More progress, more work left for Granderson

I’m not in Toronto, as you can probably tell, but I went to Toledo for Granderson’s rehab outing tonight. Facing Homer Bailey was a good way to get his timing going, and he managed a single and a double off of him. He still hasn’t had to make a throw to a base on a play, and until that happens, he’s worried about the arm strength. It’s coming into place, but slowly.

Two more notes from Toledo:

  1. Francisco Cruceta is going to join the Mud Hens bullpen on Tuesday for his first real game competition with the Tigers, most likely throwing two innings. The reports were solid from his back-to-back appearances in extended spring training on Thursday and Friday, solid enough to warrant bringing him to Triple-A from the outset.
  2. Look for Michael Hollimon to join the Hens shortly, too. He’s progressing from his separated shoulder down in Lakeland. His arrival in Toledo will give the Tigers some infield depth in case they need it.

25 Comments

Anybody want Frank Thomas?
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–Rich

Thomas: .167 3 HRs 11 RBIs in 16 games.
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Sheffield: .192 1 HR 2 RBIs in 15 games.
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Anybody want Gary Sheffield?

April 20th 2007 – Tigers lose to ChiSox 5-4 Gary Sheffield hitting .125

sorry hit the post button too soon.

Sheff May 20th 2007 hitting .240
June 20th .293

look like april isn’t his month, heats up un may… dunno why, april 20th 2005 with NY he was batting .305, 2004 april 20 with NY .260.

*shrug*

I think their is some danger in thinking that this is typical hitting behaviour for Sheffield. Last year he was hitting poorly at the start but to my recollection he was healthy. He is not healthy this year. He is still mindful of his shoulder and his swing shows it. Throw in the finger injury and you have a guy who has to accept the physical compromise of his condition. I don’t think he is very good at that. He will continue to try to be the power guy even though his body says no. This is where I think he hurts the ballclub.
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I agree that a healthy Sheffield would make this a truly awesome lineup. His problem seems to be accepting some level of mediocrity. I don’t think he has the type of personality that will permit him to do that so it will be boom or bust.
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Right now I would like to see them use that DH spot to get Guillen, Cabrera and maybe even Polanco into playing shape.
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I hope I am all wet in my opinion of Sheffield as he is a very crucial element in how this lineup is supposed to work. I won’t keep harping on it here and will suffer thru this like everybody else.

“their”!!!! Sorry I mean “there”.

i wasn’t a fan of the sheffield trade anyways. too old, had the hand injury in NY in 05, then had torre make a fool of him in the ALDS against us by sticking him at 1B.
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that being said, his .125 average last april seemed to confirm my suspicions and i declared it to be the dumbest offseason move DD had made. then he warmed up. then he has that weird OF injury, now he’s had surgery on shoulder, and makes a fool of himself sliding headfirst into 2nd when he had no reason to be trying to take 2 bases. and hurting his friggen finger
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i think his ego has been damaged over the course of the last 3 seasons and now he’s just trying to kill the ball.
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i’m not ready to put guillen on DH and letting cabrera take 1st and Inge at 3rd. I still have a sneaking suspicion that once granderson returns, we can expect to see some kind of a move to bolster either the SP or the pen (which IMO, the pen is doing a pretty good job, add in cruceta in a few weeks and who knows, all our/everyone’s speculations on the Pen vs the SP all throughout the offseason could turn into brilliant moves by DD. Lopez, Bautista, Cruceta (when available) and zoom maybe 2nd half, (as long as there’s no guitar hero) then pen looks good.
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Thomas being released puts the FO in a bad place if they were gonna use sheff as some kinda trade bait. there’s now 2 huge slugging elderly baseball players sitting around waiting for a phone call, if a team can make that call, without surrendering any of their own players in return they wont be even a little bit interested.
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hitting coach and JL need to step into gary’s head and impose their wills upon him. ‘put the ball in play, dont overswing, just swing’ he doesn’t do that, they should bench him. at the very least, his spot in the lineup should be with jones at the bottom, cabrera moved to 3hole and guillen to 6.
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ok so i typed a lot. gametime in 5 minutes. GO TIGERS
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mike

The guys are very inconsistent in the hitting department. They can slip back into no clutch hits so easily that it causes concern. Ordonez 1st pitch swinging, or not being able to come thru with men on (like just now in the 3rd inning).
They had the big performance against Cleveland and then came back the next game with nothing. Same yesterday really.
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They really need to be able to provide the big hit when it matters and it is just not happening.
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I also think it is really not very astute baseball to not try to run on Burnett–Jones was on and they didn’t send him and same when Inge was on. Inge can steal on Burnett easy.
Yesterday with Santiago on first and Pudge up they didn’t run—Pudge came thru with a hit up the middle that would have tied the game. This is a station to station baserunning team but it doesn’t need to be like that. Santiago, Jones, Inge, Thomas can all run so why not run ‘em sometimes.
It’s like JL is as guilty as his players in just waiting around for something to happen or someone else to make it happen.

seems like it takes the tigers hitting 2 or 3 at bats before they catch up with the starting pitcher
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PUDGE! That was a horrible pitch to swing at. What is it with these hitters?

No sooner do they get the lead than Robo gives it up. Hoooooooooooo.

Vintage Nate Robertson. Throws well for a few innings then can’t get the guys out (Scutaro, McDonald Overbay) he should be able to get and has the predictable really bad inning. He is absolutely consistent with the pattern.
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Lots of things are ominous with this. Our starters get a couple of runs in our half of the the inning and then can’t hold the other team down when they come to bat.
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It’s going to be a long season if the pitching doesn’t come around soon. Verlander can’t win, Bonderman has no confidence, Rogers is a pitch away from a career ending injury, Robertson is a sure bet to give up 3 or 4 in the middle innings every time out. And like last year, we are looking to a rookie to get excited about.
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It is very troubling to see this club slip back into a coma so easily.
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Looking forward to the Wings in 10 minutes and the Pistons later tonight.

They could have knocked Burnett off the mound and prevented him from getting the win which he does not deserve from the way he has pitched. But no. Now they will see a fresh pitcher who may really be Cy Young in disguise.

Maybe Granderson coming back will guarantee that Pudge does not hit at the top of the order any more. He has sure left a lot of men on batting up there this year. I think the key to our success will be Granderson/Polanco. If those two are clicking it changes everything.
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Everything except for the pitching of course!
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We’re only done 2 but they seem like a beaten team today again.

Lose this game and they are back to 7 below like they started out. Last week’s 3 game winning streak for nothing. And tomorrow they will be depending on a rookie pitcher to stop the bleeding again. I live in Illinois, paid the $89 to be able to watch on MLB>TV and I am as frustrated as much as most of you are, I am sure. Only 2 runs down but they have to start hitting and the bullpen has to hold the Jays.

Pudge sure can have bad at bats when he needs good ones. To have him batting after Clete was a huge waste today.
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I don’t know what Leland said to Miner today but whatever it was helped. Maybe he should talk to more of the guys..

This is depressing.
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See ya tomorrow!

There’s not a whole lot to be said about the kind of play we’ve seen the last 2 days. It seems as though the HR is not part of the Tigers’ game. Weird since this was a team that was predicted to mash the ball.
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I’m starting to get a little worried about my NY trip again. We’ll be sitting in Yankee territory with big Yankee fans and if the guys play like this it will be, as we used to say, a real bummer.
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I guess we have to be content with the rookies in the lineup playing well.

Put Polanco and Sheffield on the DL. They are hurt and taking up space on the bench or having poor at-bats. Keep Galarraga even when Willis comes back. A few bullpen appearances might help D-train. Keep Thomas even when Granderson comes back. Raburn and Santiago will have to hold down 2nd base until Polanco gets healthy. Guillen or maybe Maggs can be the DH. They have Thames or Cabrera to play first base until Guillen’s legs heal. They wil have Granderson, Jones, Thomas, and Thames for the outfield when Maggs is the DH. They have to play .500 ball for the rest of this month in order to have a shot for the rest of the season.

Tigabloggers! What we are seeing here is the beginning process of a veteran team getting “old”. Nagging injuries that ususally would take care of themselves in a game or two now take five or six. The team is out of sync; 2-6 gaves us three hits today, and a Rookie got the other three.
Jacques Jones might be the Nefi Perez of 2006-07. That loss needs to be cut now. Our guys don’t catch up to the fastballs of good arms, and then the Zahns, Scutaros, McDonalds, and that pest Eckstein hit Nate’s 86-89 with no problem. I’m not sure that we can right the ship, unless some bold moves are made soon. I must admit too, that Sheff has probably seen his better days. Pudge should have been a leader today, as well as Mags, and they both caved. I don’t think anyone realized what a difference the loss of Granderson truly did to this team. Finally, I know no one wants to hear it, but I would have Cabrera in left, and put Inge back on third at least for the time being. All of those one run games we lose because of Miguel’s defense will be critical in mid August.

I have nothing positive to post today. Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not going to be stubbornly stupid, as I just finished watching three hours of that. It’s not the losses as much as the way they are lost that’s bad. Every team we play seems to be head and shoulders the superior ballclub.
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At this point, the entire club is doing a very poor job, from management to the coaches to the players, and probably the medical staff and maybe even the clubhouse guy, for all I know. These batting orders show no imagination, pitchers can’t pitch, and hitters can’t hit. 15 walks in three games and one of them scored, the last one. Even worse still, they’ve become boring. You seldom see such a predictable ballclub as the one being run out there right now. So predictable that I don’t even have to specify what I mean, you all know what I mean.
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Now, here’s the current situation. Polanco is probably done for the year, perhaps permanently. Sheffield is in the same boat. We have a very poor starting rotation and hitters that don’t seem to realize they need to think up there. Jim Leyland may resign before the season is over. If not, after it’s over.
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All you do now is bring up Granderson tomorrow, put him in there and hope for the best. I doubt they’ll do it.
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Yeah, I can bring down the rain after a point, I guess. I’m no longer hopeful so I’m going to sit back, watch, and wait for something to happen. That 2006 celebration is becoming a distant memory.
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–Rich

Rich I have never seen you so negative. I agree it seems like this “superior” hitting team (and I use that term sarcastically) seems to at times waste at bats. They have Burnett on the ropes oodles of times and let him off the hook. The amount of runners left in scoring position is staggering this year. The pitchers sometimes look okay, but them they always have one big inning in them where they blow up. Nate really looked like he was in control and then all of a sudden the bottom fell out. It is the same story every day. That being said 5 runs you can overcome if there are a few hits. And hits there weren’t many. Very disappointing again.
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Rich keep your chin up.

I said it in 2006 and say it again. We need a David Ekstein on this team.
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Anybody notice how lifeless our dugout is?.
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Robertson deserved to lose this game. I have never seen a guy give up so many 2 strike hits. It is almost like 0-2 is not an advantage to him.
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Good to see a little fire in the eyes of Bobby Seay. That’s not something you see in many of the other players’ faces.
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I missed the Galarraga game last week–looking forward to seeing tomorrow’s game.
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If Sheff goes on the DL and I bet they bring up Larish.

Okay, I’ll back off on the Polanco comment since it is possible to treat this kind of thing with epidural steroid injections. If that’s allowed. :-)
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I just don’t like to get all involved in trying to “manage” the team since it’s a wasted effort. JL won’t do any of those things anyway. For example, I have no problem with playing Clete, but does he have to hit leadoff every single time? Try Renteria or even Inge. Shake things up.
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There may be a future foundation of a rotation with Verlander, Bonderman and Porcello but that doesn’t help us right now. Nate has that single inning blowup every time out. Willis is an unknown commodity at this point. You can count on Rogers to give you an intelligent effort, but he’s what, 43 years old?
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I wish there were enough Ecksteins that every team could have one, but there aren’t many. Hey Dan, you may want to consider going “incognito” in Yankee Stadium. I think it’s cool that you’ll get to visit the stadium, I never have, so you should enjoy it no matter what our guys are doing.
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Getting away from all of that, I heard today that a large number of starters are hitting the 100 pitch mark in the fifth inning this year. This leads me to project into a future where “starters” only go about three or four innings and games are played with a rotating committee of pitchers. I foresee this because of the tiny strike zone, the hitters’ ability to foul off pitches, and the pitchers’ innate fear of coming in there with their best stuff, if not their total inability to do so. What do you think?
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–Rich

Just a couple of questions. How do you know that Sheff and Polly are out for the whole year? And which games did they lose because of a Cabrera error?

The real reason to panic is the pitching, especially the starting pitching. Lopez is doing okay at inning 7 or 8, but they can’t get that far. The starting pitching is the real reason to worry.

I don’t know that they are out for the entire year, Steve, that’s why I used the words probably and perhaps. I’m going by the descriptions of their ills that are being reported, and it doesn’t sound good to me. Polanco with numbness down his leg, Sheffield and this whole scar tissue thing. Just sounds serious from my experience. I sure would love to be wrong.
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I don’t recall anyone here talking about losing a game because of a Cabrera error. Maybe someone was referring to Saturday’s game? I don’t know.
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I agree about the starting pitching. Today, for example. We go ahead in the top of the 4th only to have it immediately given back in the bottom of the inning. That’s pretty deflating for a ballclub that’s scuffling.
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–Rich

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