July 23rd, 2010

Tigers looking at hot corner of trade market

It isn’t just pitching the Tigers are eyeing on the trade market. With Brandon Inge out 4-6 weeks with a broken left hand, they’re making it clear that they’ll look at help if they think they can swing a deal for a third baseman.
Asked if Inge’s eventual return, potentially ahead of schedule, affects their approach on the trade market, manager Jim Leyland chose his words carefully.
“I think it’s part of the equation,” Leyland said, “but I also think that a month to six weeks is a long time to go without him, if you’re fighting for a pennant. That doesn’t mean I don’t have confidence, but I don’t expect Scott Sizemore to be Brandon Inge. If anybody else does, they’re crazy.
“A month to six weeks is a long time to go without Brandon Inge right now. Then again, what does that mean? Is there somebody out there that makes sense, or somebody you don’t have to give up an arm and a leg for? That’s a tough call. I’ve thought about that, and that’s my answer. Four to six weeks is a long time. You can read into that whatever you want.”
There are options on the market at various prices. CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler wrote Friday that the Tigers expressed some interest in Mike Lowell, who’s set to begin a rehab assignment in the Red Sox farm system shortly. Boston has been trying to trade Lowell at various points this season, and likely wouldn’t require a lot, but the 36-year-old hasn’t played third base on an everyday basis since last year.
Jose Bautista is another rumored option on the market, and the Tigers will get plenty of looks at him this weekend with the Blue Jays in town. But with Bautista leading the Majors in home runs in his suddenly scintilliating season, Toronto could demand plenty in return.
Inge is a free agent at season’s end, as is Lowell. Bautista is arbitration eligible for another year.

Friday rainout, day-night doubleheader Sunday

A line of storms across Michigan featuring heavy rains and lightning postponed Friday night’s game between the Tigers and Blue Jays at Comerica Park.
The game will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader Sunday at 1:05 and 6:05 p.m. ET. Tickets for Friday’s game will be honored for the second game Sunday, with no need for exchanges. Those with tickets who can’t attend Sunday night’s game can exchange their unused tickets for available tickets to another game within the next 12 months, not counting Opening Day.
This weekend is the Blue Jays’ only trip to Detroit. Thus, the clubs would have to either make up the game this weekend or find a common off-day between now and season’s end. Saturday’s forecast called for more storms, so Sunday ended up making more sense to try to play two.
Sunday’s second game means a late night of travel for the Tigers to begin their road trip next week. They’ll fly after that game to Tampa for a four-game series against the Rays beginning Monday night at Tropicana Field.
Both teams decided to push back their scheduled starters. Rick Porcello and Shaun Marcum, Friday’s scheduled starter, will instead pitch Saturday night. Jeremy Bonderman will now face Brett Cecil Sunday afternoon, with Armando Galarraga pitching opposite Jesse Litsch Sunday evening.
FSN Detroit will broadcast Sunday’s afternoon game as scheduled, but not the Sunday night. ESPN’s national exclusivity window doesn’t allow for local broadcasts for games starting after 5 p.m. ET, according to a Tigers release.

Rain delay

What looked like a brief storm has instead blossomed into a full-blown storm system passing through Detroit tonight, bringing a downpour on Comerica Park and a lightning show in the sky out beyond left field. The game is delayed, and so far there’s no target for when to start.

If and when it does start, note that Magglio Ordonez is still at DH, and will remain there until he says his sore right ankle is fine. Manager Jim Leyland said Ordonez injured it when he caught his spike in the dirt at the plate during an at-bat last weekend in Cleveland.

Interesting to note that Gerald Laird is back behind the plate against right-hander Shaun Marcum. Laird worked well with Rick Porcello in his return last weekend, as he did so often last year when Porcello rarely ever shook him off on his way to 14 wins. And let’s face it, Laird at least is putting together the signs of a good stretch at the plate.

With the Jays scheduled to start lefty Brett Cecil Saturday, Laird could end up with four straight starts.

TIGERS

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, LF
  3. Ordonez, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Boesch, RF
  6. Guillen, 2B
  7. Laird, C
  8. Kelly, 3B
  9. Worth, SS

SP: Rick Porcello

BLUE JAYS

  1. Dewayne Wise, LF
  2. Yunel Escobar, SS
  3. Jose Bautista, RF
  4. Vernon Wells, CF
  5. Adam Lind, DH
  6. Aaron Hill, 2B
  7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  8. John Buck, C
  9. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B

SP: Shaun Marcum

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