August 31st, 2009

Granderson gets a knuckler

Curtis Granderson has long talked about the challenge of playing the outfield at Comerica Park in day games. But Monday was a new adventure even for him.

When Granderson drifted towards left-center field on Carlos Pena’s fifth-inning line drive, he wasn’t heading that direction to make a catch. He was preparing to field it on the bounce.

“I was actually getting into position to cut the ball off,” Granderson said after the Tigers’ 11-7 loss to the Rays Monday afternoon. “I didn’t think I was going to have a chance to catch it.”

It was much to Granderson’s surprise, then, when the ball carried long enough that he would’ve had a chance to catch it. The problem was that it also hooked so sharply that it ended back in straightaway center, close to where Granderson started.

“I’ve never seen that happen before,” Granderson said. “I don’t know what happened.”

He wasn’t the only one who seemed to have trouble out there. Rays center fielder B.J. Upton had trouble tracking Aubrey Huff’s drive to center, then seemingly found it before it popped out of his glove for a two-base error. Others around the league have had problems here, too, including Torii Hunter.

The fact that Granderson has played half his games here for about four years and still has trouble says plenty about it.

“We still can’t pinpoint what it is, whether it’s about the glare or the sun,” Granderson said. “This is the only stadium where you don’t need shades to fight the sun.”

Monday: Tigers vs. Rays

Alex Avila hasn’t started a game since the last time Jarrod Washburn started, but he’s back in there today with Washburn and James Shields on the mound. With Magglio Ordonez just 2-for-10 lifetime off Shields, Clete Thomas gets the start in right field.

TIGERS

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

P: Jarrod Washburn

RAYS

  1. Jason Bartlett, SS
  2. Gabe Kapler, LF
  3. Ben Zobrist, RF
  4. Pat Burrell, DH
  5. Evan Longoria, 3B
  6. Carlos Pena, 1B
  7. Manny Aybar, 2B
  8. Dioner Navarro, C
  9. B.J. Upton, CF

P: James Shields

Tigers to call up six tomorrow, more later

Turns out the Tigers will have a few more September call-ups than manager Jim Leyland’s previous remarks would suggest. Jeremy Bonderman will be recalled from Heading up from Triple-A Toledo and activated from the disabled list. Casey Fien, Dusty Ryan and Wilkin Ramirez will be recalled. Plus, the Tigers will purchase the contract of infielder Brent Dlugach from Toledo.

To make room for Dlugach on the 40-man roster, the Tigers called up Michael Hollimon, who was on the disabled list at Double-A Erie, and immediately put him on the 60-day DL.

Armando Galarraga, meanwhile, will be recalled from Toledo on Saturday, when he’s first eligible to come back. He has to stay down there 10 days, and he was sent down last Wednesday. In the meantime, he’s scheduled to start for the Mud Hens Friday.

Leyland said there will be other moves coming once Toledo’s season ends. The remaining guys down there who are on the 40-man roster include Freddy Dolsi, Clay Rapada and Zach Simons. There’s also the possibility the Tigers could call up Jeff Larish and move him to the 60-day DL like they did with Hollimon, creating a 40-man roster spot for someone else such as Scott Sizemore or Donnie Kelly.

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