Results tagged ‘ Tigers ’

Tigers calling up Turner, closing in on deal

Forget about Tigers top prospect Jacob Turner going to Colorado. It appears the right-hander is coming to Detroit. But if the Tigers can complete trade talks in the coming hours, it also appears that it won’t be a long stay.

Turner was abruptly scratched from his scheduled start for Double-A Erie last night and left the SeaWolves, who were in Akron for a weekend series. That move, which was confirmed Friday night, prompted speculation he was about to be traded, especially after a Foxsports.com report suggested the Tigers were willing to include him in a trade package for Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez.

Instead, he’s expected to be called up by the Tigers to start Saturday night against the Angels at Comerica Park in what would be his Major League debut. SI.com’s Jon Heyman first reported the call-up.

Now, that start is sounding more like a spot assignment. CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler reports that the Tigers are hopeful of completing a deal today with the Mariners for right-hander Doug Fister. That trade could include Tigers left-handed prospect Charlie Furbush, Knobler reported.

It wouldn’t be the blockbuster some might have hoped the Tigers would do with Jimenez, but it would fill Detroit’s fifth starter void quite nicely without forcing Detroit to sell out its farm system. Though the 27-year-old Fister owns a 3-12 record, his 3.33 ERA ranks 20th among AL starters, ahead of every current Detroit starter not named Justin Verlander. His 1.17 WHIP ratio ranks 15th.

Galarraga out, Robertson in

ST. PETERSBURG – After Sunday’s come-from-behind 5-3 win,
Jim Leyland’s starting rotation shrunk from six to five.

Coming off a Saturday outing when he gave up six runs in
just 2 1/3 innings of work, the Tigers’ skipper announced that Armando
Galarraga was going to be used out of the bullpen and Nate Robertson would continue
to be a starter.

Sunday starter Edwin Jackson will be given an extra day of
rest and start on Saturday, and Robertson will go in the series opener against
the Blue Jays on Friday.

How long Robertson will go on as the starter is still
unknown, but Leyland isn’t looking at it as a one-shot deal.

“I am thinking Galarraga is out of the rotation and maybe
Nate can go on,” Leyland said. “I’m hoping [Robertson is] pretty fresh, and
that can be big for us. But I’m not going to start Galarraga at this time.”

Galarraga, battling some right elbow inflammation, was
originally slated to start for Triple-A Toledo on Friday but started in the big
leagues on Saturday so Jarrod Washburn could rest his balky left knee.

Leyland said prior to Sunday’s game that he didn’t think
anything was physically wrong with Galarraga, but after he gave up four hits
and three walks and threw 54 pitches before even getting out of the third, he
knew it was time to make a change.

“I just don’t think things are totally right,” Leyland said.
“At this juncture, I’m not planning on starting him – at this juncture. But
saying that, maybe a little more rest, we can tinker around in the bullpen a
little bit there, depending on Washburn. We’ve still got some things up in the
air, so I can’t set anything in stone, but my intention right now is not to
start him.”

– Alden Gonzalez

Tigers at The Trop, Game 3

ST. PETERSBURG — By winning the first two games of this series, the Tigers moved to 4-2 against the Rays this season, which guarantees they’d win a season series against them for the first time since 2006. 

After Armando Galarraga’s struggles on Saturday night (six runs in 2 1/3 innings), manager Jim Leyland said he’d talk to the young righty and his coaching staff to see what the next step is. With Nate Robertson making two good starts for Detroit recently, Galarraga could find himself out of a rotation spot — which looks like it will fall on Saturday against the Twins.
We’ll find out more soon, I’m sure. 
On to the lineups, which have Ramon Santiago back in there after a two-hit night — this time taking Placido Polanco’s place at second base. 
Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF
Santiago, 2B
Carlos Guillen, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Aubrey Huff, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Brandon Inge, 3B
Gerald Laird, C
Adam Everett, SS
SP: Edwin Jackson (RH)
Rays
Jason Bartlett, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Ben Zobrist, RF
Carlos Pena, 1B
Pat Burrell, DH
Evan Longoria, 3B
Akinori Iwamura, 2B
Dioner Navarro, C
Fernando Perez, CF
SP: Wade Davis (RH)
UPDATE (2:03 P.M. ET): 
* Fernando Rodney will indeed not be available to close tonight. He’s fine, but Leyland would rather take advantage of Monday’s off-day and give him three days of rest. Jeremy Bonderman will be off, too. 
* Alex Avila’s two-run homer against James Shields in the seventh inning on Saturday was an absolute moon shoot to right field, one that bounced off the catwalk that sits just above the JumboTron beyond the right-field seats. He’s the second player to hit a home run off what’s called the “C-ring” this season, with the other being Evan Longoria on April 30. “That was a bomb,” an impressed Leyland said.
– Alden Gonzalez

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

Tigers at The Trop, Game 2

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tigers and Rays went into the series opener with identical records, but while Tampa Bay looks like a playoff longshot at this point, Detroit is almost on cruise control for another postseason berth. 

After Friday’s win, Tigers manager Jim Leyland had some good things to say about the Rays, a team that’s lost three of its last four and finds itself six games back of the Red Sox for the American League Wild Card lead going into Saturday’s game.
“This is the defending champion of the American League,” Leyland said. “It’s an outstanding team. And everybody says, ‘Well, what happened to the Rays?’ Nothing happened to the Rays, except for the fact that the Yankees were able to do what they can do. 
“They”ve got a great team. They’re very athletic. A lot of action. They can run, they can hit with power. They’re very impressive.”
On to the lineups. Magglio Ordonez is back in there for the Tigers, while catcher Gerald Laird and shortstop Adam Everett get the night off. 
For the Rays, Evan Longoria, who drove in two runs on Friday night and is 2-for-5 with a homer in his career against Tigers starter Armando Galarraga, is batting … sixth?
Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF
Placido Polanco, 2B
Carlos Guillen, LF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Aubrey Huff, DH
Ordonez, RF
Brandon Inge, 3B
Alex Avila, C
Ramon Santiago, SS
SP: Galarraga (RH)
Rays
Jason Bartlett, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Ben Zobrist, RF
Carlos Pena, 1B
Pat Burrell, DH
Longoria, 3B
Akinori Iwamura, 2B
Gregg Zaun, C
Fernando Perez, CF
SP: James Shields (RH)
– Alden Gonzalez

More on Verlander …

ST. PETERSBURG — I touched on this a little bit in last night’s game story, but let’s rehash just how much work — good work — Justin Verlander has put in this season, shall we? 

After his eight-inning, one-run gem on Friday night, Verlander is now sixth in the Major Leagues in innings pitched (197), is tied for first in starts (29) and has cranked out a triple-digit pitch count in 24 of his 29 starts this season — with 15 being for 115-plus pitches.
The 26-year-old right-hander needs just five more innings to notch a career-high in innings pitched (his high-water mark is the 201 2/3 he pitched in 2007), and he’s scheduled to make at least five more starts before the regular season comes to an end. 
Considering he’s averaging about seven innings per start (6.79, to be exact), Verlander’s innings total by the time the season comes to an end projects to be at 232. 
And let’s not forget he’ll be counted on to be a huge factor in the postseason, too. 
The Tigers currently have six potential starters, and if their six-game lead in the division continues to grow and they clinch early, perhaps they can shut down Verlander early, too. But that has yet to be decided.
When asked if he’s worried about Verlander’s fatigue and pitch count, Leyland said, “Sure. Yeah, I am.” But Verlander, who owns a career 4.44 ERA in September/October, didn’t come off as concerned. 
“I feel fine,” Verlander said Friday night. “I said before, I consider myself an old school-type pitcher. The guys in the old days used to throw a lot more pitches than I’ve thrown now, and they used to be fine with it. I think it’s what you condition yourself for, and I think this whole year, I’ve conditioned myself to throw in excess of 100 and still be strong.”
On Friday, after giving up his only run in the second, Verlander retired 14 of 15 batters and 10 in a row at one point, finishing with his 16th win (tied for the American League lead) after scattering four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. 
In seven starts since Aug. 1, Verlander’s ERA is 3.66. And what’s impressed Leyland is his consistency, saying, “If you’ve looked at a few of his outings, they almost clone one another.”
Verlander has a chance to notch 20 wins for the first time in his career, and he’s making his case to take home his first AL Cy Young Award, too. 
On top of being tied for the league lead in wins with CC Sabathia, he’s fifth in ERA, first in strikeouts and tied for fourth with three complete games.
Despite that workload, could he be getting better as the season gets older?
“He’s probably at his best right now,” Verlander’s catcher, Gerald Laird, said. “He’s just going out there determined — you can see it in his eyes. Every outing, you know what you’re going to get. He’s definitely turned the corner here.”
– Alden Gonzalez

Kelly recalled from Triple-A; other moves

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.

In 19 games for the Tigers this year, Kelly hit .250 (12-for-48) with three RBIs. In Triple-A, the 29-year-old raked, hitting .331 with a .404 on-base percentage and .869 OPS in 105 games. Kelly also added six home runs, 40 RBIs and 27 stolen bases.
Kelly played everywhere but pitcher and catcher in Triple-A and gives the Tigers another lefty bat off the bench. 
Detroit also recalled first baseman Jeff Larish and transferred him to the 60-day disabled list. Larish, 26, is out for the year after right wrist surgery last week.
– Alden Gonzalez

Offensive woes continue as Tigers lose again

JUPITER, Fla. — The Tigers failed to get anything going offensively again, mustering just six hits in a 6-2 loss to the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday. Yes, the potential Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 hitters in the order are playing in the World Baseball Classic, but manager Jim Leyland said he wishes some of the young guys that are here now would take more advantage of the opportunity. 

And the problem lies with them falling behind on counts early.
“It’s fastball, strike one. Curveball, strike two. Then they’re on the defense. You can’t let
that happen,” said Leyland, whose team struck out eight times Tuesday, after posting 11 Ks on Monday. 
“You can’t take a fastball down the middle and a breaking ball down the middle and expect to hit big-league pitching. It’s just not going to happen. I don’t care who you are.”
* In case you’re not scoring at home, the Tigers (3-8) have mustered two runs per game in their last five — all losses.
* Zach Miner wasn’t as sharp as Rick Porcello was yesterday — another candidate for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation. Miner gave up three runs and seven hits in three innings to move his record to 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA this spring. 

“I felt like I was throwing the ball well,” Miner said. “I just didn’t get
it down when I needed to to get results. The old saying is you can’t control
results. But I wish you could.”

* Miner said he didn’t feel pressured by the 20-year-old Porcello having a good outing on Monday: “You just want to do well no matter what. Whether everybody is doing great, or they’re doing terrible.”

* Ryan Perry pitched another scoreless inning on Tuesday. That makes 4 2/3 straight for the 22-year-old right-hander. 

Alden Gonzalez

Belichick, Leyland finally meet

JUPITER, Fla. — Boy, it sure would’ve been nice to be a fly on the wall at The Capital Grille in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on Monday night. That’s where Tigers manager Jim Leyland, along with Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and Hall of Fame closer Dennis Eckersley all sat together in what seemed like a roundtable discussion between some of the most historic winners in sports (together, they share seven championships).

But although Leyland and La Russa go way back, Detroit’s skipper found himself spending most of his time talking to Belichick. Leyland said the two had spoken many times on the phone, but never had a chance to meet — until Monday.
“The conversation went a long time — a little later than we thought it was going to be — but it was fun,” said Leyland, who expects to meet with former Indiana men’s basketball coach Bob Knight on Tuesday. 
“He’s a brilliant guy and so down-to-Earth. I couldn’t have been more impressed. I was waiting for that day, to be honest with you. … He’s always been an interesting guy.”
Leyland said they mostly talked about the difference in philosophies and preparing for a game between MLB and the NFL. He also talked about the similarities between the kicker in football and the closer in baseball. 
Then, Leyland told Belichick about how he could’ve been a contributor to his three Super Bowl titles.
“I told him when I was in high school I could’ve played for him,” Leyland said. “I was pretty fast. I used to run back kicks, and I used to get called for roughing the kicker.”
– Alden Gonzalez

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

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