July 24th, 2009

Reliever swap

By now, you probably know that Freddy Dolsi was optioned to Toledo between games to make room for Eddie Bonine, who was called up to start the nightcap of the doubleheader. Bonine was optioned back to Toledo after the game as planned. Casey Fien, who was closing in Toledo, is coming back up.

Fien got off to a rough start with the Mud Hens this season, but did a very good job of learning on the job and not only throwing strikes, but locating them. He’s 2-1 with a 3.61 ERA and 51 strikeouts over 47 innings for the year. In his last 10 games, however, he allowed just two earned runs on seven hits over 15 1/3 innings, walking three and fanning 19.

By rule, Dolsi has to stay down for 10 days before he can be recalled, unless he’s replacing an injured player. In this case, though, I’m not sure it’s going to matter. If Fien pitches to his capabilities, he could be a useful extra reliever in Detroit.

Bonderman headed for bullpen

The Tigers are looking at a late-season piece to bolster their bullpen. Turns out it’s Jeremy Bonderman.

It wasn’t long ago that Bonderman’s shoulder problems created serious doubts whether he could pitch again this season in the Tigers rotation. But the last few weeks, his progress has come quickly. He threw another mound session Thursday, his third, and he has another one scheduled for Saturday. No word yet on what the next step would be, but a rehab stint certainly doesn’t seem far off.

“There’s a possibility,” president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. “And I think the possibility is more out of the bullpen than starting.”

It isn’t a permanent move, but it would be for the rest of the season. The idea, Bonderman said, would be to limit him to around 35 pitches. When Bonderman was out on his rehab assignment in May, it was when he began extending his pitch limits during his starts that his shoulder started feeling sore again.

Bonderman’s fine with that. He said he’s willing to do whatever to help the team. It’s also clear that he badly wants to pitch again as soon as possible.

The Tigers are also sounding an upbeat tone on Joel Zumaya, who is seeing how his arm responds after cortisone shots Monday in his ailing shoulder.

“If you asked today, they think he’ll be able to pitch relatively soon,” Dombrowski said.

Add those two situations together, and it looks like the Tigers will have bullpen help without turning to the trade market. Dombrowski didn’t erase the possibility of adding a reliever, but he also didn’t make it sound like a pressing need.

Guillen activated from DL

Carlos Guillen isn’t ready to bat right-handed just yet, nor he is ready to play in the field. But as a left-handed hitting DH, he’s a potential spark for the Tigers, who decided he was ready to return after his three-hit game for Triple-A Toledo Thursday night. Josh Anderson was designated for assignment to make room.

Jim Leyland said Guillen will DH both games of the doubleheader today. He’ll also hit fifth in a tweaked lineup that has Cabrera moved back to cleanup and Clete Thomas hitting third. Look for more on the site and on the blog soon.


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

P: Justin Verlander


  1. Dewayne Wise, CF
  2. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  3. Jermaine Dye, RF
  4. Jim Thome, DH
  5. Paul Konerko, 1B
  6. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  7. Carlos Quentin, LF
  8. Chris Getz, 2B
  9. Gordon Beckham, 3B

P: Jose Contreras