September 16th, 2009

Wednesday: Tigers vs. Royals

Same lineup against lefties as before, which is kind of surprising.

TIGERS

  1. Ryan Raburn, LF
  2. Placido Polanco, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Marcus Thames, DH
  6. Brandon Inge, 3B
  7. Curtis Granderson, CF
  8. Gerald Laird, C
  9. Adam Everett, SS

P: Eddie Bonine

ROYALS

  1. David DeJesus, LF
  2. Mitch Maier, RF
  3. Billy Butler, 1B
  4. Mike Jacobs, DH
  5. Alberto Callaspo, 2B
  6. Miguel Olivo, C
  7. Alex Gordon, 3B
  8. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
  9. Josh Anderson, CF

P: Lenny DiNardo

Robertson in line for Sunday start

Just got back from Tigers clubhouse, where not surprisingly, Nate Robertson appears to be in line for that Sunday start at Minnesota in Jarrod Washburn’s place. Jim Leyland said Robertson is scheduled to throw an extended bullpen session Thursday, which should determine whether he feels well enough to start. If he can go, the Tigers are set in their rotation. If he can’t, well, Leyland hasn’t said it, but one would think he might have to revisit his plans for Zach Miner at that point.

Tigers call up Figaro after all

With injuries mounting on the Tigers pitching staff, the club added another September call-up, activating right-hander Alfredo Figaro from the 15-day disabled list.

While it’s unlikely Figaro can be stretched out to be a starter, which was his role during his brief call-up to Detroit in June, he can bring another relief arm. He allowed a lone earned run over 12 relief innings during his rehab stint at Double-A Erie last month, striking out 10 batters.

Tigers' latest pitching conundrum

OK, here’s what we know about the Tigers’ pitching situation:

  • Jarrod Washburn’s left knee injury is more than just simple soreness. It’s now swelling, and it isn’t getting any better. And as it is now, he can’t pitch through it, leaving his next turn Sunday at Minnesota unlikely.
  • Because the Tigers don’t have an off-day until Monday, and Eddie Bonine would seem unlikely to start again on short rest, the Tigers can’t simply skip the spot for a turn.
  • Armando Galarraga is now available to pitch out of the bullpen, but he said the inflammation in his right elbow most likely won’t allow him enough pitches in an outing to start again this year.
  • Nate Robertson felt fine moving around Tuesday after three days of rest following his diagnosis of pelvic inflammation. He’ll try to throw a short side session Wednesday. If he can, he figures he’ll be available in the bullpen. Of course, that plan came before Washburn’s setback Tuesday night.
  • Zach Miner pitched effectively for two innings Tuesday, but manager Jim Leyland wanted to stop him there so that he could be available in the coming days. However, Leyland said, “Zach will remain in the bullpen.”
  • Jeremy Bonderman, the only other pitcher in the Tigers bullpen with recent starting experience, isn’t stretched out to start.
  • Leyland said he has no idea who will start Sunday, but planned to discuss his options with coaches Wednesday.

How Robertson feels in his bullpen session would seemingly play a major role in how the Tigers proceed. If he’s fine, he makes the Tigers’ options easier. If he isn’t, well, it becomes more complicated, and it gets a little closer to the “absolutely necessary” condition that Leyland placed on the possibility of starting Miner when he talked about it last week.

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