September 2010

Tuesday: Tigers vs. Royals

Brandon Inge is 0-for-19 off Bruce Chen, which might explain why he’s batting eighth tonight. By contrast, Miguel Cabrera is 7-for-12 off Chen with two home runs, and Johnny Damon is 13-for-25 off him with a pair of homers.

TIGERS
  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, DH
  3. Raburn, LF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Wells, RF
  6. Peralta, SS
  7. Sizemore, 2B
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Laird, C
P: Armando Galarraga
ROYALS
  1. Jarrod Dyson, CF
  2. Mike Aviles, 2B
  3. Billy Butler, 1B
  4. Wilson Betemit, 3B
  5. Kila Ka’aihue, DH
  6. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
  7. Alex Gordon, LF
  8. Jai Miller, RF
  9. Lucas May, C
P: Bruce Chen

Monday: Tigers vs. Royals

Remember when the Tigers loaded up on right-handed hitters to face John Danks last night? How could you not? It was just a few hours ago. Well, they’re going in the opposite direction tonight against Royals ace Zack Greinke. Opponents from the left side bat .271 with a .757 OPS against Greinke this season, compared with .236 and .598 from right-handers. The differences aren’t as great since the All-Star break, but you get the idea.

Thus, Austin Jackson gets a game off, though he has hit right-handed pitchers better. In his place is Don Kelly, 2-for-5 off Greinke, and batting third in front of Cabrera. Brennan Boesch and Ramon Santiago also get starts, while Jhonny Peralta is off.

TIGERS

  1. Rhymes, 2B
  2. Damon, DH
  3. Kelly, CF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Boesch, RF
  6. Raburn, LF
  7. Avila, C
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Rick Porcello

ROYALS

  1. Gregor Blanco, CF
  2. Mike Aviles, 2B
  3. Billy Butler, DH
  4. Wilson Betemit, 3B
  5. Kila Ka’aihue, 1B
  6. Brayan Pena, C
  7. Alex Gordon, LF
  8. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
  9. Mitch Maier, RF

P: Zack Greinke

Guillen has microfracture knee surgery (updated)

The Tigers provided some info this morning on Carlos Guillen’s knee surgery from yesterday in New York. Guillen underwent what the club called microfracture surgery on the left knee as well as a “surgical clean-up of the degenerative changes” in the knee.

That doesn’t mean there was a fracture on the knee, and it doesn’t mean the injury came entirely from the hit. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand compared it to a divot on the bone that might have become worse over time until the collision with Brett Gardner last month made it unplayable. The microfracture surgery promotes the healing.

Guillen won’t be able to put weight on the knee for 6-8 weeks, and won’t begin physical activity for four months, which would put him on a rehab track for January. If the surgery is successful, Guillen could be ready for Opening Day, but the feeling isn’t strong enough to say that he will.

Suffice to say, that could have a major impact on how the Tigers proceed this offseason at second base and with their search for some offense. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski didn’t want to talk about their future plans just yet, but he did not backtrack from comments he made last week to WDFN that they could have Will Rhymes and Scott Sizemore at second base going into next year and feel good about it.

Valverde out until further notice

The Tigers are holding out closer Jose Valverde until further notice with an unspecified injury, potentially a recurrence of the tenderness around his elbow that bothered him last week.

“He’s not right,” manager Jim Leyland said, “and I’m not going to pitch him. He’s off until he tells me he’s able to pitch, and he’s not able to pitch right now.”

Leyland would not go into details about the injury, but Valverde’s earlier issues would seemingly suggest it’s related to that. Valverde was not available for comment.

Valverde went more than a week between outings before he returned to pitch a scoreless innings with a walk Wednesday at Texas. He threw just two out of 11 pitches for strikes, but they both went for groundouts. After a four-pitch walk, his inning ended with Gerald Laird threw out David Murphy trying to steal second base.

It marked just the second scoreless performance in Valverde’s last six outings, though one of those featured an unearned run over three innings in a victory September 2 over the Twins.

Leyland said Phil Coke will serve as the closer for the time being. He will not be used before the ninth inning in those situations.

“I don’t know how long that’s going to last,” Leyland said, “but that’s just the way it’s going to have to be for right now. We’re short.”

Friday: Tigers at White Sox

No Konerko, Rios, Quentin, Pierzynski or Beckham for White Sox.

TIGERS

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Rhymes, 2B
  3. Damon, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Kelly, LF
  6. Raburn, RF
  7. Peralta, SS
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Avila, C

P: Max Scherzer

WHITE SOX

  1. Juan Pierre, LF
  2. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  3. Manny Ramirez, DH
  4. Andruw Jones, CF
  5. Mark Teahen, RF
  6. Ramon Castro, C
  7. Mark Kotsay, 1B
  8. Brent Morel, 3B
  9. Brent Lillibridge, 2B

P: Edwin Jackson

Galarraga vents

Considering Armando Galarraga should have a perfect game on his record, he probably has every right to be frustrated about how things have turned out. But it isn’t the would-be perfect game that flusters him. It’s all the starts after that.

Galarraga badly wanted that June 2 performance to be his springboard to being a frontline pitcher. For a variety of reasons, that hasn’t happened. One big reason has been run support.
In case you missed Galarraga’s comments from last night’s no-decision:
“The season’s almost over, and I have four wins. It’s not like I think I don’t throw the ball good. I’ve been throwing the ball good. You see my numbers. There’s only four wins. What are you going to say? I already have 100-something innings. Four wins the whole year? Sometimes you get frustrated, because you want to see more wins.”

Guillen to have left knee scoped

What was already looking like a season-ending knee surgery for Tigers second baseman Carlos Guillen will get a closer look to make sure it isn’t anything worse than a deep bone bruise. Guillen will have arthroscopic surgery on his knee next Friday in New York.

Dr. Russ Warren, the doctor who originally examined Guillen’s knee when Brett Gardner’s hard slide into second base injured it last month at Yankee Stadium, will perform the procedure. Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand characterized it as a precautionary measure to make sure there’s enough time to get Guillen healed and ready for next spring if they do find any further injury.

“If we waited two months from [the original injury] and there was still pain in the knee, there wouldn’t be enough time [to recover in time for next spring],” Rand said.

Friday: Cabrera back in lineup

UPDATE: Miguel Cabrera felt fine in batting practice, so he’s good to go.

TIGERS

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Rhymes, 2B
  3. Damon, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Raburn, LF
  6. Boesch, RF
  7. Peralta, SS
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Avila, C

P: Armando Galarraga

Valverde day-to-day with tender elbow

Jose Valverde was unavailable for Thursday’s save situation against the White Sox, and could miss the next couple days with tenderness around his right elbow.
“The last couple days, my arm’s been bothering me a little bit,” Valverde said after Ryan Perry finished off Thursday’s 6-3 win over the White Sox. “That’s what happens sometimes. I hope two more days and I’ll be ready.”
Valverde said he played catch Thursday morning and felt better.
There’s no indication so far that the tenderness has had anything to do with Valverde’s struggles since the All-Star break. It’s believed to be something that popped up fairly recently. Valverde has had his share of rest during the Tigers’ second-half struggles, but has had a decent workload lately, including a 38-pitch outing last Thursday to finish off the Twins.
Valverde leads the American League with 52 games finished. His 25 saves placed him ninth among AL closers entering Thursday. As long as he’s out, the Tigers are likely to close out games situationally with Perry and Phil Coke.

Wednesday: Cabrera out of Tigers lineup

Not surprisingly, Miguel Cabrera will not be starting for the Tigers tonight after leaving last night’s game with more bicep tendinitis in his left shoulder. Johnny Damon also has a day off, so the middle of the Tigers order is looking pretty good with Ryan Raburn batting third, Brennan Boesch in at cleanup and Casper Wells batting fifth.

TIGERS
  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Rhymes, 2B
  3. Raburn, LF
  4. Boesch, DH
  5. Wells, RF
  6. Peralta, SS
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Kelly, 1B
  9. Avila, C
P: Jeremy Bonderman
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