Guillen out, Inge catching

Just when the Tigers were getting close to their full lineup, down goes Carlos Guillen. He was barely able to walk into the clubhouse this morning, manager Jim Leyland said, after that foul ball off the side of his right knee last night. He won’t dress for the game today. Because Cabrera is moving to first base and Brandon Inge is giving Pudge a day off at catcher today, Ryan Raburn is starting at third.

“We just can’t catch a break,” Leyland said.

On the Gary Sheffield front, he had another cortisone shot in his right shoulder, this time in the front of it. He was still feeling soreness in the shoulder getting the shot two days ago.

Meanwhile, they’ll be facing Jason Jennings after all. You may remember that Jennings was the Rangers’ originally scheduled starter for this game, but was moved back a couple days in favor of Scott Feldman. Well, the Rangers decided late last night to start Jennings today again.

Here’s the Tigers lineup he’ll be facing:

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

And the Rangers, who present a slew of left-handed hitters for Jeremy Bonderman today:

  1. Frank Catalanotto, LF
  2. Michael Young, SS
  3. Josh Hamilton, RF
  4. Hank Blalock, 3B
  5. Jason Botts, DH
  6. David Murphy, CF
  7. Adam Melhuse, C
  8. Ben Broussard, 1B
  9. Ramon Vazquez, 2B

On a side note, it’s a happy 40th birthday for Todd Jones.


Let’s make it a REALLY happy birthday for him. A 1-2-3 9th would be nice!
Man, Guillen out now it just never stops does it? Wonder how Inge handles the plate today. He needs to go out and kick Bondo’s butt if Bondo starts his poor me stuff again.
But then that might be kinda’ hard for Inge to do since Inge could likely be suffering from the same malady.
This is a very important time for the team. There is the potential for divisiveness and unhappiness with several of the players if things aren’t handled well.
i.e. If I were Cabrera I would not be real thriled to see myself as the 4th string 3rd baseman (5th string if you count Santiago). JL could have showed some confidence in him by playing Thames at 1B and Cab at 3rd and Raburn in right. Oh well, hopefully they are all past that chapter in the story.
Bonderman is going to need to get some defense done out there behind him today. Kenny had a bad day to be sure, but he was really hurt by buys not catching balls, Pudge on the so-called WP (really a PB), Guillen looking like Dr. Strangeglove on the toss-over at 1st (remember Dick Stuart
Rich?), and both Renteria !!! & Santiago!!! dropping sure DP ground balls.
Let’s get 7 out Bondo today and roller-coaster save from the birthday boy!

first inning woes for bonderman. can’t hang sliders at the belt and expect to get away with it.

quick question– What’s up with Vance Wilson? I haven’t heard his name at all. Is he going to make it back? That would make the roster decisions even more difficult. Any body heard anything?

Giving up a solo homer in the 1st couldn’t be called a “woe”.

at the time i posted that he had just given up the HR and walked someone.
through 4 he has 5 walks right now and a HBP.
lucky to only have one run. if this were the red sox or yankees, it’d be a different score, i’m sure.

And why is it that our starters have problems throwing strikes. I agree if this were almost any other team we would be in a lot worse shape. And now we have to deal with Zack Miner……….Good Lord!!!!!!

Where is Bobby Seay!!!????

I’m confused. The Rangers are starting one righty, one switch hitter, and seven lefties. Did Bobby Seay die in the bullpen or does Leyland have a Schembechler type doghouse where Seay is currently residing? I can’t understand why he’d bring in Miner in such a tough spot– perhaps Seay, Lopez, and Rapada are all comatose? The only worse option would be Grilli… Alright, I’ll stop complaining cuz Miner got the job done but that sure was a head scratcher…

Dan– I didn’t see your post until mine went up. I guess we were thinking the same thing. Is Jim Price also asking this question (over and over?) I’m at work so I only have up the Gameday…

I guess that wasn’t so bad, atleast Miner got the out. Maybe JL will put someone else in now!

Go Maggs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is nothing like a good game of long ball…………..

I think that was Miner’s chance to stay on the big league squad. He gives it up there, and he’s getting sent down. With Willis coming back and the impending possibility of Rodney, Zumaya and Cruceta in the next fifteen days to two months or so, he’s going to call on the people he’s not sure about to get a few important outs. If they don’t succeed, they’re going down. The bullpen is getting ready to reload with tested players if they can all get healthy.

Do you send down Galarraga? Not if his next start is like his first two? Seay? No way. Grilli? His last few outings have been good, just not in close situations. Lopez pitched three yesterday, Rapada was unavailable. Might as well give Miner a chance early enough in a game against a bullpen that the Tigers have not only taxed, but also know they can hit. Anything but a grand slam and you would have to figure they were still in the game. He got the out. He might get to stick around for a bit.

I have a number of quick reactions to the game today:
1) We swept a team that we should sweep. Texas is a bad team. Not just a little bad– really bad. Good teams put bad teams away and that’s what the Tigers did.
2) The bullpen is doing great. Chris points out that as guys get called up, there won’t be any easy decisions.
3) The starters aint getting it done. Bonderman was wild, wild, wild. That just isn’t going to cut it.
4) It sure is nice to have Curtis back… and the old Maggs.
That’s all. I’m glad to see the 4 game streak but am worried that without improved starting pitching, this is just a mirage. Despite all the injuries, we’re starting to see what this offense can do and its pretty impressive.

this is what we expected to see this year. Tigers scored 37 times in 3 games, texas put 10 up in 3.
dan, you’ve been complaining about not having a longball? well, there ya go🙂
interesting to note last year this time… april 20th maggs was hitting 259, and april 24th 07 maggs was hit .311… today he’s batting .294. so maybe he had 2 hits more this time last year.
but the tigers are rollin’ now. bring it on Anahiem! will be nice to be able to laugh (hopefully) at my treasonous 10 year angel fan son🙂 and to be able to see the game on TV not the computer monitor. lol

Well just got back from the game guys. Cannot believe that that Bondo only gave up 2 runs. Really hard to tell where the pitches are from 1st base but come on. They really need to figure this starting pitching thing out, the walks are out of control.
Nice to see Miner do well. And the hitting of course.
Tougher series coming up though so this will be a real test.


GK– weren’t you the curse that derailed last season? (If I remember correctly, the Tigers lost nearly every game you attended, right?) Glad to see that your luck didn’t spill over into this season.🙂

GK, i was at working watching ‘gameday’ and while i have no idea how accurate it is in determining pitch locations, but it seemed the strike zone was impossible. pitches that 5 pitches ago, in the same location, or according to gameday, centimeters off previous strikes, were being called balls.
the stike zone this year is completely intolerable and unrealistic. i’ve never seen such an inconsistant zone. i have a feeling this years offseason, GM’s, Pres and Managers will be SCREAMING. should be knees to under the numbers and width of through the plate, like most normal strike zones.
calls that are borderline are now balls, and strikes are belt level and about 3 inches about or below. its insanity. yeah walking people puts runners on and the game more interesting, but this is insane. dont GIVE walks to them (any batter any team) let them earn walks by having tough at bats. i’m only 28 years old, but i remember a time, 2-4 years ago, when the strike zone was still a zone, not an inch. over the plate, not high, not low, not inside, not outside…
even last year i bet 1/2 the pitches being called balls were strikes. its crazy. and once in a while, watching a terrible high pitch turns into a strike magically. forcing batters to swing at pitches they otherwise wouldn’t have, causing lots of pop ups and DP’s will ‘shorten’ the game as MLB has been trying to do now for 10 years. but i dont want a shortened game. i want baseball to be baseball.

the good news is the tigers are 7-3 in their last 10. can’t ask for much more.

I couldnt agree more with you mike. The “strike zone”, is a complete fantasy this year. The inconsistant target is killing alot of good pitchers. Being forced to throw down the middle to get a strike is going to kill you every time. It seems the umpires have decided to let the games be decided by the batters, not the pitchers.

I’ve been at work today for what seems like weeks, but I did get to see most of the game, more or less. Looks like everyone here has covered about everything of importance.
I do have a thought on “why Miner instead of Seay” in the fifth. Chris has a valid point on JL weeding out who he can count on, and I also think it was early in the game and, without Rapada today, he was holding Seay back for a later situation should it arise. It did indeed seem that our hitters would be able to overcome any deficit should Miner have faltered. Instead, he was shining. Good to see. Zach still has that option though, and I bet he’d pay someone to take it off his hands about now.
Regarding the strike zone, GK and I have been bit….I mean, complaining about it all season so far. Sure, Bondo was all over the place, but that’s not the point here. A strike needs to be a strike. The Texas pitchers have suffered here too. Somebody today threw a belt high fastball right down the middle of the plate and it was called a ball. I nearly dropped my drink. In the bigger picture, the pitch counts are becoming astronomical. How about Dice-K throwing 117 by the fifth inning? By shrinking the zone, it doesn’t create more hitting, it creates more walks and more four hour games. This is something that REALLY needs to be addressed, and quickly. Soon we’ll be to the point of having no starters at all, just a staff of relief pitchers who pitch games by committee.
Dan, going back to your post from much earlier. I did read the stories in the links you provided and I’m not impressed with them. It appeared the one guy has an agenda against Sheffield and basically accused him of being a malingering, whining, excuse maker. Rosenthal I usually ignore because the “MLB insiders” he loves to reference are usually full of it. I haven’t seen any evidence of Brandon Inge being “livid” as Rosenthal claims. I prefer to receive my Tigers news from the locals, not these national media people who prove to be clueless quite often. But I’m glad you provide these links, Dan, because as you say, they definitely are interesting. 🙂
Yes I do indeed remember Dr. Strangeglove Dick Stuart. I had the pleasure (or misfortune) to see him butcher the firstbase position live from a box seat about 50 feet away back in about 1964. I learned a lot about how NOT to play the position that beautiful evening in Tiger Stadium. 🙂 Thanks for reviving that memory. Also saw Dick “The Monster” Radatz that night. Gave me baseball nightmares for a week. 🙂
Two games out now, folks?

I think the long games will eventually hurt attendance certainly TV revenue.. I stopped watching the one last night.
It would be interesting to see how MLB executives would respond to a grass roots movement to define and clarify the strike zone.
As to today’s game. It was obviously nice to see the long ball and finally a 3 run HR. Not usre if we’ve had one of those yet–maybe 1.
I am not a big fan of Bonderman but I do appreciate his talent. From what I saw today, in spite of the control problems, I was encouraged. He put some batters away, he threw his changeup and it mixed in pretty well. Once he buttons his slider down I think he will do fine.
Miner made things difficult for JL today. He came in with the sacks loaded and got out of it. That’s a plus. And the following 3 innings were good.
I still would have brough Bobby Seay in in the 5th though, even in hindsight!.
Inge did a nice job behind the plate, held on to foul tips and called a pretty good game. Plus he came up big offensively. But I thought he was dogging it going down to 2nd on Raburn’s DP in the 2nd. I was surprised by that.
Nice to see Raburn get one. Here’s one for the old-timers and relatively no-so-old timers: Remember Jason Thompson the first sacker during the late 70’s? Rich would I’m sure–remember his nickname?
Well guess what Raburn’s new nickname is?
I haven’t seen any word on Guillen but Sheffield is even bringing up the “R” word in his interviews. Sure wish Polanco would start to look normal again. I have never seen someone so good have such a good spring and then zilch.
NY is something I am beginning to look forward to now instead of the dread I was filled with just a short while ago.

On the big switch, it seems to me that it is quite possible Carlos goes to DH, and Inge plays a lot of 3B this year. This is on the assumption that Sheff is out for a long time (or the year) and Inge continues to be reletviely patient at the plate. I bet this possibility is in JL’s head already. It doesn’t look good on the Sheffield front…

Well let’s see…………Jason Thompson was Rooftop, so Raburn is what, Fencetop?
I don’t know about Sheff either. Three cortisone shots in a matter of days? I’d miss him. I think he’s a much better team guy than the national media gives him credit for and, when healthy, I get a good feeling when he comes up in a gamer rally situation. Of course, he used the R word last fall too. I guess we just wait and in the meantime, take the usual tact of assuming he’s gone.
Carlos doesn’t like to DH, but he needs to ask his fellow Venezualans how they do it. What did we get from Cabby and Maggs as DH, four homers in three games? I do like having Inge down there at third. I think he’s getting even better, if that’s possible.

I knew you’d figure that out Rich.
Carlos may not like DHing but my guess is that he would do it if asked. And this may well end up being a comittee job anyway. I am curious to see what Carlos can do at 3rd now.
Hey Clete went 2 for 5 with a dinger in Toledo tonight!
What bugs me about Sheffield is that he played hurt, and that they played him hurt…and it hurt the team more than anyone. It was done last year to the point of stupidity and again this year when it was very evident he had much more wrong than a splint on his finger.
I don’t see the team guy in him when he is in the dugout. He is a loner and that doesn’t make him “not” a team guy but I have always thought he is pretty self absorbed if not self obsessed. If he can be fixed then he can help but if he figures he has to play at anything less than ,say 90%, it will be a downhill slide. He is a pretty intense guy and I think he is having trouble accepting even the natural physical erosion of his skills. I hope he hits 500 and makes it into the Halll. And I hope ait happens in Detroit—I just don’t think it is very likely.
Anybody out there been to the Tiger Fantasy Camp in Lakeland? How about a review?

Yes Brent you are correct we were giant jinx’s last year. But actually the last month or so of the season we figured it out and started winning some games while we were there. All we do is when we are entering the stadium we each just give the statues out in center a little pat. I don’t know but it seems to work most of the time. Can you tell I am supersticious??
I agree the strike zone is ridiculous. It is really not suprising that Kenny is having a hard time. The dude lives on the corners and if he doesn’t get em well so be it. They are making it real hard for pitchers that is for sure.
The other thing that I have wanted to mention is that does anyone out there realize that with all the ooing and gooing over the Red Soxs and the Cleveland pen, it is interesting that theirs is worse than the Tigers and we are not hearing anything nationally about it. At the begining of the year all we were hearing nationally was Tigers pen is blowing it when it wasn’t them at all. Can we say hitting and starting pitching???
Going to be tough this weekend. Have to go to a barbaque (don’t really want to go) So I will miss the game. Nate is due for a good game. I think the weather could be iffy tonight.

Two sketches of Sheff: last April when he was struggling with the DH role, it was Leyland who told him it was all right for him to go into the clubhouse to warm up, hit, ride the bike, etc. Sheffield hadn’t been doing it because he didn’t feel right leaving his mates in the freezing dugout. The other happened Tuesday night after Santiago hit his big homer. Sheff, wearing a huge grin, has Ramon in a massive bear hug and they’re both jumping up and down. That one surprised even me. 🙂 I think he’s gotten a bad rap. It’s true that he’ll go out there and play injured if told to. If he refused, he’d get a bad rap for that. Here’s the thing: if all of us can plainly see when he’s not swinging right due to injury, the coaching staff should certainly see the same thing and be more pro-active about it.
GK, what you say about the pen is true, and you can bet that the next time they struggle, there will be the national “experts” deploring the fact that the Tigers have such a bad bullpen. Once they lock onto an angle, they keep pounding it and don’t let facts get in the way of their story.

There are certain things that Sheff does that are priceless. I think it was against Carmona when he was plunked (a suspicious if not obvious retaliation) and I though Sheff was going to gou to the mound and possibly dismember Carmona. Instead he patiently and nonchalantly picked the ball up and underhanded it back to Carmona. I thought it was a classy, almost valiant response.
I like the fact that he is intense, that he speaks his mind and that he does things on the field that no one else can or does. I just think that if his performance is not helping the effort then he should not be playing.

I agree, I like Sheff, and I too saw that big bear hug and jumping around like a bunch of kids when Ramone got his HR. But I too agree that while it might be valient to try and play hurt, if it is hurting the team then well you can’t. Just like it was hurting the team when Polanco was playing. Better off having Raburn or Ramone there until he is feeling much better.

At MLB Trade

“Retirement A Possibility For Sheffield
Today, April 25, 2008, 51 minutes ago | Tim Dierkes
Because of shoulder woes, 39 year-old DH Gary Sheffield hasn’t hit well since July of last year. He’s an elite slugger when he’s on but terrible when he’s off. In the midst of a third cortisone shot, Sheffield suggested that retirement is not out of the question. He’s dealing with all kinds of pain and won’t undergo another surgery. Retirement sounds like a worst-case scenario though. After all, he is set to earn $14MM in ’09.

If Sheff retires or hits the 60-day DL, talk of Barry Bonds or Mike Piazza could heighten. The Tigers, however, have consistently denied interest in Bonds. They could simply shift Carlos Guillen to DH and Brandon Inge to third if Sheffield is out of the picture. ”

more likely be a DH by committee. sheff retiring would open a spot for oh, i dunno, clete thomas… it could also ensure marcus thames finally gets some playing time.

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