May 15th, 2009

Grand slams

The two grand slams in one game are the third in franchise history, and the first since June 24, 1968, when Jim Northrup hit two. It's the second time for a Major League team this season. Raul Ibanez and Ryan Howard each hit one for Philly on April 27.

Rain delay update

The tarp was off, then back on, and is now off again. They need three outs to make this a complete game, so they’re going to try hard to get this in. Not only is the grounds crew moving in a hurry, the Tigers are warming up fast. Jackson is warming up in the bullpen.

Sardinha day-to-day

Dane Sardinha was slated to have x-rays on his injured right ring finger tonight to make sure there’s no fracture. They don’t believe that there is. The expected diagnosis is that he has a sprain.

Sardinha injured his finger on a pitch in the dirt Thursday against the Twins and had to leave the game because he couldn’t throw. He was optmistic it wouldn’t be a major injury when he could feel it loosening up after the game, but he said Friday that it was worse.

If it keeps him out a few days, the Tigers can get by with Brandon Inge backing up Gerald Laird, and Ryan Raburn as an emergency catcher. Any lengthy absence, however, could put the Tigers in a bind.

First pitch set for 8:05

The tarp has been taken off. Edwin Jackson is heading for the bullpen to start warming up.

Rincon declines Tigers assignment

Juan Rincon’s agent, Ed Setlik, said Friday that his agent will decline the Tigers’ assignment to Triple-A Toledo and become a free agent should he pass through waivers unclaimed. The Tigers designated Rincon for assignment Tuesday to make room for Dontrelle Willis on the roster. Teams had until Friday to claim him.

The 30-year-old right-handed reliever gave up six runs on 12 hits over 10 1/3 innings this season after making the team as a non-roster invitee.

No word yet on which teams might have interest. Setlik said they probably won’t start talking with other clubs until Monday.

Bonderman: I'm maybe one, two starts away

Jeremy Bonderman stopped in Detroit Friday ahead of his first rehab start Saturday night. The way he feels, he hopes it won’t be long before he’s back for good.

“I’m not too far away,” Bonderman said Friday. “I’m maybe one, two starts away.”

Bonderman said his shoulder is feeling fine after some deep, lingering soreness hampered his progress for the better part of a month. He’s starting for Class A West Michigan Saturday night because the Whitecaps are home and Triple-A Toledo will not be, but he should move up quickly from there.

“My arm feels great,” he said. “No pain, no nothing.”

His velocity, he said, was around 91 mph, and he’s been stretched out to 87 pitches in his last outing at extended spring training.

The Tigers aren’t saying any timetable for Bonderman. That part is understandable, because for all Bonderman’s progress, he’s still coming off major surgery for the blood clot in his shoulder that sidelined him from last June through the end of the season. Plus, whenever Bonderman’s ready, the Tigers have to figure out how to make room for him.

MC Hammer at Friday's game

MC Hammer, aka Stanley Burrell, will throw out a ceremonial first pitch at Friday’s Tigers-A’s game. He’s also taking in pregame batting practice as Curtis Granderson’s guest. No, it’s not ’90s night at Comerica Park. Just figured it was worth a mention.