Clete Thomas has MRI on left knee

While Brennan Boesch tears it up in Detroit and Casper Wells gets a taste of the big leagues, Clete Thomas is battling a knee injury at Triple-A Toledo. He flew to Colorado on Tuesday for an MRI exam on his left knee and a visit with a doctor, according to the Toledo Blade. Thomas has been out for about a week.

Thomas missed much of the final couple weeks of Spring Training with a shoulder injury that hampered his chances of making the club. He hit .389 (14-for-36) this spring with a home run, three RBIs and 10 runs scored.

The Mud Hens haven’t filled Thomas’ roster spot just yet, presumably because Ryan Strieby is very close to a return from his wrist injury.

32 Comments

Looks like Thomas could get caught in the OF shuffle like Brent Clevlen did a few years agol. Not good news on his part.
–Mike
‘Minoring In Baseball’
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

I hope not. Clete has some tools that would enable him to be a good MLB player. I hope he has good news on the MRI.
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The Tigers should be OK with the crop of OFers they have on the farm. I am not including Raburn in that group. He is not an outfielder though he is playing CF for the Hens right now.
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I know AJ has not got an base with the same frequency as he had been, but when is JL gonna start using that kid’s speed as a weapon? Who is working with him to learn how to swipe bases and get a proper and effective leadoff?
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This is an important part of the gme. One in which the base runner can help his teammates simply by causing consternation on the mound with the opposing pitcher. They lose their focus with the base runner and then psychologically let up on the delivery home. It happens all the time with agaist us, why not for us?
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BTW, Whatever happened to Ron LeFlore?

Yeah, when Clete is on his game, I think any club would be happy to have him. I was hoping to see him take over one of the outfield spots at some point. Could still happen.
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Who does coach the baserunning, Belliard? I’m afraid that we won’t see much base stealing as long as JL is at the helm. He’s a steroid era manager. He’ll send a guy when it’s practically a sure thing but, most of the time, putting runners in motion in certain counts is about as aggressive as he’ll get. And his history tells me that he’ll get more conservative as the season progresses.
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–Rich

Rich nailed it when he wrote Leyland is a steroid era manager. Leyland just does not manage a pure, fundamental game of baseball. Doesn’t take any skill to sit back waiting for the long ball. He must like watching paint dry too.

Seems like this is his 3rd or 4th time on the DL. Seems like alot.

I want to make clear that when I say JL is a steroid era manager, that’s not necessarily a knock on him. Jim has had a long managerial career and most of it has taken place in the steroid era. Back then, if you bunted and stole bases to scratch out 2 or 3 runs, two big boppers on the other side would go deep and beat you a ballgame. The game has changed but unfortunately, Leyland is 65 years old. It’s tough to make radical changes at that age. I’m more inclined to empathize with him on that score.
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–Rich

Belliard is the infield and bench coach. Brookens is the outfield, baserunning and first base coach.

This is a really hard side to define other than to expect the unexpected. Rookies given an each way bet or stop gap roles have excelled ala Jackson, and Boesch, and those chosen flopped ala Avila and Sizemore, although he looks to be quickly bouncing back now at Toledo.
I can’t recall such a clear ‘black and white’ start to a season – section wise we have been either excellent or total duds, but as a team muddled through for wins, normally when not expected against the better teams or come form behind wins.
How can we have the leagues worst starting pitching with a 5.31 ERA throwing a full 14 IP less than the next lowest and a full 44 IP less than Tampa, yet have the best bullpen with a 2.49 ERA despite the highest IP count and having to start 2 games in their own right.
How can we still be close to the Twins with our ridiculously poor fielding with a full 5 errors more than the next worst team.
Even our hitting of a .269 team avg for 5 of 14 hides the extremes with 6 players hitting over 300, only one in the respectable 250 to 300 range with 9 players under 250.
RISP is even more polarising with our team .235 only 12 of 14 in the league (Tampa lifts their avg from .251 to .301 for RISP). 3 players are hitting over 300 for RISP, only one in the 250 to 300 range and a crazy 12 players less than 250 , 7 of which are under 200.

Those stats are an enigma Dave. Shows even statistics can’t predict a teams record. Guess the Tigers have been excellent 5 more times than they have stunk up the joint:-)..I guess.

It comes down to when you get the hit with RISP, not how many. Statistically speaking, are we getting more RISP opportunities than other teams?
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–Rich

We lead the league in number of RISP opportunities with 383 AB’s but are 7 of 14 in number of hits with 90, to go with our 88 So’s which is well above any other team.
Pretty much correlates with our 12 of 14 RISP average.
The team hitting 305 for late innings with the bullpen has pretty much saved the season to date.

This one has the feel of a letdown by the hitters for Verlander.
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Hope I’m wrong but the hitters are playing “polite” baseball tonight.
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Let’s gear it up guys.

Be nice to see the bottom of the lineup (besides Worth)actually do something. Read where JL thought Avila was “lost” and Laird “pressing”. I disagree–they are both lost. avila will be sent down and diaz will be called up. You heard it here

4 runs might do it. Laird gets a hit on that? JL is going to have to start playing Santiago more. Everett is just not ever going to be able to hit.
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Wells Worth and Jackson have led the way today. Kudos to Inge for finally getting to this guys change-up. He was making our hitters look a little feeble out there to that point.
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Wells looks like a player. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Worth get a game or two at short before they send him packing.
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JV is looking pretty terrific tonight. I really liked the way he turned that DP ball that was hit back at him earlier. Super confident, no hesitation. Great throw to 2nd.
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MCab seems to be cooling down a bit. Damon not up to snuff yet. Ordonez down. We need some veteran input on this club. The rookies have been pleasant surprises but we can’t ride them for too long.

That’s what they need to do Dan, they have an open spot on the 40 man roster after putting Seay on the 60 day dl.

So ,Binge will beat JV as player of the day

BTW–JV gets that DP with Santiago as short. He has a better, stronger, arm than Everett. Just sayin’.
I know I am picking on Everett but it’s not like we HAVE to play him. We have alternatives. Santiago is a better than adequate shortstop.

JV looked po’d about loosing his shutout. Cabbie needs to do some stretching exercises. My guy from ’68 would’ve had that dp.

That missed dp was on Cabrera, you gotta stretch for that one!

When Verlander pitches like that, it scares even me. That curveball was devastating.
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I liked that DP in the 3rd. Raji Davis is super quick and both JV and Everett looked like they were moving at 4x speed. Overall, one of the nicer defensive plays we’ve turned in this season.
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Big night for the youngsters. Like I half jokingly said earlier, you just keep bringing them up till the league figures them out, then bring up the next guy.
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So we’re one game behind the Twins. We went to Minnesota 1.5 back, so it’s taken two weeks to make up that sweep. Good example of why you’ve got to get it done head to head. I still can’t assimilate that loss to Chicago yesterday.
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Both teams were kind in wrapping this late-nighter up quickly.
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–Rich

Too tired last night to write my comments on the game. (I know you are all disappointed haha). Well not an original comment JV was great. I would rather see this JV that gets quick outs and plays to contact rather than the one that it out in the 5th because they are fouling 30 pitches off in that time. That makes me want to pull my hair out.
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It looks like the top 5 are cooling off a bit, I don’t think that Cabby has had a hit in three games now. Glad to see AJ get a couple today. Wells, Worth and Inge were the stars of the hitting game today anyway.
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Hope Maggs is okay and it isn’t too serious. I must admit when I saw that lineup – I was nervous.
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Has anyone else looked at AJ’s splits?? I don’t know the exact numbers but against lefties he hits in the mid-100 range and against righties in the mid-300′s. That makes no sense at all. He is just like Curtis he can’t hit lefties either??
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Looking forward to the matinee today.
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GO TIGERS

Great pitchers duel last night for the first 6 innings. Verlander was on fire. He just always makes me nervous, he looks like he is wound so tight he might explode. He gets so ticked off when Laird stands up and gives him the “relax” sign. But it was nice to see him smile after the 2nd out of the 9th when he had that goofy throw to Cabby. but if that is how he gets the job done, then he can keep it up – just makes me nervous!

Nice to see the bottom of the order contribute, Worth and Wells did very good and nice to see Inge get his occasional power in there – we probably won’t see it for another 3 weeks, but it came in handy last night.

Oh, and that double play started by JV was great – I always wince when our pitchers have to field after some of our previous years debacles, but that was as sure handed as they come.

As much as I love pitcher’s duels, this one started to get on my nerves because our “big guns” seem to be in a mini-slump so the rookies are carrying us and the pitching, of course. Loved the DP with Verlander, also. Also, I really like Worth at 2nd. He can flash some leather.

Not to worry. Apparently our “big guns” have reappeared.

One more inning to this game and maybe we can get a couple of quick wins before we head out of town.

Boy nice win and it was nice to see Avila get it going – Boesch seems to have cooled down just a bit. He couldn’t keep going at that pace I know, but I want him to.
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But was it me or were our pitchers getting squeezed?? Come on some of those pitches that Valverde didn’t get called and Bondo’s borderline pitches. But then some of the pitches that Mazzano was getting called strikes!! I thought I was going to reach through the television and strangle that ump. Just make it the same that is all that I ask for, whatever it is make it the same. Did anyone else think that the zone was “interesting”??
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On to the Dodgers, of course we are getting the Dodgers while the Twins get the Brewers this weekend.
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GO TIGERS
>
GK

If the Red Sox take care of business at Fenway tonight, we’ll be tied with the Twins. That would be a good accomplishment considering how hot Minnesota was at the outset. May seems to be a good month for this group of Tigers.
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Unless I’ve forgotten one, we’ve played good D so far this trip. I’m giving Inge a mulligan on that foul pop in the sun. Bonderman pitched extremely well, and worked over one bad inning and a few questionable calls. He’s not using the splitter, but his 2-seamer almost becomes a third pitch when it’s on.
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I think Cabrera, having had his cool down, is about to go on a tear. Look out, Mannywood.
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Still can’t figure why we’re not attempting steals with Jackson. Why hit him leadoff if all of his weapons aren’t in play?
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Is it just me, or does Eric Chavez look a lot smaller than he used to?
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–Rich

It is amazing how much of a different pitcher Max Scherzer looks like tonight. Through 8 he’s given up 1 hit, 1 walk and has 10 strikeouts.

Special thanks to Boston for beating Minnesota.
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The local sportscasters here in northern CA couldn’t say enough about how impressive Verlander was yesterday. I was bummed that Braden had to leave the game, as I was parked in front of the TV like a big kid, hoping for the score to be 0-0 going into the 9th. But it was enjoyable regardless. A few times I hit the “rewind” button to see JV’s curveball just one more time.
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Rich, Chavez looks smaller to me, too, but I wasn’t sure if he lost weight or if I have a bad memory.
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Interesting comments about “steroid era manager.” Could have something there. After mulling that theory over a bit, I saw some complaints from fans about the A’s playing too much small ball trying to manufacture runs and I had to laugh. – JP

One last thing before heading off to work. Have you ever seen anyone hustle down to 1st base like Johnny Damon? What an example he sets. I absolutely adore him.

Johnny does everything on a ballfield correctly and that’s a rare thing these days. His baserunning is outstanding. If not at the game, the best way to see it is on replays where they might show a long shot of the play. As he runs, his head is snapping every which direction, seeing everything. He never fails to get to the next base if it’s available. When Damon retires, he’ll be able to look back, satisfied in the knowledge that he squeezed out every drop of his abilitities throughout his career. It’s not surprising that the guy was able to be popular in both Boston and New York. How many players could do that?
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–Rich

Things I found out while looking up other things:
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Based on opponent W-L record, the Tigers have the 2nd easiest interleague schedule in the Central. Who has the easiest, you ask? You guessed it. It’s our good friends, the Minnesota “we made a slick deal with the devil” Twins. Whenever someone says “nobody said it would be easy,” the Twins just laugh.
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Washington Nationals pheenom Stephen Strasberg is pitching against the Mudhens on Monday. Folks in my area may get to see it on MASN. When we were in spring training this March, we made a spur of the moment decision to drive over to Viera to see the kid pitch against Detroit. I came away impressed. He’s at least Rick Porcello II and maybe even Justin Verlander II. The Nationals will have to be very careful with his 21-year old arm, but I don’t know if they can afford to be careful. Anyway, Tiger fans will probably get to see Strasberg pitch at Comerica in June, if the scheduling holds up.
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–Rich

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