April 28th, 2012

Fister to go on rehab assignment (updated)

What looked like a lengthy absence for Tigers starter Doug Fister might be ending shortly. In fact, if his rehab start for Triple-A Toledo goes well next Wednesday, it might not be long at all.

“It looks like if everything goes right, he should be back real soon,” manager Jim Leyland said Saturday evening.

Fister threw a second bullpen session Saturday afternoon, this one longer than the 50-pitch session he threw on Thursday, and said he felt good. The team announced Sunday that he’ll go out on a rehab assignment with the Mud Hens, who are at home against Pawtucket.

The Tigers aren’t saying what happens after that, whether his rehab would be only one start. Still, the difference in tone was noticeable. What had been cautious words from Leyland and Fister about a timetable now sounds like a path with the end in sight.

“I’m trying to not overdo it, but I feel really good,” Fister said. “I feel very strong. I’m trying to take it slow, but at the same time, it feels very good and I’m just trying to work my way into it.”

Dombrowski talks about Delmon Young situation

A few hours after the Tigers placed Delmon Young on MLB’s restricted list, Dave Dombrowski talked to reporters and tried to give an update on the situation.

Bottom line: Young will be on the restricted list until an independent doctor evaluates him Monday and gives a report. What happens from there depends entirely on the report.

“If he is cleared to play by the doctors, at that point, he will play,” Dombrowski said. “Now, I don’t know if I will find out on Monday, but assuming that I find out Monday, if he is cleared to play, he will play, because that’s the arrangement that is involved in this type of scenario. …

“He is accused of a misdemeanor at this point. If he is cleared by the doctors, he would be in a position to play at that time.”

More quotes from Dombrowski today:

  • “There are allegations that are involved. They don’t really know what took place. I don’t think anybody does with 100 percent certainty, but that’s all part of the evaluation process, and that’s why he’s going through this.”
  • “He is extremely remorseful, extremely apologetic. Of course, you read his statement. I saw him yesterday morning, and he was apologetic at that point.”
  • On why anger management will be evaluated: “I don’t know what their decision was in that regard. I don’t know if it had to do antyhing with that [history] or just the allegations as far as his comments are concerned. To me, he’s doing it, so the appropriate steps are being taken.
  • On whether club could issue discipline: “Well, I guess it depends upon every different circumstance. I don’t think the club is prohibited from doing that, but I think we’re still in the step-by-step process.”
  • On Dombrowski’s personal feelings on the accusations: “My personal feelings are … all I know, and I was there, that the person was not in a very good state as far as his sobriety. That is not a good situation. That’s all I know. I do know that he was in a skirmish. I do know that. Beyond that, I don’t know anything else. Those situations themselves are concerning, and not what you would like to see. If the allegations are true, that is also concerning and not something you would want to see happen.”
  • More Dombrowski: “I was there that night. I do know that some things that have been written are not accurate. I don’t know that. I am not doing to get into them, but I do know wholeheartedly that, because I read some articles in the papers this morning that are not accurate.”
  • On when he received a call: “I don’t know. It was between 3:30 and 4 o’clock. He was up in his room at that point. I was one of numerous people in that room. He had already been charged.”
  • On knowing right away it wasn’t good: “I don’t normally get too many good calls at 3:30, 4 o’clock in the morning.”

Saturday: Tigers at Yankees

A day after Jim Leyland said he was going to run Ryan Raburn out there at second base, Ramon Santiago is starting at second. That said, Raburn’s numbers off Freddy Garcia are not good (1-for-9). Santiago is 0-for-5 off Garcia.

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Brennan Boesch, RF (6-for-16, 1 HR off Garcia)
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B (9-for-23, 3 HR off Garcia)
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Andy Dirks, LF
  6. Brad Eldred, DH
  7. Alex Avila, C
  8. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  9. Ramon Santiago, 2B

P: Drew Smyly

Tigers place Young on restricted list

The Tigers have taken troubled outfielder off the active roster for the time being. Less more than 24 hours after Young’s arrest for aggravated harassment, the Tigers placed Young on Major League Baseball’s restricted list, pending an evaluation at the beginning of next week.

The Tigers cited a provision in Major League Baseball’s basic agreement in making the move. Young’s arrest was an alcohol-related offense, and basic agreement rules call for players involved in such matters to be referred to MLB’s Employee Assistance Program. The Tigers referred to that provision in their statement on Young’s arrest Friday, setting up their legal standing for the move.

Players on the restricted list do not count on either the 25- or 40-man rosters, and in some cases are not paid.

Young was arrested in the early hours of Friday morning after an incident in front of the team hotel in midtown Manhattan. After a brief stay in a nearby hospital, Young spent most of Friday being processed and arraigned. He was released on bail early Friday evening but did not join the team for Friday’s series opener against the Yankees in the Bronx.

The team played a man short Friday night, though they didn’t run out. They’ll be back to full strength Saturday with the arrival of infielder Danny Worth, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo to take Young’s spot on the 25-man roster.

Worth batted .309 (17-for-55) with seven doubles, three homers and six RBIs since being sent down a couple weeks ago. He made the Opening Day roster as a utility infielder until being optioned out April 14, when Brandon Inge was activated from the disabled list.

Worth’s arrival restores the Tigers to two extra infielders, which was their status before they released Brandon Inge on Thursday and called up slugging first baseman/designated hitter Brad Eldred. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll stay at two as long as Ryan Raburn is starting every day at second base.

Waiting to see what’s next for Delmon Young

Tigers outfielder Delmon Young was released on $5,000 bond Friday evening after being arrested early Friday morning for allegedly assaulting a man in front of a New York City hotel.

Young was charged with aggravated harassment, a charge that could be escalated to a hate crime, a New York Police Department spokesman told MLB.com earlier Friday.

“We are aware of the situation; however, it is our club policy not to comment on pending legal matters,” the Tigers said in statement Friday afternoon. “As we understand it, this is an allegation and we need to allow the legal process to take its course. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

His on-field situation remains uncertain. Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski was still working through matters Friday night, according to a team spokesperson, and was not available for comment after Friday’s loss to the Yankees.

The Tigers played a man short Friday night, though they didn’t run short on available players in the 7-6 loss. Though Young is now out of jail, the Tigers could look to make a roster move that would allow Young to focus on his situation while letting his teammates focus on baseball.

“Per a provision in the Major League Baseball Basic Agreement, any allegation that involves alcohol is referred to MLB’s Employee Assistance Program,” the Tigers said in their statement.

Major League Baseball spokesperson Pat Courtney confirmed that they’re following the situation.

“We are looking into it,” Courtney told MLB.com in an email. “As this is a current police matter, we cannot comment any further at this time.”

According to the NYPD, the incident began as a verbal dispute and turned physical. Officers got involved at 2:41 a.m. ET just outside of the Hilton hotel, where the Tigers are staying while they take on the Yankees this weekend.

Detective Joseph Cavitolo told the Detroit Free Press that it began with a group of four men and a panhandler wearing a yarmulke.

“They have a discussion and the panhandler leaves,” Cavitolo said.

Cavitolo told the Detroit Free Press that were there “some anti-Semitic remarks” made during the incident.

The victim, a 32-year-old male, suffered minor injuries and refused treatment. Young was taken to Roosevelt Hospital for treatment, reportedly to sober up, and was released to the police.

By itself, aggravated harassment is a misdemeanor. If it is deemed a hate crime, the district attorney could choose a more severe charge for Young, according to a police spokesman.

“Anti-semitism certainly has no place in the game, either on or off the field,” the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement. “We hope that Mr. Young will take the necessary steps to apologize and ensure that his alleged anti-Semitic words do not reverberate and do lasting harm.”

Young’s representatives released a statement on behalf of Young Friday evening.

“I sincerely regret what happened last night,” Young said in the statement. “I apologize to everyone I affected, the Ilitch family, the Detroit Tigers’ organization, my teammates, my family, and the great Tigers’ fans that have supported me since day one.   I take this matter very seriously and assure everyone that I will do everything I can to improve myself as a person and player.”

Young’s attorney, Dan Ollen, said Young will make no further statements while the legal process is ongoing.

“Let me be clear, there are many false allegations regarding the actions of my client,” Ollen said in a statement, “and I am confident that the legal process will separate fact from fiction and discredit these reports.”

The Tigers arrived in New York on Thursday evening after being swept in a series against the Mariners in Detroit. Ground delays in Newark, where the Tigers were scheduled to land, delayed their flight for close to two hours, setting back their arrival until just before 10:30 p.m. ET.

What happened with Young during that time was not immediately clear.

Young, a top overall Draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2003, was suspended for 50 games by the team in 2006 after throwing a bat at an umpire and hitting him in the chest during a Minor League game. He had no known history of incidents with the Tigers since Detroit traded for him from Minnesota last August.

The Tigers have had to deal with their own off-field incidents involving other players in recent years. Miguel Cabrera missed the start of Spring Training in 2010 after being arrested on charges of driving under the influence in Florida. Cabrera pleaded no contest and did not have to serve jail time. Gerald Laird was arrested after the 2009 season after an incident at a Phoenix Suns.

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