March 9th, 2009

Monday happenings

JUPITER, Fla. — Here are some tidbits from batting practice before the Tigers-Marlins game this afternoon:

* Manager Jim Leyland said right-handed starter Jeremy Bonderman and reliever Joel Zumaya (shoulder) should be on track to be on the Tigers’ pitching staff by Opening Day. Bonderman will pitch in a simulated game Saturday in Lakeland, Fla. Zumaya will get some work in Lakeland, Fla., on Tuesday and can also pitch on Saturday — perhaps an inning. 
* In terms of Macay McBride, who was stopped from pitching in an intrasquad game on Sunday because of lingering elbow problems and is currently on the shelf: “He’s not feeling very good right now. We’re shutting him down for a while with some medication, and we’ll just see how that plays out.”
* There were a lot of familiar faces for Leyland — who guided the Marlins to the franchise’s first World Series in 1997 — as he strolled through the field at Roger Dean Stadium for BP. There were also some former Tigers in catcher Mike Rabelo and center fielder Cameron Maybin — whom he shared a quick greeting with.
* A couple of other notable faces: First baseman Albert Pujols of the Cardinals — the team that shares Roger Dean Stadium with the Marlins — watched some BP. And Leyland had a chance to speak with Dolphins vice president of football operations Bill Parcells, as well as former GM of the Packers Ron Wolf. “We were just talking about philosophy. About how they go about [bringing in] players. … It’s fun to see how they think. And they’re great guys. They love baseball.”
* Adam Everett and Placido Polanco will be heading back to Lakeland, Fla., after tonight’s game. Third baseman Brandon Inge and catcher Gerald Laird will be playing on Tuesday. So will Marcus Thames, whose wife just had a baby boy — named Marcus Jr.
*Tentative pitching schedule down the road: Edwin Jackson will go on Friday, Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson will piggy-back each other on Saturday, and Rick Porcello will throw again on Sunday. The Tigers have an off-day on Thursday.
* Score update: Heading into the top of the fifth now, still scoreless. Porcello had a great outing, pitching three scoreless innings with a strikeout and five hits. Probably most important to Leyland: no walks. … The Tigers did commit two errors in the first inning, by Porcello and Polanco.
– Alden Gonzalez

Checkin' in from Jupiter

JUPITER, Fla. — Jason Beck is going to be off a for couple of days, and I, Alden Gonzalez, will be your tour guide while the Tigers face the Marlins and Cardinals on Monday and Tuesday at Roger Dean Stadium. It’s 4 p.m. ET now, and I see Detroit’s bus just pulled in. Manager Jim Leyland is expected to give a more definite timetable today on when Jeremy Bonderman (shoulder) will pitch next — I’ll update you on that as I get it.

Notable names traveling with the team today: Brandon Lyon, Adam Everett, Placido Polanco and Timo Perez. 
On to the lineups:
Tigers
Everett, SS
Polanco, 2B
Clete Thomas, DH
Mike Hessman, 3B
Ryan Raburn, RF
Jeff Larish, 1B
Brent Clevlen, CF
Timo Perez, LF
Dusty Ryan, C
Starter: Rick Porcello
Marlins
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B
Cameron Maybin, CF
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Dallas McPherson, 1B
Dan Uggla, 2B
Cody Ross, RF
Jay Gibbons, DH
Robert Andino, SS
Brett Hayes, C
Starter: Josh Johnson
– Alden Gonzalez

What happened to Perry's goggles

You might remember from last summer’s draft coverage that Ryan Perry wore sport goggles when he pitched at the University of Airzona, much like Nate Robertson when he first joined the Tigers. By now, you’ve probably also seen photos of Perry without them.

So why did Ryan Perry ditch the specs? Did he use some of his bonus money to buy specialty contacts or something?

It isn’t that. According to Perry, his vision prescription changed, and he has to special-order the specs that he wears. So for now, he’s wearing the contact lenses that he usually wears outside the ballpark. Once his new specs come in, he said, they’ll be back on him when he’s on the mound.

If he can wear his contacts in games now, why doesn’t he just wear them all season, you ask? It’s a comfort thing. They collect dirt easily, he said, and they also dry out. They’re some of the same reasons Nate Robertson had when he went to the sport googles a few years ago.

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