Nate Robertson to DL, Ni called up

Nate Robertson was placed on the DL today (retroactive to the 27th) with a mass in his elbow. Fu Te Ni had his contract purchased. A hearty DTW shout out to East Windup Chronicle which had the Ni call up story before everyone else.

Tigers to Call Up Ni Fu-te |

UPDATE: The mass appears to be a cyst that is causing numbness. He’ll be examined this week in Detroit.


  1. Ryan P.

    June 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Definitely excited to see Ni’s stuff and glad to have that waste of a roster space gone.

    • jud

      June 28, 2009 at 1:48 pm


  2. rings

    June 28, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Wow…the Tigers certainly have managed to “park” a lot of salary on the DL this year…

  3. Coach Jim

    June 28, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Nate has definitely lost his effectiveness. Rings has it right. It seems now you can put players on the DL just for being lousy. It’s like there is no accountability for the reason being valid. So maybe Nate has a cyst or something. I find it hard to believe it was just discovered, and just started hampering his pitching.

  4. Chris

    June 28, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Just release the guy already. The money was lost the day he signed the contract.

    Well, at least we don’t have him canceling out a roster spot.

  5. Shane Trapped in Toledo

    June 28, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Do not forget the insurance and financial reasons for putting a player on the DL instead of granting them a release. I seem to remember that insurance picks up some of the salary when a player gets “hurt.” Is there any validity to this or am I misremembering?

    • billfer

      June 28, 2009 at 7:40 pm

      Well, insurance does pick up some cost for players who are injured if the contract is insured. My understanding though is that the premiums aren’t cheap and the deductibles are substantial, so for a 2 month stay on the DL insurance wouldn’t be a factor. It is more of a guard against a lost season (or a big chunk of season like Bonderman).

  6. jud

    June 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    he must be leaning on it too hard, while earning all that money, sitting in the pen…Time for him to move on…Sorry, nice guy …but it’s time

  7. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 28, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Nate’s only 31 years old. To me he just looks a little heavy around the waist. He needs to get back into game shape during this DL stint and rehab assignment. We don’t need him right now, but it would be nice to have a 5th starter who could give us 6 solid innings during the stretch run. He’ll probably get about 45 days to get it back together.

    • T Smith

      June 29, 2009 at 12:44 am

      He can’t get a single out. How is he going to give us 6 solid innings?

      • scotsw

        June 29, 2009 at 10:41 am

        So in your professional medical opinion, this player, who has often thrown more than 200 innings in a single season, is now physically incapable of recovery? How tragic. I wasn’t aware that small cysts requiring minor surgery were season-ending calamities.

        The other way to look at this news is that Nate’s sudden ineffectiveness has a medical explanation. It’s extraordinarily cynical to assume that because Nate has been less effective this year, and increasingly so, this trip to the DL is merely window dressing. Isn’t it equally plausible — in fact, more likely — that this cyst has affected his arm? I’m just sayin’.

        As always, I’m glad this is a decision being made by experts of the non-armchair variety.

        • Coleman

          June 29, 2009 at 11:03 am

          Now that you bring this up, I recall one of the topics that came and went for a while last season was, was there something wrong with the medical personnel on the Tigers, considering how often players seem to end up diagnosed far after the effects of their injuries were apparent…I know the pitching coach has been changed, have there been any other changes in this respect?

          Of all the various angles of the Dontrelle situation, is it possible that one of them is that the Tigers, far from playing the DL list, are actually ahead of the curve in diagnosing something here? I don’t really have an opinion either way, but this seems worth considering.

          And, as scotsw pointed out, is it possible they have found a physical reason for Nate’s ineffectiveness, and if so is this something they would have found in the past?

          (I know the topic of insurance has been mentioned; isn’t it also the case however that acknowledging a medical problem with a player limits you in some cases? As in, you can’t cut them?).

        • T Smith

          June 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm

          I never implied his condition was a season-ending calamity, nor that he is phsyically or mentally incapable of recovery from whatever ails him, be it a cyst, a tired armed, apathy from losing his starting position, etc. I also prefer not to assume whether this little stint is mere window dressing or not, contrary to previous comments in this tread. How should I know what the hell’s going on with him? I’m not a doctor, so I’m afraid I can’t render a professional medical opinion on the matter. All I’m saying is, in response to Mr. X, that it would be hard to get “six solid innings” out of him when he’s hard pressed to record a single out. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

          • Keith (Mr. X)

            June 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm

            All I said is we need 6 solid innings from our 5th starter during the stretch run. It doesn’t have to Nate, but he is a candidate for the spot if he comes back when the rosters expand.

  8. Walter55

    June 28, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Has anybody heard anymore specifics about the “mass” in his arm. Is it a tumor, cyst or what? It just seems like a weird thing and they have not been real specific yet that I have read.

    • billfer

      June 28, 2009 at 7:40 pm

      Reports are a cyst which will be excised this week in Detroit.

  9. Ryan P.

    June 28, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Figaro sent to Toledo, French is up and will start against Minny.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      June 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm

      I hope somebody we try from Toledo steps up. Odds are 1 of the 3 between French, Dolsi, and Ni will be OK, but the other 2 will probably bomb out.

      I’m on board with everyone to put Miner back in the rotation. His spot in the pen is easier to fill than the 5th starters spot.

  10. Brian P

    June 28, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    The Mud Hens were dominated by Snell today. 17 strikeouts. 3 each for Sizemore, Thomas, and Larish. Yeesh.

  11. Vince in MN

    June 28, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Perhaps Nate succumbed to the old poison-tipped umbrella technique. During the cold war days the Russians used this successfully on several occasions to eliminate dangerous agents and the like. If it is true that Nate refused an optional assignment (see Detroit Tigers Thoughts blog, June 21), which forced JL and DD to keep him on the 25-man roster, then this may have been the only way they could get him off the team. Who is Nate’s room mate by the way?

    • Coleman

      June 28, 2009 at 10:46 pm

      Yes, very early-60’s type thing, Nate would never expect it…hmm, and that long rain delay against the Brewers, who would have given a second thought to old Uncle Smokey strolling around with his umbrella, joking around with the relief pitchers, poking one in the arm to punctuate a punchline…and good for him too, for refusing the lethal-dose option…

      • Vince in MN

        June 28, 2009 at 11:32 pm

        Perhaps the insurance option doesn’t kick in in the event of death.

        Or does it?

  12. Keith (Mr. X)

    June 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I just wonder how long Nate has had the numbness in his fingers from this elbow thing? I hate it when players hide injuries and are ineffective because of the injury. It really pisses me off that Nate didn’t have this taken care of sooner. I was a big fan of his, but now I’m very disappointed in him.

    That’s what made me change tunes about Gary Sheffield. He was playing for selfish reasons last season when he was obviously hurting the team.

    • Coleman

      June 29, 2009 at 5:29 pm

      If last season wasn’t such a disaster, it would have at least been somewhat amusing that Sheffield managed to get on base fairly often (via the walk)…the opposing pitchers had to know as well as we did that he couldn’t hit anything, yet still the idea of throwing one down the pipe to him made them shudder…there was something so ingrained from previous encounters that it over-ruled what their senses were telling them…

      And to Sheffield’s credit, once he got on base, he ran the bases well, perhaps as well as he had any time the last 10 seasons…it’s just the guy couldn’t swing the bat….

      As far as Nate goes–if this is really what is going on–I’m not so sure it’s all that obvious when something “special” is wrong with your arm vs the normal aches you feel every time you pitch…