Staging Bonderman, Thames Rehab, Guillen’s MRI

Once again it is time to wrap-up some injury news.

Jeremy Bonderman

Bonderman is set to make another rehab start for the Mud Hens on Tuesday night. It seems clear that while he has some things working, he is still building up arm strength. He was quite good for 5 innings before faltering his last time out, and his velocity is still a couple ticks away. Fortunately the Tigers starters have been dependable and Detroit doesn’t need to rush his return.

Which makes me think that the team may be setting him up to return on June 8th, the day of a doubleheader that falls in the middle of a stretch of 13 days without an offday. The Tigers would be forced to add a starter or force someone to go on short rest.

After Tuesday there would be time for Bonderman to make one more start prior to that June 8th date. Things don’t line up exactly for his return, but this might make sense.

Marcus Thames

Thames will be picking up the post game meals for Toledo for the next week of so. He made his first rehab start today (1 for 4 with a walk and strikeout) and the plan is that he will alternate between the outfield and DH as he accumulates 30 or so plate appearances.

Carlos Guillen

Things aren’t progressing well for Guillen and his injured shoulder. He had an MRI done and the Tigers are awaiting the results.

Game 2009.043: Tigers at Royals

PREGAME: I don’t want to bash a team that went 7-2 in their last 9 games, but dropping the last 2 games of the homestand while only scoring 4 runs and seeing the top 3 inthe lineup fail to get a hit for 2 straight days didn’t really leave a good taste. Maybe some barbeque will get the offense clicking.

The trouble is they have to face Gil Meche. Individually the Tigers have some good numbers against Meche, but the offense never seems to do much against him as a whole with Meche turning in 5 straight quality starts against Detroit.

Hopefully the Tigers will only need a couple runs because they have Justin Verlander going for them. Verlander is on a 5 game quality start streak of his own. He’s also thrown a considerable number of pitches lately (averaging 118 pitches over his last 4 starts), so a “light” day in terms of workload might be nice.

Detroit vs. Kansas City – May 25, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: Well, Meche didn’t turn out to be a problem…at least not for the Tigers. He was wild from the get go and the Tigers were inclined to wait him out. Meche threw 73 pitches and only recorded 7 outs, and he clearly wasn’t helped by an error by Mark Teahen (who has a habit of gunning down Tigers at the plate). And really, pretty much every ground ball found a hole for the Tigers and ever broken bat flopped into the outfield. It was one of those days. With the lopsided final score the Tigers have now allowed the fewest runs in the American League.

Justin Verlander was awesome again, retiring the first 9 batters in a row and picking up the first 6 outs on only 17 pitches. He finished the day with an easy 7 innings and only 96 pitches. He was efficient enough that he had a decent shot at a complete game shutout, but given his recent workload I loved seeming him lifted with the game out of doubt. The ERA is down to 3.55 and Verlander is looking better than he ever has.

  • There has been some talk of fans not wanting Magglio Ordonez to return to the lineup. Coming into today he was at 378/465/541 in his last 10 games and he added a single and a walk today.
  • Zach Miner gave up the shut out with back to back 2 out hits, but somehow managed to throw only 11 pitches in his inning.
  • Jeff Larish donned the golden sombrero and still managed to reach base twice
  • Miguel Cabrera is good at baseball. Not only did he have 4 hits, but he turned a nice 3-6-3 double play

Tigers Minor League Wrap 5/24/09

Toledo 1 Gwinnett 4
Ryan Roberson homered and Don Kelly doubled. Brooks Brown walked 5 and allowed 7 hits, but only 4 of those baserunners came around to score in 5.1 innings.

Erie 8 Akron 1
Brennan Boesch and Ryan Strieby both went double-homer. Cale Iorg homered and walked. Duane Below allowed just 1 unearned run on 2 hits, a walk and 3 K’s in 6.1 innings.

Lakeland – PPD again

West Michigan 5 Kane County 6
Gustavo Nunez and Brent Wyatt both had 2 hits. Nunez added 2 walks and Wyatt added 1. Bryan Pounds walked twice and doubled. Mark Sorenson fanned 6 in 6 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks.

Game 2009.042: Rockies at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers will try to get their second 40 games back on track as they try to close out their 9 game homestand on an up note. With 7 wins under their belt already, the homestand has been a success, but if they drop the series to the Rockies it will seem a lot less satisfying.

Dontrelle Willis will try to replicate his success against the Rangers, although a 1 hitter might be asking a bit much.

The Rockies will counter with Jason Hammel. Hammel has allowed a lot of hits this year, 45 of them in 31 innings. Lefties have beat him up with a 1.066 OPS this year so I’d expect to see the left handed hitting outfield and Ramon Santiago in the lineup.

Colorado vs. Detroit – May 24, 2009 | Gameday

Tigers Minor League Wrap 5/23/09

Toledo 3 Gwinnett 9
Ryan Roberson homered and Wilkin Ramirez tripled off of Tom Glavine in this shortened 5 inning game. Luke French allowed 8 runs on 5 hits (2 homers) and 4 walks in 4.1 innings.

Erie 6 Akron 7
Alex Avila was a triple short of the cycle and Joe Tucker had 2 doubles and a single. Max Leon and Santo De Leon each had 2 hits. Alfredo Figaro allowed 8 hits and 5 runs in 5 innings with 1 walk and 2 K’s. Cody Satterwhite allowed a run on a hit and 2 walks in his inning of work.

Lakeland – PPD

West Michigan 7 Kane County 4
Brent Wyatt had 3 hits and Avasail Garcia had 2 hits. Casey Crosby walked 5 and allowed 3 runs in 3.1 innings.

Game 2009.041: Rockies at Tigers

PREGAME: Armando Galarraga takes the mound for the Tigers tonight and he’s looking to avoid being the weak link in the rotation. The Tigers have 7 quality starts in their last 8 games, the lone non-quality start belongs to Galarraga when he was chased in the first inning by the A’s. In May the Tigers have 12 quality starts in 19 games and 4 of the non-quality starts belong to Galarraga.

For the Rockies it will be Jason Marquis. Marquis has middling peripherals and a middling ERA (4.75) to go along with them. But he has compiled some very nice games this year, and they’ve been on the road where he has a 1.138 WHIP. In Colorado that WHIP is 1.583.

The lineup courtesy of Jason Beck is:

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

Colorado vs. Detroit – May 23, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: And the streaks are over. The seven game winning streak – gone. The eight game Comerica winning streak – gone. The undeated on days of the week that start with the letter S – gone. The Tigers had the go ahead run on base in the 9th, but they were outplayed by a larger margin.

The Rockies hit the ball hard consistently off of Armando Galarraga and probably could have had more runs with some better luck. Heck, they lost a run when Chris Ianetta couldn’t score because he pulled a hammy. As for the Tigers offense? Two-thirds of the runs came when the Rockies failed to throw out Magglio Ordonez on a failed hit and run. The Tigers got another gift when Ordonez wasn’t punched out on a full count pitch in the 9th.

  • Galarraga wasn’t awful, but he wasn’t good either. Most troubling was that when the team did get him off the hook for the loss he came up and went 3-0 to Todd Helton and then served up a meatball. But for most of the game he wasn’t nearly as nibbly as he has been.
  • Some nice bullpening tonight from the beleaguered Nate Robertson and Brandon Lyon who combined to allow 2 baserunners, no runs, and a stranded runner on second in 3.2 innings with 3 K’s.
  • The top of the order was brutal with a combined 0 for 12 from the top 3 and only one well struck ball in those 12 pa’s

Tigers Minor League Wrap 5/22/09

Toledo 3 Gwinnett 7
Don Kelly went 2 for 4 and Wil Rhymes was 3 for 4 with a triple. Ruddy Lugo allowed 5 runs, but only 1 was earned, in 4 innings on 6 hits, 2 walks, and 3 K’s. Fu Te Ni pitched 1.2 innings allowing no hits and 1 walk with 2 K’s.

Erie 1 Akron 0
Ryan Strieby was 1 for 1 with 3 walks. Alex Avila and Andy Dirks both doubled. Jon Kibler was one out short of a complete game shutout. He scattered 7 hits and 2 walks while fanning 6.

Lakeland PPD

West Michigan 14 Peoria 4
Billy Nowlin homered twice as he came up a triple short of the cycle. Jordan Lennerton had 3 hits and Avasail Garcia went 4 for 5. Brandon Hamilton allowed 2 homers among 5 hits in 6 innings. He walked 1 and fanned 5.

Game 2009.040: Rockies at Tigers

PREGAME: The Tigers welcome in the Colorado Rockies as their first interleague opponent. The Rockies have struggled this year, but their pitching has actually been pretty good with a 4.27 FIP which coincidentally is the same as the Tigers.

Tonight’s starter is Ubaldo Jimenez. Jimenez walks a batter every other inning, but he also fans nearly one an inning and has allowed only 1 homer in 46 innings this year. He’s thrown 4 straight quality starts and has allowed just 6 runs in his last 27 innings. The walks have also been under control of late with a 22:6 ratio.

Rick Porcello gets the ball for the Tigers. Porcello has also been rolling allowing just 2 runs over his last 3 starts.

And on a related note, Rod Allen will miss his 2nd game as he attends his youngest daughter’s graduation. In his place will be Dan Petry. Does anybody else remember a certain game where Petry filled in for Allen? It was also on a Friday night. Give up? It was the Yankees game that ended at 3:30 in the morning.

Oh, and GO WINGS Colorado vs. Detroit – May 22, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: It was a beautiful night at the ballpark, especially for those who appreciate stellar defense. This game had a reel full of web gem type plays. It’s probably best to just watch the highlights but here is a quick run down:

  1. Inge charges and barehands a ball to make a play look easy.
  2. Josh Anderson throws a seed to the plate to end an inning and save a run
  3. Brandon Inge runs to left field to snag a foul ball with his back to the basket
  4. Miguel Cabrera fields a ground ball along the line, spins and touches the bag and fires home to turn a 3-2 GIDP

Rick Porcello certainly appreciated the help, but he was pretty good on his own as well. He was very efficient up until that 6th inning when struggled a little. But he finished with 6 innings, 1 run, and another quality start.

Inge crushes a ball to right center for the big hit of the game, and it was even a pretty good pitch, so Inge deserves all the credit on that one.

The rest of the offense can be largely attributed nice baserunning. The first run was set up when Gerald Laird hustled to go first to third, and then nicely read (with some help from Placido Polanco) a wild pitch to score the first run. Later in the 8th inning the Tigers twice broke up double plays with hard slides (Polanco at third and Larish at second) that allowed a 4th run to score which proved to be the difference because…

Joel Zumaya wasn’t good. He was on in place of Rodney who had pitched the previous 3 days. He was wild and very fastball happy. He couldn’t find the curve ball and make a 3 run lead with the bases empty into a 1 run lead with runners at the corner. Unfortunately Perry was used 2 innings and Zumaya threw 31 pitches so both are likely unavailable for Saturday’s game.

Not Cool

The other day I posted a picture of Clete’s Cougars which I grabbed off my TV while watching the Fox Sports Detroit broadcast. The picture proved to be fairly popular and it got linked up a couple of places. Wednesday afternoon I was listening to 97.1 The Ticket (unfortunately the only sports talk around in the afternoon) when host Mike Valenti directed people to for a picture of Clete’s Cougars. I was curious so I ventured over to see what picture they had, and I was a little surprised to see the picture I had posted. It was there with no mention or link back to my site.

Continue reading Not Cool

Edwin Jackson’s 132 pitches

Edwin Jackson threw 132 pitches to help the Tigers complete a sweep of the Texas Rangers. Pitch counts and the hubbub around them are fodder for controversy. I tend to favor caution in these scenarios but am willing to consider each game on an individual basis. Who was the pitcher? What was the game state? Is there an off day coming up? How much rest is he pitching on? What is the pitcher’s injury history? And on and on. I don’t think there is a simple answer to the right number of pitches, but today Jim Leyland left Edwin Jackson in too long. I worry if this is going to be a pattern in 2009.

Let’s look at today’s game and analyze the situation. Jackson had an extra day of rest having last pitched on Friday. His pitch count was also a manageable 97 pitches in that last start, well at least it seemed manageable. But don’t forget there was a rain delay that lasted over an hour and Jackson pitched on both sides of that delay meaning he threw extra pitches in the cage. His workload was actually higher that game than the 97 pitches would indicate.
Continue reading Edwin Jackson’s 132 pitches

Tigers Minor League Wrap 5/21/09

Toledo 2 Gwinnett 7
Don Kelly homered and singled. Jeremy Bonderman started.

Erie – DNP

Lakeland 5 Tampa 2
Kody Kaiser and Michael Bertram each had 2 hits. Jeramy Laster homered. Andrew Hess allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk in 6 innings.

Lakeland 6 Tampa 0
Chris Carlson doubled and singled. Audy Ciriaco added a double. Matt Hoffman pitched a 7 innings, 6 hit shut out with 4 K’s and no walks.

West Michigan 1 Peoriia 4
Billy Nowlin doubled. Luis Salas homered. Brent Wyatt walked twice and singled. Mauricio Robles allowed 4 runs on 4 hits (2 were homers) but he did fan 8 with only 2 walks.

Let’s talk rehab

There was quite a bit of Tigers injury related news today with fresh info from Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson, and Marcus Thames. And on a related roster note, Magglio Ordonez will be back for Friday’s game (the surgery went well) and Wilkin Ramirez can tell his Mud Hens teammates what it was like to drive one deep into big league bushes.

Jeremy Bonderman

Bonderman made his second rehab start, this time for Toledo. Things were going swimingly for Bonderman through 5 innings as he was pitching a 2 hit shut out. Things kind of fell apart though in the 6th inning as it went: Walk – Sac Bunt – Double – Ground Out – Homer – Error – Stolen Base – Double – Double – Strike Out. The error certainly didn’t help and 2 of the 5 runs were unearned, but there were still 4 extra base hits that inning.

His final line was 6 innings, 6 hits, 5 runs, 2 walks, 4 K’s 1 homer, 98 pitches, 62 strikes.

Marcus Thames

Thames will begin a rehab assignment for the Mud Hens next week. Jim Leyland would like to get him 30 or so at-bats.

Nate Robertson

So this isn’t particularly fresh, but Robertson was activated from the DL after Wednesday night’s game. Luke French filled in nicely for Robertson, but he is back with the Mud Hens now.