April 2008

Wednesday: Tigers at Indians

It’s a gorgeous day in Cleveland, though it should cool down quite a bit before game time this evening at the Jak, er, Progressive Field.

Good news for the Tigers on two injury fronts. First, Nate Robertson was feeling much more loose on his left side than he was last night, and he said he should be fine for Sunday’s start at Toronto.

Meanwhile, Curtis Granderson had another session of batting practice here this afternoon, and it again went well. If he has another good session Thursday, he’ll most likely be sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment this weekend. The problem is that they don’t know. The only one of the Tigers’ affiliates with a convenient schedule for an assignment this weekend and early next week low Class A West Michigan. Triple-A Toledo is home this weekend, but they have an off day on Monday. It’s uncertain whether the level of competition is going to matter in making the decision.

There’s no set timetable on when he’ll be playing in Detroit, but it certain looks like he could be playing at Comerica Park during next week’s homestand.

“If he passes the test again, I think he’ll be playing for the Tigers very shortly,” Jim Leyland said.

On the non-injury return front, Francisco Cruceta is schedule to throw back-to-back outings Thursday and Friday in extended Spring Training. If that goes well, he’s expected to be assigned to one of the minor-league affiliates. Once he pitches in a minor-league game, the Tigers have 15 days in which to evaluate him.

The Tigers trot out their traditional lefty-hitting lineup for C.C. Sabathia, including Pudge leading off. Here it is:

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

For the Indians:

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. David Dellucci, LF
  3. Travis Hafner, DH
  4. Victor Martinez, C
  5. Jhonny Peralta, C
  6. Ryan Garko, 1B
  7. Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B
  8. Franklin Gutierrez, RF
  9. Casey Blake, 3B

Left lat tightness for Robertson

It's basically muscle tightness in his left side.

Tuesday: Tigers vs. Twins

Nothing big developing in the lineup, but Curtis Granderson took three rounds of batting practice and felt good. He feels like he could play with the level of pain he has now in his fractured right finger, but that it’s a matter of getting his timing and his activity level back to game shape. That’s why in addition to hitting, he was running the bases. There’s every indication the Tigers will take their time with him, but it’s at least encouragement.

Without Granderson, here’s the Tigers lineup:

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

Craig Monroe is at DH for the Twins:

  1. Carlos Gomez, CF
  2. Brendan Harris, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, C
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, LF
  6. Jason Kubel, RF
  7. Craig Monroe, DH
  8. Mike Lamb, 3B
  9. Matt Tolbert, SS

Rodney to see Dr. Andrews

He was slated to throw another bullpen session today, but apparently things didn’t go well. Rodney will travel to Birmingham and see noted specialist Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday.

Monday: Tigers vs. Twins

Both Polanco and Guillen are back in the lineup, while Brandon Inge gets the day off after playing a game each at center field, third base and catcher over the weekend.

The Tigers lineup:

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

The Twins loaded up on left-handed batters, which should be a very good test for Bonderman and his ability to throw the changeup. If he can’t spot it, he’ll have a very hard time winning:

  1. Carlos Gomez, CF
  2. Denard Span, RF
  3. Joe Mauer, C
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, LF
  6. Jason Kubel, DH
  7. Brendan Harris, 2B
  8. Mike Lamb, 3B
  9. Adam Everett, SS

Miguel Cabrera was doing some early work this afternoon with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, and he got a talk from manager Jim Leyland, too. The message was to simply be himself and play his game, not try to put everything on his shoulder (as it sounded like he might be doing from his postgame quotes Sunday).

Sunday: Tigers at White Sox

Gary Sheffield is dealing with some shoulder soreness (actually, more than a little shoulder soreness, because he tore some scar tissue yesterday), but he said he’s fine to play. Placido Polanco gets a day off to rest some soreness in his sore right hip flexor. Carlos Guillen is out as expected to deal with the hamstring; no idea yet whether he could be back Monday. And, of course, Pudge finally gets a day off this season.

Yes, the Tigers are banged up right now.

“We’ve got a lot of issues,” manager Jim Leyland said. “We have to fight through it. We just haven’t been able to get in sync.”

Here’s the lineup:

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

And for the White Sox:

  1. Nick Swisher, CF
  2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  3. Jim Thome, DH
  4. Paul Konerko, 1B
  5. Jermaine Dye, RF
  6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  7. Carlos Quentin, LF
  8. Joe Crede, 3B
  9. Juan Uribe, 2B

Polanco on the fly ball

Polanco said on the eighth-inning pop fly from Jermaine Dye, in which Paul Konerko was about halfway between first and second when he caught the ball, that his first reaction was to turn and throw home as soon as he could rather than look at the baserunners. He felt he was deep enough that a sac fly was a possibility. There was no communication, apparently, that Konerko was too far out.

Dontrelle to DL

MRI results showed a hyperextended right knee, same as before, but with him missing at least a start for sure, the Tigers decided to play it cautious. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game. Ryan Raburn will be recalled from Triple-A Toledo to take his place for now. Whenever Willis’ spot in the rotation comes up (it’s scheduled for Wednesday), they’ll recall Armando Galarraga from Toledo.

Guillen out with strained hammy

He’s day-to-day at the moment. Miguel Cabrera makes the start at first base, but Jim Leyland was adamant (angrily so) to emphasize that it’s just a one-time thing for Cabrera, whose sore quad is a concern in weather like this. Meanwhile, Dontrelle Willis was having an MRI exam on his knee this morning to get a better idea how badly injured it is.

The lineup:

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

And for the White Sox:

  1. Nick Swisher, CF
  2. Orlando Cabrera, SS
  3. Jim Thome, DH
  4. Paul Konerko, 1B
  5. Jermaine Dye, RF
  6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  7. Carlos Quentin, LF
  8. Joe Crede, 3B
  9. Juan Uribe, 2B

As for the weather, well, it’s miserable here, and it’ll probably get worse. It’s not just the cold and the rain, but the wind is picking up. They can try to wait it out since it’s such an early start here.

UPDATE @ 12:45pm ET: They’ve removed the tarp, so it looks like this game will start on time. This could be a miserable day for baseball, certainly not fun for fans. It’s bad enough that Chicago native Curtis Granderson only had to get tickets for four family members today. That might be a low.

Willis injury

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

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