Results tagged ‘ Don Kelly ’
The Tigers set their 25-man roster Wednesday by optioning outfielder Clete Thomas to Triple-A Toledo, thus making utilityman Don Kelly their final position player.
The move came after an MRI exam on Thomas’ injured right shoulder showed no serious damage. He’s expected to be ready in time for the start of the Mud Hens season opener. He hasn’t played since taking a pitch off his shoulder last week, causing a deep bone bruise on his shoulder blade.
Essentially, the choice had come down to Kelly or Thomas for at least the final week of camp. In the end, Kelly’s ability to play infield and outfield offered more to the Tigers, who have third baseman Brandon Inge and second baseman Scott Sizemore back from offseason surgeries.
With Kelly and Ryan Raburn, the Tigers have two superutility players who can play most positions on the field except for shortstop, catcher and pitcher. Kelly bats left-handed, while Raburn is a right-handed hitter. Both played all over the field in Spring Training.
“His versatility was a factor,” manager Jim Leyland said of Kelly.
Thomas can play all three outfield spots well, but does not play the infield.
By this time Wednesday, the Tigers’ 25-man roster should be known. Manager Jim Leyland said Monday afternoon that roster moves Tuesday to whittle the roster down to about 26, including a decision on the final position player and the backup catcher.
“By this time tomorrow, we’ll be down to probably one guy [over the limit],” Leyland said. “I think the picture will be almost totally clear for everybody by tomorrow.”
The one decision that will be left will be in the rotation. That, Leyland said, should be decided Wednesday, or Thursday at the latest. Dontrelle Willis and Jeremy Bonderman both start Tuesday — Willis against the Orioles in Sarasota, Bonderman in a minor league game. Nate Robertson is scheduled to start Thursday against the Braves. You can read into that, I suppose, what that means for Robertson’s chances.
Leyland said Sunday he has in his mind what his roster would be, but that it wouldn’t necessarily be the final roster. Dave Dombrowski has the final say on that. So what follows now is a discussion with Dombrowski, Leyland, the coaching staff and other members of the front office on the baseball side.
The final roster spot is essentially down to Don Kelly or Clete Thomas. The backup catching decision essentially comes down to whether the Tigers want Alex Avila catching a couple times a week in Detroit or every day in Toledo for development’s sake, which would most likely put Robinzon Diaz on the team. The fact that roster decisions are coming Tuesday seemingly indicates the Tigers don’t expect to grab another backup catcher on the waiver wire or in a trade.
The Tigers roster isn’t set yet, but manager Jim Leyland has a very good idea how it would play out if it was solely his choice.
“If I was to write down the team today, I could write it down,” Leyland said Sunday. “That doesn’t mean it would be the team. I don’t have the final say.”
He isn’t telling what it is, but he’s giving an idea that versatility is
important. Jeff Larish, he said, would have a better chance if he could play center field.
What went unsaid, of course, is that Don Kelly and Clete Thomas can. They’ve been the other candidates under consideration for the final bench spot. Thomas can play all three outfield positions, while Kelly plays all three outfield spots, third, second and first base. How Leyland feels about Brandon Inge and Scott Sizemore, and how often he’ll want to rest them early in the season, could have an impact. But then, something similar could be said of Austin Jackson and Magglio Ordonez for different reasons.
No Clete Thomas today, as expected. He was in street clothes when I saw him in the clubhouse this morning. Don Kelly is on the trip, though. In fact, he’s batting leadoff today with Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore off.
- Don Kelly, 2B
- Johnny Damon, CF
- Carlos Guillen, LF
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Brandon Inge, 3B
- Gerald Laird, C
- Ryan Raburn, RF
- Ramon Santiago, SS
- Justin Verlander, P (guessing he’s under orders to not swing)
- Melky Cabrera, LF
- Martin Prado, 2B
- Chipper Jones, 3B
- Brian McCann, C
- Troy Glaus, 3B
- Jason Heyward, RF (reportedly he has made the team)
- Nate McLouth, CF
- Omar Infante, SS
- Derek Lowe, P
The Tigers haven’t announced the final list of players for their upcoming winter caravan and TigerFest, but one lead-up event already has its slate set. The Mud Hens will hold their annual Fandemonium event, this time in conjunction with hockey’s Toledo Walleye, on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at the new Lucas County Arena in downtown Toledo.
Once again, Tigers manager and Perrysburg, Ohio native Jim Leyland is on the roster of guests. His third-base coach, Gene Lamont, is also on the list. All of the listed players were key contributors at some point in Toledo during the season and have a chance to make the big club in Detroit: second baseman Scott Sizemore, Eddie Bonine, Jeff Larish and Don Kelly. Mud Hens pitching coach A.J. Sager is also scheduled to take part.
This year’s event is again a buffet dinner format that will include a baseball or hockey celebrity at each table, a speech from Leyland, a Q&A session and a live auction. Dinner tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for kids age 12 and under. For those who want to skip the dinner, there’s an $8 general admission ticket that includes Leyland’s speech, the Q&A session, live auction and Walleye player autographs.
Tickets are available at mudhens.com or by calling 419-725-HENS.
An odd point came up as Don Kelly was explaining what happened on the fly ball in the eighth.
“Once it went through the lights, I lost it,” Kelly said. “There’s
really nothing else you can do. I mean, it’s not like I took my eye off
of if. People were saying they’ve seen many, many balls lost here. It’s
not the first. It’s not going to be the last.”
At that point, someone pointed out that it might be the last. After all, there’s just four games left at the Metrodome before the Twins move to the Target Center for next season.
“Thanks,” Kelly said with just a slight crack of a smile.
The abundance of left-handed starters facing the Tigers left Carlos Guillen with just eight plate appearances over the last week. He gets back into the starting lineup today against Zack Greinke. He was talking about maybe trying to hit right-handed during batting practice today, but I’m not sure what good it would do.
Don Kelly, meanwhile, earns his first start since July 5. He’s in right field, batting seventh.
- Granderson, CF
- Polanco, 2B
- Guillen, LF
- Cabrera, 1B
- Huff, DH
- Avila, C
- Kelly, RF
- Inge, 3B
- Santiago, SS
P: Edwin Jackson
- Willie Bloomquist, RF
- Mitch Maier, LF
- Billy Butler, 1B
- Mike Jacobs, DH
- Alberto Callaspo, 2B
- Miguel Olivo, C
- Alex Gordon, 3B
- Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
- Josh Anderson, CF
P: Zack Greinke
ST. PETERSBURG — Tigers manager Jim Leyland has spent the last couple of days visiting Rays senior advisor and old friend Don Zimmer in the hospital, as he recovers from four-hour back surgery he had on Wednesday. Leyland said Zimmer is doing better. How does he know this? “He’s still grumpy,” joked Leyland, who shared an assortment of Zimmer stories before Saturday’s game.
ST. PETERSBURG — The Tigers made Armando Galarraga’s addition to the active roster official on Saturday, recalling him from Triple-A Toledo so he can start later tonight. Along with Galarraga, the club called up Don Kelly from the Mud Hens.
As manager Jim Leyland said after Tuesday’s game, they’re kind of trying to catch lightning in a bottle with Thomas, who has heated up with the Hens.
“He’s done pretty well,” Leyland said. “He’s still going to have his moments. He’s a young player, but he’s an aggressive young player.”