Dotel day-to-day with elbow inflammation

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said going into Friday’s series opener against the Reds that he was not going to use Joaquin Benoit under any circumstances Friday night. He was throwing in the bullpen as the Reds were putting together their game-winning rally, but he was apparently doing that on his own.

By comparison, Leyland said nothing about Octavio Dotel. But as Friday’s game went on, including Jose Ortega’s Major League debut with the tying run on base in the eighth inning, it became evident that Dotel wasn’t available. He never threw so much as a warmup pitch.

Dotel was dealing with inflammation in his right elbow. It came up during his last outing last Saturday against the Yankees at Comerica Park, and it lingered into the week, to the point that doctors checked out his elbow Thursday to make sure there wasn’t any structural damage.

No damage, but still no pitching yet.

“It’s a little bit better,” Dotel said after Friday’s loss. “How much, I really can’t tell. Hopefully tomorrow it’s more.”

Leyland isn’t one to use injuries as an excuse, but he also didn’t talk about this one until it was plainly obvious. The fact that the Tigers didn’t have much of any leads to protect until Thursday kind of helped the Tigers along in those efforts.

 

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