June 10th, 2012

Fister won’t be ready for Wednesday

After some hope from the Tigers, Doug Fister will not be able to return when he’s eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday. Still, he shouldn’t be far off.

Fister, sidelined for the past week and a half with a left side strain, threw his first mound session Saturday afternoon and felt sore on Sunday. For now, though, the Tigers are treating it as a typical reaction to picking up the intensity on his throwing.

Fister will rest for another day or two, then throw another session and see how he feels, head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Sunday. If he feels fine after that, he should be close to a return.

With Wednesday out of the question for Fister, the start that night against the Cubs will fall to Rick Porcello on his regular four days’ rest. Justin Verlander will still start Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the Cubs.

Casey Crosby, whose spot will be skipped coming out of the off-day, will be available out of the bullpen for the next couple days before rejoining the rotation for Friday’s series opener against the Rockies at Comerica Park.

Sunday night: Tigers at Reds

Jhonny Peralta is still on paternity leave, so the lineup remains the same, with Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth comprising the middle infield. Delmon Young starts in left.

Forget the Quintin Berry debate, because he’s now in the lineup. Brennan Boesch has been scratched with a right ankle sprain. Berry will start in right, batting 2nd.

One thing I’ll say about the Quintin Berry debate: The way Brennan Boesch is hitting right now, it would be very tough to take him out of the second spot, where he’s seeing strikes ahead of Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. And if you play Berry over Delmon, your options for hitting behind Fielder are Santiago, Worth and Laird.

1. Austin Jackson, cf
2. Brennan Boesch Quintin Berry, rf
3. Miguel Cabrera, 3b
4. Prince Fielder, 1b
5. Delmon Young, dh
6. Ramon Santiago, ss
7. Gerald Laird, c
8. Danny Worth, 2b
9. Drew Smyly, p

Leyland tabs Berry for bench role with Jackson back

Once Austin Jackson came back from the disabled list, it was a given that Quintin Berry would be out as the starting center fielder. The question was there was a role for him in another spot, such as the corners.

The answer at this point is no.

“It is what it is. He’s an extra player on the bench,” Leyland said of Berry. “Maybe he’ll pinch-hit to lead off an inning, maybe pinch-run. There’s a role there, but I’m not going to take Boesch out. Hopefully we’ve got him going. I’m not going to take Delmon out, and Jackson’s our center fielder.”

That was the lineup for Saturday — Jackson in center, Brennan Boesch in right and Delmon Young in left. Berry entered in the ninth inning as a defensive replacement in left field.

This was a much better question when Boesch was mired in a 4-for-42 slump. That no longer seems to be the case, the way he was hit the last few days. And though Young looked bad on the Joey Votto fly ball he misplayed into a double in left field, he is hitting.

Obviously, Young returns to designated hitter when the Tigers go back home next weekend and get away from National League rules. Could that be Berry’s opportunity? Not if Andy Dirks is ready to return, Leyland answered.