April 27th, 2009

Willis to Toledo for next start

The Tigers transferred Dontrelle Willis’ rehab assignment to Toledo Monday, setting him up to start for the Mud Hens on Friday at Lehigh Valley.

Willis last pitched Sunday for Double-A Erie, where he gave up two runs on three hits in six innings Sunday with three walks and six strikeouts. Before that, he pitched seven innings for Class A Lakeland last Tuesday to start off his rehab assignment.

It’ll mark Willis’ third start with the Mud Hens in his two seasons with the Tigers. He made three starts there during a rehab assignment last May while on the disabled list with a hyperextended right knee, then came back to the Mud Hens in August during his summer stint in the Minors before rejoining the Tigers that September.

As of now, it isn’t clear yet how long Willis’ stint with the Hens might be. The Tigers can run his rehab assignment for up to 30 days, which would take him to May 20, but his workload has already stretched him out in terms of pitch counts.

This is April in the D, right?

The weather is summerlike here in Detroit, though the storms are expected to arrive late tonight. Though the temperatures will cool off once the storm front passes through, they still won’t be too terribly bad. The coolest forecast temperatures are for Tuesday, with a high of 58 and a low of 43. It appears, at least, that the last remnants of winter weather are gone, just in time for the Tigers to return home.

In that sense, the April schedule seems to have done the Tigers a favor. Not many worries about cold weather aside from the White Sox series a couple weeks back. Correspondingly or not, no talk about the impact the weather might’ve had on Tiger bats.

“I think the fact that we’ve gotten to play, haven’t had to sit around, I don’t know if it helped us, but I think it’s a good thing,” manager Jim Leyland said.

Tigers players said something similar, but Placido Polanco cautioned that it shouldn’t be an excuse.

However, the weather has not helped Carlos Guillen and his sore Achilles tendon. He’s DHing again, and so far, he said it hasn’t gotten any better. It doesn’t seem to have a DL risk unless it gets a lot worse, but at this rate, it seems to be something he’ll be dealing with for a good while.


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

Sheff's 500-homer gift

sheffphoto.jpg This is the gift that Tigers vice president/baseball legal counsel John
Westhoff presented to Gary Sheffield last week to honor his 500th
career home run. The team had prepared it when Sheffield was still with
the Tigers and ended last season with 499, but Sheff’s release
obviously changed those plans. Westhoff traveled to New York to make the presentation to Sheffield at Citi Field.