April 11th, 2008

Willis injury

He suffered a hyperextended right knee, according to the club. He'll undergo further evaluation.

One more note about the lineup

Say what you will about Ivan Rodriguez, but he shows up to work. After catching all 212 pitches from Tigers pitchers Thursday night, not only is Pudge back in the lineup, but he was in the gym Friday morning doing his usual workouts.

Pudge has his training program, and he works out, home and road. Today, after Jim Leyland mentioned it, Pudge said he was in the gym around 9:30 a.m. The Tigers arrived at their hotel in Chicago just before 3 a.m. local time.

“It’s part of my routine,” Pudge said Friday. “That’s why I play every day.”

The 212 pitches were the most by Tigers pitchers in a game since the infamous 26-5 loss to the Royals in 2004.

Rodney update

His first bullpen session of greater intensity went off Friday without a hitch. According to the Tigers medical staff, he threw for eight minutes, about 35-40 pitches (all fastballs and changeups) at 80 percent effort. Assuming he feels well tomorrow, he’s scheduled to throw another mound session on Monday.

Friday: Tigers at White Sox

Jim Leyland was already thinking about giving Gary Sheffield the day off, then his injured finger swelled on the flight from Boston last night. Sheffield says he could’ve played, but there’s no reason to take a chance this early in the season. Thus, Clete Thomas gets the start in left and leads off, while Jacque Jones is the DH.

The lineup:

  1. Thomas, LF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Guillen, 1B
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 3B
  6. Jones, DH
  7. Renteria, SS
  8. Rodriguez, C
  9. Inge, CF

For the White Sox, who will try to score some runs in support of Jose Contreras:

  1. Carlos Quentin, LF
  2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  3. Jim Thome, DH
  4. Paul Konerko, 1B
  5. Jermaine Dye, RF
  6. Joe Crede, 3B
  7. Brian Anderson, CF
  8. Juan Uribe, 2B
  9. Toby Hall, C

Only one left-handed bat in the lineup, but A.J. Pierzynski is available off the bench. That’s where having an extra lefty reliever could be handy. And as you probably heard by now, the Tigers now have that second lefty after calling up Clay Rapada from Toledo today. Yorman Bazardo was designated for assignment to make room. As a side note, Aaron Fultz — the other lefty reliever pitching at Triple-A Toledo — asked for and received his unconditional release following the Rapada move.

On the weather front, it’s dry and cool right now, and getting colder. Right now it looks like any showers will be scattered tonight before the weather gets progressively worse Saturday and into Saturday night. (Slushy accumulation? Yikes.)

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