Results tagged ‘ Fu-Te Ni ’

Below, Furbush called up; Wilk, Wells optioned

The Tigers announced two moves after the game — one of them expected, one less so. Duane Below is being recalled from Triple-A Toledo in advance of his Major League debut as Wednesday’s starting pitcher. But in addition, Charlie Furbush — who was the Tigers’ other option to start Wednesday — is coming up to handle long relief, which would suggest he’s no longer a starting option for the Tigers, at least not in the near futures.

Heading back to Toledo are left-hander Adam Wilk and outfielder Casper Wells. The latter comes about because the Tigers had an extra position player on their roster while they didn’t have a fifth starter.

“It’s a shame, because he didn’t really deserve to go down,” Leyland said. “He’s played well. He’s done a good job. I just felt like — we felt like — if we rest Magglio against the righty, then we’d have Dirks in the outfield. And right now, he just got the short end of the stick, and it’s a crying shame, because he does not deserve to go down.”

Wilk will start for the Mud Hens Wednesday night in what had been Below’s rotation spot. Fu-Te Ni started in place of Furbush and pitched seven innings of one-run ball with no walks and four strikeouts.

Sizemore, Weinhardt among Tigers cuts

The latest round of Tigers cuts came this morning, and it included two pretty big surprises. Scott Sizemore and Robbie Weinhardt are headed to Triple-A Toledo, along with Clete Thomas. Fu-Te Ni and Max St. Pierre were assigned to minor league camp. The moves whittle Detroit’s roster to 28 players, with three more moves needing to be made by the time the Tigers break camp next Tuesday.

Until this past weekend, Sizemore seemed to be in a very good position to open the season at second base, though his batting average had dropped in recent days in .237 (9-for-37). Not only had he not started in the past three days, he had only one plate appearance in that stretch.
His return to Toledo for a third year as a Mud Hen came as Will Rhymes won the leaves Danny Worth and Will Rhymes as the two main contestants left in the battle for second base. Danny Worth remains in contention for an infield spot if the Tigers decide to keep another utilityman alongside Don Kelly and Ramon Santiago, rather than another extra outfielder.
Weinhardt, meanwhile, seemingly stood on solid ground to take one of the two or three openings in the bullpen as a right-handed ground ball specialist, having pitched in nine games this spring. But he also had three outings in which he gave up a run on two hits in an inning. His return to Toledo, and Brayan Villarreal’s standing in camp, makes Villarreal’s bid for a long relief look even better.
Villarreal and Enrique Gonzalez are the two right-handed pitchers left in camp without a roster spot assured. Lefty relief, meanwhile, appears to be down to Daniel Schlereth and Adam Wilk, with Brad Thomas looking all but set to break camp with the big club along with Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit and Ryan Perry. The Tigers could take both Schlereth and Wilk along with Villarreal and give themselves three lefties and another long man in their bullpen.
Ni made a good early impression in camp, looking physically stronger with better command. He allowed a run on four hits in 10 innings, but he also walked five, including two in one inning last Friday against the Red Sox.
Thomas’ camp was a victory of health, having shown no problems in his return from microfracture knee sugery. But he faced an uphill battle to try to win one of the two outfield spots left to be decided. Brennan Boesch, Andy Dirks and Casper Wells remain in contention for those jobs, with Wells’ position looking more secure as a right-handed hitter.
Both Boesch and Dirks bat left-handed, which put the left-handed hitting Thomas in a logjam of sorts. Thomas went 12-for-42 (.286) at the plate, but just two of his hits went for extra bases. 

Ni optioned to Toledo

The much-pondered question of what the Tigers would do with Fu-Te Ni got an answer Wednesday afternoon, when he was optioned to Triple-A Toledo postgame. No return move was immediately announced, but the first candidate you probably thought of isn’t the guy. Leyland said Ryan Perry would not be the guy coming up.

“Perry’s going to pitch there until he’s right,” Leyland said, admitting with that he’s not down there on rehab simply to show he’s healthy.
“There’s nothing wrong with Perry’s health,” Leyland said. “Right now, there’s something wrong with his control. He’s rusty.”

Seay definitely out, set to have MRI

Bobby Seay had a setback in his bullpen session Saturday morning and will have another MRI exam on his ailing left shoulder.

Seay said he will have the exam in the next couple days was expected to have the exam Saturday and have the results checked out by a few specialists, including orthopaedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Seay had an MRI last month after he was first shut down from throwing, but results showed no structural damage.

Manager Jim Leyland said Saturday it’s a certainty that Seay will begin the season on the disabled list.

The news was somewhat better on fellow Tigers reliever Zach Miner, whose MRI results came back negative. He has been diagnosed with a muscle strain around his elbow and hopes rest and treatment will allow him to start throwing again in the coming days.

Miner is still hopeful he can be ready for Opening Day. Leyland indicated he isn’t sure.

Seay was originally diagnosed with bursitis in his upper left arm and tendinitis in the shoulder. He had started throwing last week and began throwing off a mound earlier in the week. His latest attempt, though, stopped before it started.

“Throwing in the bullpen today, I couldn’t get my arm in a throwing position,” Seay said.

That was the indication that it was time for another look in the elbow. His next exam will include a dye injection in the elbow to give a more detailed view.

Seay just wants to know. He’s been dealing with discomfort since he started his throwing program in January, and he wants to get it healthy rather than make it worse.

“At this point, I’m just fed up with the pain associated with trying to get loose and feelings in my arm I shouldn’t be having,” he said. “Whether it’s major or minor, I have to get some peace of mind to know what’s going on.”

With Seay out, the Tigers go from having a potential surplus of left-handed relievers to trying to fill in without their veteran lefty specialist. Phil Coke is all but certain to be part of the group, having been taken out of consideration for a starting role a couple weeks ago. Sidearmer Fu-Te Ni was a valuable reliever down the stretch last year after a midseason call-up. Offseason signing Brad Thomas has had success this spring. Daniel Schlereth is a valuable relief prospect after coming over from Arizona in the Edwin Jackson trade, but he has had his share of spring struggles.

Robertson to DL; Ni in Houston

The Tigers placed Nate Robertson on the 15-day DL this morning with a mass in the medial portion of his left elbow. The move is retroactive to Saturday. To take his place, they purchased the contract of Fu-Te Ni from Triple-A Toledo. He flew to Houston this morning and should be available for the game today.

UPDATE: Robertson is flying back to Detroit to have his elbow checked out team doctor Stephen Lemos. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said the tissue mass in his elbow is like a cyst, and it has been aggravating his nerves, causing numbness and tingling in his ring and pinky fingers. They expect he’ll have to undergo minor surgery to have the mass excised, but they hope to do that along the same area where he had Tommy John surgery years ago. The timetable on any return depends on how that procedure goes.

As for Ni, he arrived in the clubhouse a little bit ago, as did his translator, Fox.

Time to thin out the bullpen

Tigers sent out three relievers this morning. Taiwanese left-hander Fu-Te Ni and right-hander Casey Fien were assigned to Minor League camp. Righty Freddy Dolsi, meanwhile, was optioned to Triple-A Toledo, where Ni and Fien will probably join him in the Mud Hens bullpen.

Tuesday happenings

JUPITER, Fla. — Here are some quick pregame notes that came out before the Tigers-Cardinals game at Roger Dean Stadium:

* Joel Zumaya (shoulder) played catch in Lakeland, Fla., today. Manager Jim Leyland said he’s more than likely going to go ahead and pitch him an inning during an intrasquad game on Saturday — which will also see Jeremy Bonderman pitch. 
* Backup catcher Matt Treanor was originally scheduled to make the trip to Jupiter, Fla., but Leyland scratched him because of lingering issues with his offseason sports hernia surgery. The Tigers’ manager said he isn’t sure how long he’ll be out, but for now, it’s just for precautionary reasons, and it doesn’t seem to be that serious at the moment. Besides, he has no idea what’s on those medical reports anyway. “I’m not a doctor,” Leyland began to joke. “I know I’ve got a heart, it has a beat,
and that’s about it. But other than that, I don’t know anything about that. … We’re going to take it slow [with Treanor].”
* Leyland stressed he isn’t tipping his hat, and that Zach Miner — Tuesday’s starter — still has as good of a chance as anybody to land that No. 5 spot in the starting rotation. But the skipper did have something interesting to say about the 26-year-old right-hander before his outing: “I think he needs to maybe prepare himself for relief. I’m not talking necessarily about right now. … We know he can start — we think he can start and do a decent job. He hasn’t shown for sure that he can relieve as effective as he should. So he needs to do that. … In his case, I think there will always be a situation where somebody may be looking for a little bit more of an edge from the starter, so he needs to learn how to make the adjustments to pitch out of the bullpen.”
* Tigers left-hander Fu-Te Ni is back from pitching with Chinese Taipei — which lost its only two games — and is scheduled to pitch on Tuesday. Ni gave up a run in 1 1/3 innings in the Classic.
* Leyland and Tony La Russa have always enjoyed a great friendship — ever since La Russa brought him to the big leagues as his third-base coach with the White Sox, in fact. Before the game, the Cardinals’ manager had a little fun with Leyland, sending him a lineup with Cardinals greats likes Ozzie Smith, Mark McGwire, Jim Edmonds and Stan Musial, with Bob Gibson pitching. “It was pretty good,” Leyland joked. “If those guys don’t hit today, I know the world’s coming to an end.”
* Score update: It’s the bottom of the third right now, with the Cardinals leading, 2-1. Chris Duncan hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, and Marcus Thames hit a solo shot in the top of the second for Detroit.

– Alden Gonzalez

13 Tigers on World Baseball Classic rosters

Before you read the list, keep in mind two things: These are 45-man provisional rosters, not the final 28-man rosters that will be announced next month, so a few of these guys might not make the cut. Plus, some of these players weren’t going to spring training with the big league club, so they won’t cut into the camp population. With that in mind, here’s the list, sorted by country:

Curtis Granderson, OF, USA
Justin Verlander, P, USA
Miguel Cabrera, IF, Venezuela
Armando Galarraga, P, Venezuela
Carlos Guillen, OF, Venezuela
Magglio Ordonez, OF, Venezuela
Placido Polanco, 2B, Dominican Rep.
Fernando Rodney, P, Dominican Rep.
Fu-Te Ni, P, Chinese Taipei
Cale Iorg, IF, Canada
Max St. Pierre, C, Canada
Andrew Graham, C, Australia
Brendan Wise, P, Australia

Spring training dates announced

As expected, Tigers pitchers and catchers will have their first formal workout in Lakeland on Feb. 14, with the full squad working out on the 17th. For players in the World Baseball Classic, they have to report to their national team camps on March 2 — except for players from Asian countries involved in Pool A, who must report on Feb. 27. That means an earlier departure for recent signing Fu-Te Ni. So unless he pitches in the Tigers’ Spring Training opener Feb. 25 against the Braves, he probably won’t get into a game for Detroit until he returns from the WBC. Whether that puts him at any disadvantage for earning a spot remains to be seen. The Tigers will watch him in the tournament, so they’ll get some idea there how he’s throwing.

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