April 2008

No big switch today, but Granderson's back

Since Gary Sheffield is out another day, Miguel Cabrera gets a day at DH while Brandon Inge starts at third. Carlos Guillen thus has another day at first base.

There’s a chance Sheffield will be back Thursday, but it’s not likely. Placido Polanco, however, is aiming for a Thursday return; he went through pregame drills and workouts and felt fine.

Here’s the full lineup:

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

For the Rangers:

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Michael Young, SS
  3. Josh Hamilton, CF
  4. Milton Bradley, DH
  5. Hank Blalock, 3B
  6. Jason Botts, 1B
  7. David Murphy, RF
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. German Duran, LF

Cabrera to first base, Guillen to third

That's going to be a full-time shift, manager Jim Leyland announced after the game. Guillen said it wasn't a big surprise. Cabrera said he's cool with it.

Santiago's last major-league homer

It was Aug. 1, 2003 off of then-Twin James Baldwin. He went 417 plate appearances in the big leagues without a homer. Or to put it another way, Matt Walbeck was the Tigers’ catcher the last time Santiago homered. Now, he’s the Rangers’ third-base coach.

Polanco feeling better, Sheff gets good news

Neither Placido Polanco nor Gary Sheffield are in the lineup, but the Tigers are hoping for returns in the coming days. Polanco said he’s feeling much better today than he was yesterday, and he’s planning on taking some early work tomorrow in hopes of getting back into the lineup. He was diagnosed with inflammation in the S1 nerve of his back.

Sheffield’s visit with Dr. Stephen Lemos, meanwhile, revealed no structural damage in his shoulder. Basically, the scar tissue tearing from the surgery had been giving him trouble. He took a cortisone shot in the shoulder, and with his left shoulder aching from trying to compensate, he had a shot in that shoulder, too. He might take a few days to return as a precaution.

The plan on Curtis Granderson is for him to return to Detroit after tonight’s rehab game for Class A West Michigan. If Polanco returns, that’s the first two hitters in Detroit’s order back in action, and if somehow Sheff were ready, that would be the top third of the lineup back.

Other injury updates: Fernando Rodney played catch off of flat ground today, and Joel Zumaya is making some throws off of a mound in preparation for bullpen sessions, which are scheduled to start around the end of the month.

Without those guys, here’s the Tigers lineup:

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

For the Rangers:

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Michael Young, SS
  3. Josh Hamilton, CF
  4. Milton Bradley, DH
  5. Hank Blalock, 3B
  6. Frank Catalanotto, LF
  7. David Murphy, RF
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Ben Broussard, 1B

Granderson goes 1-for-4, RBI triple for Whitecaps

I didn’t make the trip to West Michigan, but followed online. He faced a left-handed finesse starter and struck out twice on breaking balls that dropped out of the strike zone — one of them went into the dirt — but he got a hold of one ball and hit it just inside 1B and down the RF line for a third-inning RBI triple. His acceleration appears to be fine, because he sped into third base without a throw before scoring on a sacrifice fly.

Again, Granderson didn’t have an active day in the field, and he didn’t have to make a throwing play. He nearly had a chance at a running catch in left-center, according to the radio broadcast, but left fielder Joe Tucker had a diving attempt at it.

UPDATE: The original plan was expected to bring Granderson back to Toledo for Tuesday night’s game, but reports out of Grand Rapids suggest he could stay at West Michigan and play another game or two instead. That could be a way around the Tuesday night-Wednesday morning combination the Mud Hens have coming up, which might not be a good turnaround for someone who’s still trying to get his legs into regular-season shape.

Granderson goes 1-for-5, headed to WM

It’s not his hand that’s the big issue anymore, he said, but getting his legs under him. They were sore again today by the late innings of a long game, and he was moving around in the outfield just to keep loose.

Granderson is heading to West Michigan tomorrow for another game with the Whitecaps (the Mud Hens are off Monday), and he said today that he expects to be back in Toledo for Tuesday night. The earliest he’ll probably be ready for a call-up is Wednesday. It might work out well for him to be ready Wednesday, since the Hens have a 10:30 a.m. game that day.

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.

Granderson to split rehab

Curtis Granderson had a little difficulty in his first round of batting practice today, mainly dealing with a pad that had been sewn onto his batting glove to protect his hand, but he looked good at the plate after taking the padded glove off and just going without padding. He was slated to do some running and throwing before the game as a final test, but unless something goes wrong with that, he’s expected to be sent out tonight on a rehab assignment beginning Friday.

Since Triple-A Toledo doesn’t return home until Saturday, Granderson is likely going to play at Class A West Michigan on Friday before joining the Mud Hens for Saturday and Sunday. If he needs another day on Monday (and it’s likely he will, since Jim Leyland would like him to get 20-25 at-bats), he would probably do that at West Michigan, since Toledo is off.

UPDATE @ 7:15pm: It’s official. Granderson is headed home tonight, then to West Michigan for tomorrow night’s game, then to Toledo on Saturday and Sunday unless something goes wrong.

Not much else going on here in Cleveland, other than another warm day. Placido Polanco and Ivan Rodriguez are both getting the day off for rest (though Polanco’s hip seems to be sore again), so here’s the lineup the Tigers will throw at Fausto Carmona:

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

For the Indians:

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
  3. Travis Hafner, DH
  4. Victor Martinez, C
  5. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  6. Ryan Garko, 1B
  7. Franklin Gutierrez, RF
  8. Jason Michaels, LF
  9. Casey Blake, 3B

Bazardo outrighted to Toledo

He cleared waivers. That's a bit of a victory for the Tigers, who despite Bazardo's struggles need all the pitching depth they can get. This also allows him to work as a starting pitcher rather than as a reliever.

Rodney won't need surgery

That’s the opinion from Dr. James Andrews after examining Rodney this afternoon. He found no structural damage. In fact, he didn’t even feel comfortable doing exploratory surgery. He gave Rodney a cortisone shot and said he should be able to resume throwing in 3-5 days. Of course, now they have to start over again trying to figure out why he can’t seem to throw the ball off of a mound without pain.

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