May 12th, 2009

Rincon designated for assignment

The Tigers made room for Dontrelle Willis on the 25-man roster after Tuesday’s game by designating Juan Rincon for assignment. The versatile 30-year-old right-hander made the team out of Spring Training as a non-roster invitee to provide a veteran arm in the bullpen, but ended up pitching in just seven of the Tigers’ first 31 games. He last pitched May 5 in a 9-0 win over the Twins at Comerica Park. For someone who said back in Spring Training that he needs to pitch regularly to be effective, it was not a good situation.

According to Tigers vice president/baseball legal counsel John Westhoff, Rincon has three days to decide whether to accept an assignment to Triple-A Toledo or become a free agent. He went 1-0 with a 5.23 ERA for the Tigers, allowing six runs on 12 hits in 10 1/3 innings with six walks and 10 strikeouts.

Manager Jim Leyland also said that the way Ryan Perry was used Tuesday will probably be the way he’ll use him for a while. He’d like to use Perry in situations where he can get 40 pitches in a game.

“I think this is a good way to break him in,” Leyland said.

UPDATE: Rincon’s agent, Ed Setlik, said Wednesday afternoon that he and his client are weighing his options before getting back in touch with the Tigers. “We’re still in the process of evaluating what’s going on,” Setlik said. He didn’t get into possibilities. Given the Tigers’ pitching situation and the need for relief on other clubs, however, free agency would seem the more likely option.

Tuesday: Tigers at Twins

Sure enough, Jim Leyland gets hot-hitting Jeff Larish back in the lineup at DH, batting him fifth and keeping Granderson at leadoff.


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

P: Armando Galarraga


  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Matt Tolbert, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, C
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Jason Kubel, DH
  6. Michael Cuddyer, RF
  7. Joe Crede, 3B
  8. Delmon Young, LF
  9. Nick Punto, SS

P: Kevin Slowey

Lots of extra BP today

Hello from the Metrodome, where Gerald Laird, Curtis Granderson, Clete Thomas, Ryan Raburn, Ramon Santiago and others have been taking extra batting practice on the field early this afternoon while hitting coach Lloyd McClendon watches from behind the cage. In fact, a good portion of the team is out on the field doing something.

UPDATE: Most of the players were out here by request. As manager Jim Leyland said later in the day, “I told a lot of these guys to come out.”

Others came out on their own. Josh Anderson wasn’t on the list, but he wanted to get in some extra swings.

Besides, after spending an off-day in Minneapolis, eventually these guys just want to get back out on the field and stop trying to fill the time.