches watching. He was scheduled to throw in the game here today. The thought there presumably is that they can work on his mechanics better this wat.

Clay Rapada, meanwhile, threw a 5-minute mound session of fastballs yesterday and was encouraged. He’ll throw another side session Wednesday or Thursday and throw all of his pitches. If that goes well, he could be pitching in games next week.

Speaking of which, Wilkin Ramirez is thinking he could be back in game shape in a week or so. He began shoulder workouts today after partially dislocating his left one last Friday. He’s feeling good.