May 3rd, 2009

Willis sticking with Mud Hens for now

Dontrelle Willis will make at least one more start with Triple-A Toledo. The rehabbing starter is scheduled to take the mound for the Mud Hens on Wednesday at Pawtucket as the team’s road trip continues.

It’ll be the first repeat start of his rehab assignment. He made one outing each at Class A Lakeland and Double-A Erie before pitching five innings of three-run ball for Toledo on Friday at Lehigh Valley, giving up seven hits but recovering after walking his first two batters of the game.

No word yet on plans after that outing. If the Tigers want, they could have him make two more turns in the rotation before his rehab assignment expires May 20. From a pitch count standpint, he’s already stretched out past 100 after last outing.

Willis opened the season on the 15-day disabled list after being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. He was treated while continuing his work.

Cabrera's hit now a Raburn error

Note the scoring change from Saturday: The bases-clearing double from Asdrubal Cabrera in the fourth, the one on which LF Ryan Raburn initially slipped before running it down and dropping it, is now a two-base error to Raburn.

Official scorer Ron Kleinfelter said the piece of evidence that changed his mind was a statement from Raburn saying that he tracked the ball the whole way on his recovery dash back to the fence.

The change means that none of Zach Miner’s five runs allowed are now earned. His ERA correspondingly plummets. Cabrera’s RBI total, meanwhile, drops from 13 to 10.

Sunday: Guillen in LF, Raburn at DH

As expected, Ryan Raburn is back in the Tigers lineup Sunday against Indians lefty Cliff Lee. But he’s at DH, not in LF. Instead, Carlos Guillen is in left. Leyland had a meeting with Raburn in his office Sunday morning, trying to get him to relax a bit and calm his nerves. Raburn is 2-for-5 for his career against Cliff Lee, by the way. Gerald Laird, who has the day off, is 1-for-12 off Lee.

Leyland’s opinion on the call on Raburn’s misplay Saturday? He felt it was an error, but he respects the official scorer’s opinion.

Leyland was particularly looking forward to seeing Justin Verlander pitch today, given the way he pitched his last start and his history against Cleveland. Among his opposing hitters will be Matt LaPorta, making his Major League debut.


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

P: Verlander


  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Victor Martinez, 1B
  4. Shin-Soo Choo, LF
  5. Mark DeRosa, 3B
  6. David Dellucci, DH
  7. Kelly Shoppach, C
  8. Matt LaPorta, RF (Major League debut)
  9. Luis Valbuena, 2B

P: Cliff Lee