June 11th, 2010
Magglio Ordonez remains out of the Tigers lineup and day-to-day with continued left oblique soreness. But as head athletic trainer Kevin Rand admitted, the days are piling up.
Friday’s series opener against the Pirates marked Ordonez’s fourth straight game out of the Tigers’ lineup. The 36-year-old outfielder has played in only one of Detroit’s last six games, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be available to play Saturday.
“We treated him last night and he’s a little bit better today,” Rand said Friday afternoon. “He’s still not the way we want him, but he’s a lot closer today. He feels a lot better about where he’s at.”
Ordonez was examined by team physician Dr. Jeff Michaels once the Tigers returned home Thursday night and diagnosed with general muscle soreness, nothing pulled or strained in a specific muscle. That in itself should be a good sign, but the area in question is one that he feels every time he swings.
“Obviously we put him through a thorough exam with range of motion and strength where we were looking for pain,” Rand said. “The good thing was that he wasn’t able to point specifically where the pain was. It was just soreness in the oblique, especially when he stretched out his side. That’s a lot better today.”
Don Kelly, not Ryan Raburn, is replacing Ordonez in the Tigers lineup tonight.
- Jackson, CF
- Damon, DH
- Kelly, LF
- Cabrera, 1B
- Boesch, RF
- Guillen, 2B
- Inge, 3B
- Avila, C
- Santiago, SS
P: Justin Verlander
- Andrew McCutchen, CF
- Neil Walker, 2B
- Ryan Doumit, 1B
- Garrett Jones, RF
- Ryan Church, DH
- Lastings Milledge, LF
- Akinori Iwamura, 3B
- Ronny Cedeno, SS
- Jason Jaramillo, C
Rick Porcello will get some extra time to try to work his way out of his sophomore slump. The Tigers will skip him in their next turn through the rotation to give him enough time for three side sessions.
The hope, obviously, is that those sessions will help him find the life again on his sinker for ground-ball outs and stronger outings than what he has suffered recently, taking him from Rookie of the Year consideration in 2009 to one of the higher ERAs in baseball in 2010.
“I think the No. 1 thing he needs to accomplish is to get the sinker back,” Leyland said Friday afternoon. “I think you have to go one step at a time. I think that’s the first step. We are going to try and accomplish that and try to slow him down a little bit. You always have ideas and thoughts and stuff. We just haven’t been able to slow him down. He’s kind of jumping at the hitters getting out there.”
Porcello had no drop on his sinker in his last start Wednesday, and the White Sox made him pay dearly for it. After Porcello gave up only one hit the first time through the White Sox batting order, he retired only one of the eight batters he faced he faced in what ended up being a seven-run fourth inning. He finished with eight earned runs on eight hits over 3 1/3 innings with one strikeout and two home runs.
The damage raised Porcello’s ERA from 5.25 to 6.09 on the season. He has allowed 89 hits over 65 innings, a humbling reminder that for all his success, he’s still a 21-year-old trying to compete.
“We need to iron this situation out,” Leyland said. “He’s throwing way too many balls from the belt up, where last year he threw form the belt down, with a much better sink. He’s getting more run on his ball than sink right now.”
With Monday a scheduled off-day for the Tigers, Leyland had the leeway to keep everyone else on four days’ rest and push Porcello back to next Saturday against Arizona. Max Scherzer will start Tuesday against Washington, followed by Jeremy Bonderman, Armando Galarraga and Justin Verlander.