September 9th, 2009
Not only will the Tigers miss out on Zack Greinke Thursday, now they won’t face Roy Halladay during their upcoming four-game wraparound series against the Blue Jays, who are pushing back Halladay a day to give him extra rest. So instead of a Verlander-Halladay showdown Monday, David Purcey will start for Toronto instead.
It could still backfire for the Tigers, who have certainly had mixed results against left-handed pitchers and have to then put out a lineup without Carlos Guillen and maybe without Curtis Granderson as well. Still, twice in a week, against a team in a playoff chase? What must the Twins be feeling right now?
Yes, Nate Robertson was back in the bullpen Tuesday, earning the final two outs of the eighth inning in Tuesday’s 7-5 loss. However, it doesn’t change his status in the Tigers rotation. He’s still set to start Friday against the Blue Jays.
Because that assignment comes more than a week since his last start, Leyland said he wanted to get Robertson into a game appearance on what would’ve otherwise been a day for him to throw a side session. Robertson knew he had a good chance to pitch Tuesday, so he was ready for it. Considering Leyland used both of his lefty relievers in the seventh inning, there was a use for Robertson at the end.
Magglio Ordonez now needs 23 more plate appearances this year to trigger his $18 million contract option for next year, and it’s just about certain he’ll get that. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski hasn’t commented on the matter, and didn’t want to talk about the contract Tuesday, but he essentially acknowledged that what you see is what you get.
“It all speaks for itself, what’s taking place at this point,” Dombrowski said.
This came on the heels of remarks from manager Jim Leyland to various reporters, most recently ESPN’s Peter Gammons, that nobody in the front office has talked to him about Magglio’s contract situation. In other words, he’s free to play Ordonez based on the quality of his play, and his .284 average through Tuesday is 20 points higher than it was a month ago.