Results tagged ‘ Marcus Thames ’

Granderson, Thames remember tiebreaker

One year ago Wednesday, The Tigers and Twins were down to a one-game battle to try to get into the postseason, and needed extra innings to do it. The ramifications of that AL Central tiebreaker still linger with the two clubs today. The Twins are building on a potential division dynasty, now coming into the AL Division Series against the Yankees. The Tigers are still building to try to get back.
Two guys in Minneapolis right now to try to beat the Twins in the postseason Wednesday night know that pretty well. That tiebreaker loss on the other side of downtown at the Metrodome was the final game in a Tigers uniform for Curtis Granderson and Marcus Thames. 
“I think it’s arguably one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of,” Granderson said Tuesday, “even though we came up on the losing side of things. But the ups and downs, the back and forths, the long innings in that game, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world. 
“I certainly hope we don’t have that for all five games here. It’s going to be a real long series [if we do]. But to be in a situation and have a chance, that’s exactly where you want to be, and I think that’s where both teams are right at this point right now.”
By both teams, he meant the Twins and Yankees, of course. While Granderson went to New York in the Austin Jackson trade last December, Marcus Thames signed as a free agent after Detroit released him.
Thames did not play in the tiebreaker loss, or in any of the final three scheduled regular season games that led into it. The fact that he didn’t start in the tiebreaker despite his success off starter Scott Baker (8-for-26 at the time wth four home runs and six RBIs) lingered with him. He’s moved on, but he still hasn’t forgotten it. Thames did face Baker in his final game as a Tiger, but it was five days earlier at Comerica Park, where he went 1-for-2 with a single and a hit-by-pitch.
“I was a little upset I didn’t get to play in that last game,” Thames said. “With my career numbers off Baker, it didn’t sit too well in my stomach. But I was a team guy. I sat up there and rooted for the team. But it’s a whole different story. I turned that page when it was over, and I’m ready to chip in and contribute with the Yankees. Being able to face these guys pretty much through my career, I pretty much know how they’re going to try to pitch me and stuff. So I get a chance to go out and compete.”

Tigers part ways with Thames, Treanor

Marcus Thames’ Tigers tenure is likely over. The team removed him from the 40-man roster Friday, the first step towards making the slugging outfielder a free agent.

The move was part of the Tigers’ maneuverings to prepare their 40-man roster. Catcher Matt Treanor also was taken off the roster and will become a free agent. The moves free up spots for Reliever Joel Zumaya and infielder Jeff Larish both of whom were reinstated from the 60-day disabled list as required.

Infield prospect Michael Hollimon also was taken off the DL, but he was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo. Pitching prospect Jay Sborz, who would’ve been a minor league free agent, was added to the 40-man roster.

Thames was eligible for arbitration and was thus expected to be non-tendered this offseason. From that standpoint, Friday’s move makes him a free agent sooner than he would’ve been had the Tigers waited until the December deadline to offer a contract. Nonetheless, it likely ends a career that included several big home runs and torrid stretches in the Tigers lineup, though never culminating in the everyday role he would’ve liked.

Sunday: Tigers vs. White Sox

Carlos Guillen will get the start against a left-handed pitcher that he has wanted for a while. He’s the DH today against White Sox southpaw John Danks, with Marcus Thames on the bench. Other than that, it’s the regular Tigers lineup against a lefty.

TIGERS

  1. Raburn, LF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, DH
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Granderson, CF
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

P: Justin Verlander

WHITE SOX

  1. Scott Podsednik, DH
  2. Gordon Beckham, 3B
  3. Carlos Quentin, LF
  4. Jermaine Dye, RF
  5. Mark Kotsay, 1B
  6. Alex Rios, CF
  7. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  8. Ramon Castro, C
  9. Brent Lillibridge, 2B

P: John Danks

One more time for Tigers in the dome

dome.jpgYou won’t get many tears from the Tigers on their way out of the Metrodome, but they’re going to try to get out of here with something.

Marcus Thames is in the lineup at designated hitter over Aubrey Huff, giving Thames history against Scott Baker (6-for-21, 4 HRs). Other than that, it’s a pretty standard lineup. Gerald Laird gets the start over Alex Avila again for defense, especially after his two outs on steal attempts last night.

TIGERS

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Thames, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Ordonez, RF
  6. Guillen, LF
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Nate Robertson

Guillen at DH, Thames in LF

It’s sounding less likely now that Carlos Guillen will be playing LF in any of these four games at Fenway Park. There is good news on Guillen, who said today he’s hitting off a tee right-handed and feeling a lot better doing it. As we’ve seen, that can change from one day to the next, but the fact that Guillen is at least allowing himself to feel upbeat about it is somewhat good news.

With Guillen out of the field, Marcus Thames in starting in left, giving him some chances to try to clear the Green Monster. He’s 1-for-1 for his career off Red Sox starter Brady Penny with a two-run homer. That came at Comerica Park last June, when Penny was still with the Dodgers.

TIGERS

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Thames, LF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, DH
  6. Ordonez, RF
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

P: Edwin Jackson

RED SOX

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Victor Martinez, C
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. J.D. Drew, RF
  7. Jason Bay, LF
  8. Casey Kotchman, 1B
  9. Nick Green, SS

SP: Brad Penny

Thames likely returning this weekend

Marcus Thames is continuing his rehab stint at Triple-A Toledo, but there now seems to be an end game to the process.

“By the end of the week, we’re hoping Marcus is swinging good,” manager Jim Leyland said, “because we’re going to see four left-handers.”

The stretch starts with the Angels’ Joe Saunders, who starts Sunday, then continues into next week’s series against the White Sox. Clayton Richard, who has been pitching really well since joining Chicago’s rotation, is on track to pitch one of the games Monday. Mark Buehrle and John Danks are also on turn to pitch in that series.

“Marcus, I would expect to be rejoining us soon,” Leyland said.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Bonderman’s Minor League rehab stint is officially over, according to the notes from Triple-A Toledo. He’s scheduled to throw on the side again one more time — he threw Tuesday — and then the Tigers will re-evaluate him. Leyland said he knows who will start the second game of Monday’s doubleheader, but isn’t ready to announce it. Armando Galarraga, you might remember, will start the first game.

TIGERS

  1. Thomas, LF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Granderson, CF
  6. Larish, DH
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Laird, C
  9. Everett, SS

P: Armando Galarraga

RED SOX

  1. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  2. J.D. Drew, RF
  3. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
  4. Jason Bay, LF
  5. Mike Lowell, 3B
  6. David Ortiz, DH
  7. Jason Varitek, C
  8. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  9. Nick Green, SS

P: Josh Beckett

Eight scoreless innings for Bonderman

Jeremy Bonderman had encouraging numbers as well as stuff this time out. His third rehab start for Triple-A Toledo Sunday night saw the right-hander throw eight scoreless innings on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts against Charlotte, the White Sox Triple-A affliate.

Marcus Thames added his first home run of his rehab assignment, launching a shot deep to left. He’s 5-for-28 in his Toledo stint with four RBIs.

Bonderman needed just 98 pitches to get through his outing, 66 of them strikes. The real impressiveness, though, was in what he threw. He spotted pitches on the corners and, surprisingly, threw some of the best changeups he has had.

“I just didn’t get frustrated,” Bonderman said. “I knew what I had. I just moved the ball around today, up and down, fastballs up, breaking balls. I threw a lot of changeups, good changeups today.

“That’s probably one thing that I’m getting out of this is my changeup’s actually getting a lot better. You have to use what you’ve got.”

Now, to be fair, Charlotte is in the bottom tier of the International League in runs scored and home runs. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until Bonderman’s last couple innings that the Knights drove the ball with any authority. Not only did Bonderman not walk anyone, he only had two three-ball counts.

Bonderman’s fastball ranged from 88 to 90 mph, maybe a tick higher than his last time out but still slower than his previously healthy form. In terms of the art of pitching, though, he looked like a Major League pitcher. Whether he’s going to be in the Majors the next time he takes the mound remains to be seen. Tigers assistant general manager Al Avila was in town watching the game.

Bonderman says he has “no idea” what the next step is. He’s heading up to Detroit regardless to work with pitching coach Rick Knapp and then go from there.

“I feel a lot better today,” Bonderman said. “It’s up to them if they feel like I’m ready or not. My job is to go out here and pitch, get some innings and get my pitch count up, which is what I’ve been doing. That’s what I’ve been doing. Whenever they feel I’m ready, I’ll go up.”

Thames nearing rehab stint

The Tigers are aiming to put outfielder Marcus Thames on a rehab stint with Triple-A Toledo next week while the Tigers are on the road.

Thames, on the disabled list since April 19 with a left rib cage strain, is taking batting practice with his teammates this week as he works back into full activities. The Tigers hope to have Thames head to Toledo after Detroit’s upcoming series against the Rockies and meet the Mud Hens when they return home Monday for an eight-game homestand. Under that timetable, he could be ready to be activated from the DL when the Tigers begin their next homestand June 2.

“He needs to get about 30 at-bats or so,” manager Jim Leyland said. “I really think that, because of the injury in spring training, he hasn’t really gotten in sync at all to begin the season, so I think it’ll do him wonders. We’ll just have to play it by ear to see when he’s ready.”

Thames missed nearly three weeks in March with a strained abdominal muscle, then battled a stiff back early in April. Once thought to be the main beneficiary in at-bats when the Tigers released Gary Sheffield in the final week of spring training, Thames instead received just 18 at-bats over six games before he hurt himself taking extra batting practice one afternoon during the Tigers’ series at the Angels last month.

The Tigers have rolled along without Thames with a combination of young left-handed hitters such as Josh Anderson and Clete Thomas. Carlos Guillen  and Magglio Ordonez were taking the bulk of the time at designated hitter with Thames out before Guillen went on the DL with a sore right shoulder and Ordonez left the team a few days ago to be with his wife as she awaited surgery.

Guillen is not expected to be ready for a rehab stint when the Tigers leave town. He said he hasn’t heard whether he’ll stay back or travel with the club and take swings under the watch of team medical staff and hitting coach Lloyd McClendon.

Thames is going to be out a while

The follow-up news on Marcus Thames is not good. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand called it a “fairly significant left rib cage muscle strain,” severe enough that the muscle, cartilage and rib all got pulled. That’s why Thames felt a pop when he swung, and then had to catch his breath.

No firm timetable for a return, but Rand said Thames can’t do any physical activity for the next until he’s pain free, an estimated 2-4 weeks.

“He’s such a big part of our team,” manager Jim Leyland said. “I think he’s going to be out a while.”

Raburn arrived from Toledo early this afternoon and is in the starting lineup, batting eighth and playing right field. Magglio Ordonez will be the designated hitter tonight. Look for the rotation of guys at DH to pick up while Thames is out, moreso than the Tigers had already been doing.

“I can go a lot of different ways with it,” Leyland said.

To fill the void at Toledo from Raburn’s call-up, the Tigers acquired the contract of journeyman outfielder Jason Tyner from the Brewers organization.

Thames to DL, Raburn called up

Dave Dombrowski announced immediately after the game that Marcus Thames is going onto the DL. He pulled a muscle around his rib cage doing extra hitting before the game tonight and wasn’t available. That’s why Adam Everett was pinch-hitting in the 9th. Ryan Raburn is being recalled from Toledo and will be available Wednesday.

Thames said after the game that he took a swing during early BP when he felt something pop. It’s different than the abdominal muscle that he pulled in Spring Training, because this latest injury is higher up along his left side.

“I knew it was something that couldn’t be good,” Thames said, “because it took the breath away from me a little bit.”

He and the Tigers were awaiting results of an MRI exam to confirm the
severity of the injury, whether it’s a pulled muscle or something worse, and what kind of timetable Thames is looking at for a recovery. Whatever it is, Thames was clearly frustrated after the game, because he was working hard to try to get his swing going.

“It is what it is,” Thames said. “I can’t control it. It’s tough luck right now for me. It hasn’t been a good last two months for me.”

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