Results tagged ‘ Edwin Jackson ’

9/5 pregame happenings: Zimmer, Rodney, Kelly

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. 

* Leyland confirmed he’ll give Fernando Rodney a day off after throwing 35 pitches on Friday night. The 32-year-old right-hander has pitched in four of the last six days. Either righty Brandon Lyon or lefty Bobby Seay will likely get the ball if Saturday presents a save situation. Leyland is kicking around probably giving Rodney Sunday off, too. That would give him at least three days without entering a game, with Monday being an off-day.
* Leyland on Rodney chucking the ball into the press box after his latest save: “It doesn’t bother me at all because … obviously, there was no intent to do anything wrong. I’ve seen 30 balls thrown in the stands during batting practice every night, I’ve seen third-base coaches throw them into the stands, over the dugout. I don’t pay any attention to that kind of stuff.”
* The rotation after this series: Rick Porcello on Tuesday, Justin Verlander on Wednesday, Jarrod Washburn on Thursday and Edwin Jackson (Sunday’s starter) on Friday. Porcello would be on normal rest for Sunday, possibly leaving Saturday open for either Armando Galarraga or Nate Robertson. Leyland said Robertson is “on hold.”
* Utility man Don Kelly, recalled from Triple-A Toledo on Saturday, was in the visiting clubhouse at Tropicana Field. He’ll be a welcome addition after the Tigers used all four of their lefty hitters on Friday. The Tigers were originally planning on bringing him up on Tuesday, but after what happened Friday, they hurried him along.  
* The Tigers likely won’t be calling up any more players this month, but Toledo Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish will join the club at some point.
* Dontrelle Willis will make one more start for Triple-A Toledo tonight, as their season comes to an end on Monday. 
– Alden Gonzalez

Reaction to Porcello suspension

Not a whole lot of reaction to the five-game suspension handed down to Rick Porcello. Jim Leyland didn’t talk about it. Porcello was limited in his comments, for understandable reasons.

“I’ve never really been involved in anything like this,” Porcello said, “so I didn’t really know what to expect. Five games, file an appeal. Right now, there’s not much more to say.”

Asked about whether they can push the suspension back until the Tigers are in a better position to handle it — say, when rosters expand in September, or when Nate Robertson is closer to returning from his rehab stint — Porcello indicated he wasn’t thinking that far ahead.

“I think we’re just going play it day-by-day right now, and see how it goes,” Porcello said.

Kevin Youkilis also was suspended. He initially planned to appeal, but changed his mind after talking with the Red Sox.

“We decided to just take our medicine and move on,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said.

Jackson didn’t have much reaction to his fine, because he didn’t know about it. To be fair, it was a passing mention in the last sentence of the press release MLB sent out about it.

Said Jackson, “I got fined???”

Verlander, Jackson, Granderson get all-star nods, Inge in final vote

The Tigers are back to having a pack at the All-Star Game. This time, it’ll be the young core of the team.

Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson, whose dominant pitching has been a big reason for Detroit’s lead atop the American League Central, will join center fielder and leadoff man Curtis Granderson at the Midsummer Classic July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. It marks the second time in three years that the Tigers have had as many as three players in the All-Star Game.

All three were selected by player balloting, which took place last week.

The Tigers have a chance at a fourth with Brandon Inge, who’s one of five candidates in the Final Vote. Balloting is now underway at MLB.com. He’ll be vying against former Tigers teammate Carlos Pena, Ian Kinsler, Chone Figgins and Adam Lind.

Verlander, Jackson won't pitch back to back

Jim Leyland confirmed Sunday morning that he’s going to tweak his rotation order later this week after the Cubs series. Justin Verlander will move up a spot after this start and pitch Friday at Houston instead of Saturday, which is where his turn would’ve otherwise fallen. He switches spots with Alfredo Figaro, who will pitch Saturday ahead of Edwin Jackson in Sunday’s series finale.

The move separates what had arguably been baseball’s best 1-2 combo this year. Verlander and Jackson had pitched back-to-back all year ever since Leyland had them start the first two games of the season, and their success — especially pitching deep into games — has allowed Detroit to keep its bullpen fresh for Rick Porcello’s starts after Jackson. However, the bullpen has been taxed by the back two spots in the rotation, and Leyland now has two rookie starters to watch, though Figaro is older and has pitched more innings than Porcello.

Bonderman to make another rehab start

Jeremy Bonderman will make another rehab start for Triple-A Toledo, this time at home Tuesday night. As mentioned last night, he took a shutout into the sixth inning Thursday at Gwinnett before giving up a five-spot in the sixth.

Manager Jim Leyland cited the reports that had Bonderman’s fastball ranging from 89-92 mph, another step up for him.

“The report was that he kind of ran out of gas,” Leyland said. “He didn’t necessarily feel that way, but he maybe kind of hit a wall. But up to that point, he was pretty good. He threw some pitches at 92, so I think it was a very positive outing for him.”

Bonderman apparently is still pain-free today after the outing.

“That’s a good sign,” Leyland said. “Hopefully his arm is being built back up to where he wants to get it and where we’d like to see it.”

Also feeling pain-free today, along those lines, is Edwin Jackson after his 132 pitches Thursday afternoon. He said just before going out for batting practice Friday that his arm felt as good as normal.

Jackson did not ice his arm after the outing. But as it turns out, he doesn’t ice his arm at all, hasn’t in a few years.

“I will if it hurts,” Jackson said, “but I probably haven’t iced in three or four years. I used to ice when I was younger because I thought we had to. Everybody would go and ice. But I asked the trainers one day, ‘If my arm doesn’t hurt, do I need to ice?’ They said, ‘Not really.’ So ever since then, I really haven’t iced unless I think I need to.”

On the bullpen side, Fernando Rodney is not available today after pitching all three games against Texas. Joel Zumaya would likely close if the situation arises.

Pitch count facts

Edwin Jackson’s 132 pitches are the most by a Tigers pitcher in the Jim Leyland era. The last Tiger to throw that many in a game was knuckleballer Steve Sparks, who threw 132 pitches against the Mariners on Aug. 21, 2002.

The last non-knuckleballer to hit that count? Remember Felipe Lira, who threw 135 on Aug. 11, 1996. He gave up nine runs on 14 hits in 6 1/3 innings that game.

The 132-pitch mark is also a first in the Majors this year, topping the 131 pitches from Pittsburgh’s Ian Snell on April 29.

Manager Jim Leyland has not put as big an emphasis on the number of pitches as much as the situation and the strain with which they’re thrown. Still, he usually tries to avoid racking up high pitch counts in back-to-back starts for a pitcher. Jackson went 97 pitches in his last outing May 15 against Oakland after topping 100 in his previous four outings.

The biggest thing to remember is that Leyland wanted to rest Joel Zumaya today after back-to-back outings.

Jackson keeps comeback hopes alive

Jim Leyland pointed to Sunday’s game as an example of why his pitchers have to keep them in games when they’re trailing early or late. Edwin Jackson pointed to the game as an example of how he has matured as a pitcher.

“Today’s game was just a matter of keeping it close, battling and battling, and leaving it on the field regardless of the score,” Jackson said after his six innings of work.

Just because Jackson had tossed seven tremendous innings in his Tigers debut last Tuesday at Toronto, he hadn’t yet proven his value in the Tigers rotation. He’s had outings like that before, yet followed up with rough returns and quick exits. Even in last year’s breakout season, he had at least a couple points where he couldn’t build off of the momentum of a good outing, or overcome trouble early.

And maybe not last year, but a couple years ago, he admits games like Sunday would’ve been trouble for him to try to contain after two-run homers from Josh Hamilton in the first inning and Ian Kinsler in the third gave the Rangers an early 4-0 lead. He would’ve tried to get too precise with his pitches instead of maintaining his approach against hitters.

“Pretty much, I probably would’ve been out of there in the third, fourth or the fifth,” Jackson said.

Instead this time, he said, “I just wanted to keep attacking the strike zone, just keeping pounding it regardless of the results. I felt like some of those pitches were close on the walks. Against a power-hitting team, you have to keep the ball down. It’s imperative. They got their runs off me early, but I still kept going after them. … That was something in the past I probably would’ve let get to me instead of keeping my composure, staying loose and staying relaxed.”

The situation he kept coming back to was the fifth, when he lost Kinsler from an 0-2 count to a one-out walk ahead of Michael Young’s double to put runners at second and third. He got Hamilton to chase a two-seamer down early in the count for a groundout with the infield in, then induced Hank Blalock to pop out on the next pitch.

“That could’ve easily went the other way. Fly ball, that’s another run. Base hit, that’s two runs.”

Jim Leyland liked the fact that Jackson came back out after that fifth-inning jam and retired the side in order in the sixth in relatively short order, giving them an extra inning before having to go to the bullpen.

“That last inning he was out there, he showed me why he’s a warrior, and why he’s going to be an excellent pitcher for us,” Leyland said. “He ate that extra inning for us, really got pumped up and took it up a notch. That was good tonic.”

Leyland said before the game that he’d like to get Justin Verlander to the point where they can count on getting seven innings consistently from him, hoping within the next handful of starts. It’s still early, but Jackson is shaping up as that kind of pitcher for them right now.

Leyland on pulling Jackson

Jim Leyland on the decision to pull Edwin Jackson in the 8th after 89 pitches: “There was no question that he was starting to go. There was no question about that. It was the perfect situation for Seay to come in, get out the one lefty who was a pretty good hitter. We got that. We felt real good about it, but there was no doubt in my mind about that. I don’t question that at all. He gave us everything you could ask for and more. Rolen hit the home run, and we had the unfortunate little play there that we didn’t make. That’s all part of the game.”

On another bullpen note, if the game had gone into extra innings, Leyland said that Ryan Perry would’ve pitched the 10th, which would’ve made for quite a Major League debut.

Verlander on Opening Day, Jackson next day

Jim Leyland finally made official what was pretty much assumed, that Justin Verlander will start on Opening Day at Toronto. Edwin Jackson will start the second game of that series. After that, it’s still uncertain, but Leyland made it pretty clear that he might like to start Armando Galarraga for the home opener April 10, depending on how the rest of the rotation works out. It would be a reward of sorts for the season he had last year, though I also imagine Galarraga’s temperament lends itself to not getting caught up in the atmosphere.

Look for more on the site.

Verlander, Jackson maybe set for Toronto?

Interesting comments on the starting rotation today from Jim Leyland, who said he has decided on pitchers for both Opening Day and the home opener. He didn’t name names, but considering he also announced that starters will pitch on their scheduled days the rest of camp, including Minor League games on Tigers off-days, it would appear he’s lining them up to pitch on schedule.

If that’s the case, the guy seemingly in line to start Opening Day at Toronto on April 6 is Justin Verlander, whose next outing would fall Tuesday against the Astros. If he pitches every five days from there through the end of Spring Training, he would be on turn to pitch Opening Day. Edwin Jackson, who started today, would be on a schedule that would land on April 7, the season’s second game.

Does that mean Armando Galarraga would pitch home opener? It very well might. Since Galarraga’s pitching in the World Baseball Classic, there’s no schedule to track on him. Still, it would seem unlikely for the fifth starter to pitch that game, and while Leyland believes Jeremy Bonderman will be ready for the start of the season, he points out that he doesn’t know. Saturday’s simulated game will be critical.

Another thing to keep in mind: Bonderman has traditionally pitched well at Toronto, where he’s 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA and .213 batting average in five career starts and a relief appearance.

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