Results tagged ‘ Marcus Thames ’

Thames hitting second

With Placido Polanco getting the day game off, Jim Leyland is up to his old trick of putting a power bat in the two spot — in this case, Marcus Thames. He’s playing LF today; Carlos Guillen is the DH.

TIGERS (1-2)

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

P: Rick Porcello

BLUE JAYS (2-1)

  1. Marco Scutaro, SS
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Alex Rios, RF
  4. Vernon Wells, CF
  5. Adam Lind, DH
  6. Jose Bautista, 3B
  7. Lyle Overbay, 1B
  8. Michael Barrett, C
  9. Travis Snider, LF

P: Ricky Romero

As the roster turns

Josh Anderson is a left-handed bat, and he’ll be on the Tigers’ bench. That does not necessary mean he will be the left-handed bat off the bench.

There’s a key point to be made about Monday’s trade. While Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said that Anderson will be on the roster — he’s out of Minor League options, so they wouldn’t have made the trade if they didn’t plan on it — Dombrowski would not say that Anderson takes up the last spot on the roster. That means if the spot Marcus Thames has held for the past few years wasn’t in play before, it certainly appears to be now. And Jeff Larish would seem to be the other one in line for it.

As has already been written elsewhere, players without guaranteed contracts can be cut by April 1 and be owed 45 days’ salary in termination pay — or basically one-fourth of what they were slated to make — rather than the full season. Thames is scheduled to make $2,275,000 this year as part of a one-year contract agreement reached back in January to avoid arbitration. On a team with payroll considerations and lots of guaranteed contracts that can’t be cut, it’s hard to say that it wouldn’t be a factor, especially if all the evaluations are equal.

There’s very likely no way that Larish can match the pure power numbers Thames has put up in his role over the last few years. He ratio of a home run every 13.52 at-bats over the last three years ranks fourth in the American League. There’s absolutely no way that Larish can match Thames’ actual power and raw strength. But he has Minor League numbers that project him to hit for power in the Majors, he’s shown a knack for hitting off the bench, and he’s a left-handed bat for a team that has a predominantly right-handed lineup.

While you can’t rule out a trade, Thames himself has pointed out his situation: He has been on the block at various points over the last three years without a deal. He has also been rumored on the market for much of this Spring Training without much developing. And Dombrowski termed the chances of a trade involving any Tigers outfielder as possible, but not likely.

If the Tigers believe that Larish can provide them with enough of a power spark at the plate, especially in pinch-hit situations, then they could face a very difficult decision: How much is it worth for them to put him on the team? Plenty has been written over the last few years about a power hitter like Thames not having a regular role. But how about possibly not having a roster spot?

There’s only one big upside to Thames being out of the picture in Detroit, and me no longer getting emails asking to guess what Thames would hit over a full season is not it. It’s the fact that Thames could end up in a better situation for him in terms of playing time. Whether he could compete for that elusive starting job is uncertain this late in camp, especially when teams haven’t stepped up and traded for him already. But a long-awaited chance at more playing time, a platoon or more, couldn’t happen to a better guy.

Zumaya plays catch again

Joel Zumaya played catch again on Friday, this time from 90 feet. No timetable yet on when he might throw a side session; that will probably wait until the medical staff sees how he feels tomorrow morning.

Other injury news …

  • Placido Polanco said he felt fine after bruising his left thumb and right pinky finger on a hit-by-pitch Thursday night. He had three at-bats and a two-run single Friday.
  • Marcus Thames still has to get treatment on his strained abdominal muscle, but he’s back in playing shape. He had two hits and a walk in three plate appearances.

Thames out a week with ab strain

An examination today revealed Marcus Thames has a strained abdominal muscle, according to manager Jim Leyland. He’ll be rested for about a week.

Strained abdomen for Thames

Marcus Thames was being examined by a doctor today after straining his abdomen on a diving attempt Tuesday. Hoping to get word later on his situation.

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

Thames also agrees to one-year deal

In addition to Fernando Rodney, the Tigers avoided arbitration with
outfielder Marcus Thames by agreeing to terms on a one-year deal. Terms
were not immediately disclosed.
He’ll make $2,275,000. Thames is projected to return as
Detroit’s fourth outfielder after batting .245 with 25 home runs and 56
RBIs over just 316 at-bats.

Thames up for Pepsi Clutch award

It’s an award that goes each month, according to the press release, to recognize “the player who consistently performed his best when the game was on the line” in a given this month — in this case, June. Marcus Thames is one of six nominees along with Jose Guillen, Jason Giambi, Dan Haren, John Lackey and Aramis Ramirez. The voting site is pepsiclutch.mlb.com. Voting runs through next Wednesday.

Leyland on Thames not starting

He’s going to be perfectly fine,” Leyland said, “but Marcus has been out of character a
little bit. All of a sudden, hitting a home run every day, coming home to the
home crowd, get a little jumpy. He got a little frustrated because he lost a
ball in the lights, which happens to everyday. I don’t care about it. Marcus
Thames is going to play a whole bunch, believe me. But all of a sudden, it’s a
little bit different. That’s why when people ask why you don’t play somebody
every day, you have to watch what you’re talking about.

“Marcus Thames is going to play a whole bunch. But
sometimes people play best when they’re in a comfort zone. He’s going to be
fine tomorrow. He’s fine right now. I talked with him yesterday [about the
ejection]. He knows that wasn’t him. [Umpire] Wally Bell knows that wasn’t him.
But all of a sudden, people expect you to hit a home run every time up. That’s
not fair
. This is a good lesson for Marcus to learn how to deal with some
stuff. And he’ll handle it beautifully. I would guess Marcus Thames will get
two hits tomorrow night. I don’t know if he’ll hit a homer, but I feel real
good with Marcus Thames up there.”

Thames' homer streak

At four games, it’s tied for the fifth-longest streak for a Tiger. Willie Horton homered in five straight games in 1969, along with Vic Wertz (1950), Hank Greenberg (1940) and Rudy York (1937). Thames is the 18th Tiger since ’56 to homer in four straight games, the last one being Magglio Ordonez two years ago.

It’s also just the fourth home run Lincecum has allowed in more than 90 innings this season.

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