May 24th, 2009

Different look up top

A day after the top third of Detroit’s lineup went 0-for-12 with two balls hit out of the infield, the Tigers did a little shifting for a day. Placido Polanco was already set to get the day off, so Ramon Santiago both plays and hits second. Josh Anderson is batting leadoff for the first time in two weeks.

Jim Leyland said Sunday morning that Granderson seems like he’s not getting in a good position to hit, instead getting caught in between. But as Leyland pointed out, Granderson can get back to hitting well in a hurry.

“He’s always been kind of a streaky guy,” Leyland said. “But we have to get him going, no question.”

TIGERS

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

P: Dontrelle Willis

ROCKIES

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Troy Tulowitzki, SS
  3. Todd Helton, 1B
  4. Matt Murton, LF
  5. Ryan Spilborghs, RF
  6. Garrett Atkins, DH
  7. Yorvit Torrealba, C
  8. Clint Barmes, 2B
  9. Ian Stewart, 3B

P: Jason Hammel

What next for Galarraga?

galarraga.jpgFor now, it’s back to the drawing board, or at least to the side sessions. Jim Leyland said after the game that pitching coach Rick Knapp had noticed some things going on. For one thing, he was throwing from different arm angles and wasn’t being consistent with it. For another, he wasn’t getting on top of his breaking ball, which we haven’t seen much of lately.

As far as the rotation goes, he doesn’t seem to be at any risk this turn. With Jeremy Bonderman set to make another rehab start Tuesday, and no off-day for the Tigers before Galarraga’s spot comes back around next Thursday at Baltimore, there isn’t much flexibility there. It affords Galarraga some more time to try to figure out what’s going on.

If he struggles again, then it becomes interesting, because the Tigers could go a couple different directions. If Bonderman is deemed ready for the big leagues after Tuesday, he could conceivably move into that slot on long rest. Or with an off-day coming up a week from Monday, the Tigers could choose to skip Galarraga’s spot, much like they did with Zach Miner, and sit on it for an extra week or so. It’s probably not what Leyland would prefer to do; he’d probably rather give his pitchers the extra day after some of these high pitch counts lately. But it’s doable, even if it turns out that Galarraga holds onto the spot a while longer.

Another interesting thing that Leyland mentioned after the game is that he saw something like this from Galarraga down the stretch last year, with this stuff not being as sharp. He didn’t point to a fatigue factor in this case, though, not so early in the season.

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