Injury roundup

Man I’m getting tired of adding to the injury lists. Gary Sheffield and Placido Polanco were both out of today’s lineup. Polanco was actually out of Canada and back in Detroit to get his back examined. It sounds like Sheffield is close behind him to get his shoulder looked at.

Gary Sheffield hadn’t been hitting early on, but he’d still been getting his walks and has 12 for the season. But on Friday night he looked too much like the Sheffield from last August. He fanned 3 times and was chasing pitches out of the strike zone. His line drive percentage is only at 11% (he’s normally in the 16-18% range) and he’s hitting infield flies at an alarming rate of 36.8%. Unfortunately a DL stint looks inevitable at this point.

As for Polanco this isn’t his first bout with back problems. He was also slowed by it in 2006 when his batting average and power slipped. The cold weather has reportedly exacerbated the problem, but even with the temperature warming up Polanco finds himself looking for answers.

As for some good news Curtis Granderson is making progress on his rehab and is trying to get his legs back under him. Jason Beck has been tracking it and Grandy is headed to West Michigan for a game Monday and then back to Toledo for a game Tuesday. Right now it looks like Wednesday would be the earliest he’d return.

Now the question is what happens if Sheffield or Polanco hit the DL. In the case of either it may be an exchange with Granderson.

Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Guillen, and Magglio Ordonez could take turns at DH if Sheffield goes out. Guillen would be the most likely candidate while his hamstring heals. A different tact could be to bring in a slugger for the DH spot and not disrupt anything else. Barry Bonds rumors have continued to swirl and this would only fuel it. Also, a recently released Frank Thomas could be a very cheap option (if you’re into the league minimum). Another cheaper and youger option could be Jeff Larish. The left hander wil strike out, but he has a decent eye and big power.

In the case of Polanco going out he would likely be backfilled with a combination of Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago.


  1. Tbone

    April 20, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    Ugh. The bad juju keeps piling up this season.

  2. tiff

    April 20, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    ugh indeed. I again point my fingers at the trainers. I understand we have older players, but shouldn’t they have some sort of special conditioning plan for the older ones during spring training, to help prevent such drastic measures? I think of Arnie Kander of the Pistons…he works his magic with the older players on his roster.

  3. David

    April 20, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    I don’t want to say


    with Shef so I won’t

    Me thinks pick up Frank, he is a dangerous guy, quite old but thats how teh team is nowdays, plus i’d bank wed get right around what he did last year 25hrs and 90+ rbies in any spot

    Other thoughts

    Clete Thomas is done, he has had his 15 minutes of fame, I hope they send him down as soon or sooner than when Grandy returns

    Why is Jaque still playing? HE PLAIN SUCKS CORN NUTS

    It makes me happy to see Inge at 3rd, Miggy at 1st and Guillen DHing, it just seems right

    anyone else upset (I know you are Billfer) about Jair, another gem for the Braves, I’m thinking hes got the stuff Bonderman lacks, just my humble opinion

    Robertson better get it together, I’ve about had it with these starts, he IS better than this and since he normally has a good 1st half and a horrid 2nd half, its not lookin 2 good

    lets go for a split and then whail on the Halos and Rangers (my 2nd favorite team – I like de colors =P) at home

    Billfer I wonder – why dont you do polls?

    I love em and I’m sure everyone else does 2, plus it’ll be a good gage on educated Tiger fans (although we can agree to disagree) opinions

    It’d be somethin’ cool to add to the site – just a thought

  4. Mike R

    April 21, 2008 at 1:17 am

    For the right price, I like grabbing Frank Thomas, as that adds insurance because I think Sheffield is down the same road as Fernando Rodney — a.k.a. he’s done with his shoulder.

    But, Thomas eats up your entire DH spot whenever he plays because he’s not a 1B, so that means you take him out of the lineup whenever you want to give Guillen a half day off. I’m okay with Larish but not exactly thrilled. Who knows, though. Maybe Larish comes up and goes on a Timo Perez circal August 2007 tear.

    My BIGGEST concern right now, aside from Justin Verlander’s velocity, is the fact that Bonderman’s control is so uncharacteristically bad that it looks like the 2nd half of last year when he was hiding a bum elbow.

    I would not be surprised if I revisit this post in a month and the DL looks something like:

    Sheffield (60 day)

    It could get ugly, and in a hurry, for us.

  5. Steve in Kzoo

    April 21, 2008 at 5:26 am

    God Mike R, and I thought I was a pessimist. LOL

    I like the idea of Thomas for cheap league minimum or 1 million should do the trick since he is getting 8-12 million from the Jays(I think?) Plus he heats up after April so get him while we can.

    Bonds I still don’t know. I don’t know how the fans would react it just seems like he wouldn’t fit here at all. Detroit sports fans are too proud of their teams to have baggage like that come into town.

    Larrish hey it could work you never know. He is killing the ball down in AAA. So that could work.

    Although I like Raburn and Santiago, I think a call up of Scott Sizemore would be great and give the kid a chance to hit in the bigs. He, like JJ and Maybin of ’07, is just killing AA pitching and giving it his all. I mean I still think that he is Polly’s heir to 2B after he leaves.

    What ever happens I just hope Mike R’s little possible prediction doesnt come to fold. Because if it does, it WILL be a LONG hot nasty and GLOOMY summer for Tigers fans.

  6. cib

    April 21, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Losing Jair, might turn out to be the worst trade ever. I am NOT HAPPY.
    Let’s hire Frank Thomas to hit the ball. Who cares if he’s cheerful or not. This is becoming a debacle.

  7. Ronnie

    April 21, 2008 at 11:00 am


  8. Kathy

    April 21, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I’m also very curious about the training especially since Grandy is complaining about leg pains. I mean the guy “only” had a broken finger which doesn’t exactly mean bed rest. I wondered why he wasn’t out there warming up with the guys, doing sprints, leg lifts with weights, and running bases while the healing process takes place. His legs should have been kept up to speed IMO.

  9. Dave BW

    April 21, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Mike R —

    It’s already ugly. Considering the numbers those guys are putting up right now, almost any change is a win-win.

  10. Neal in San Diego

    April 21, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Why talk about Thomas, if you can get Bonds, at least he could play some left, be it in a lawn chair. Let him play a 4th outfielder with Grandy, Maggs, and Inge (actually Cabera should be out there instead).
    Is Pudge done? How about getting Inge ready as the go to backstop by the end of July unless Pudge picks it up?
    I liked the Sheff deal when it happened, so I can’t say anything about that. However, the Renteria trade was us just getting older, as I said once before.
    Isn’t Guillen perfect as power 2nd basemen, a better Jeff Kent, and as a bonus, not a big Ahole either. He just seems somewhat wasted playing 1st if we could get a power bat to play there, not Sean Casey. I know we still have Palanco, and can Guillen even paly 2nd.
    Just ideas to comment on.

  11. scotsw

    April 21, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    I don’t see Dombrowski spending big money on Bonds. He’s got legal troubles and would be a cancer in this dugout. No doubt his power would be welcome, but is he actually worth his price? Thomas might be more likely, but if Sheffield is only gone 15 days, I think you’re more likely to see DH-by-platoon, and a callup of Hesseman or Larish.

    I doubt Inge is going anywhere — with our dinged up personnel, his versatility makes him worth every cent we’re paying him (yeah, I said it!). He may be playing a lot of 3B if Cabrera keeps making a meal of it, and Sheff and Polanco keep hurting. The reality is that Raburn or Santiago are fine options for this team at 2nd. Santiago’s defense is near gold-glove, and he doesn’t hurt you as a #9 hitter with speed and the ability to lay down a nice bunt. And don’t count Inge out as a long-term replacement at 2nd (if he’s not needed elsewhere).

    I also miss Jair Jurrjens, but Renteria has hit in 9 of the last 10 games and seems to be shaking off the rust defensively. This team needed a quality shortstop, and they don’t fall out of trees, folks. I don’t blame Dombrowski for making that move — but you wonder if a different move would have worked out better. Jurrjens is turning into a real gem, isn’t he?

  12. Vince in MN

    April 21, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Barry Bonds is still available!

    Just kidding.

  13. Mark L

    April 22, 2008 at 1:51 am

    I seem to remember Guillen playing 2nd a long time ago with the Mariners. But can he play it now? It could be almost as ugly as his fielding at short. I’d rather see Raburn, Inge, Sizemore, Santiago, Hollimon at 2nd. As for replacing Sheff, it’s pretty easy, we place Inge at 3rd and Cabrera and Guillen share 1st and DH duties.
    As for the Jair/Hernandez for Renteria trade, it looked very good at the time. We got a quality shortstop for two unknown commodities. Jair pitched well in limited action, but was having injury problems too. Now the Braves are happy it worked out well for them. Renteria filled a need, and is doing it well. If this trade looks badly in five years it will be because Jurrjens’ (and maybe Hernandez’s) potential came through and Renteria got too old. We gave up a potentially very good pitcher (and we thought we had a lot of pitching at the time) for a proven shortstop.
    If you want to criticize a trade, criticize the one for Cabrera/Dontrelle. Because it may have weakened our young pitching, which was already weakened by the previous trade. But I’m still hoping Dontrelle can get things figured out. If not, let’s look into a new pitching coach.
    Honestly, I’d like to clean house with our coaching and training staff. Keep Leyland for his player personality management skills (and because there isn’t anyone better out there). Give him a bench coach for lineup/bullpen/other in-game decisions. Find a new pitching coach, hitting coach, training staff and get this team performing up to its potential.