Ryan Perry hits the disabled list

The Detroit Tigers placed struggling reliever Ryan Perry on the disabled list and purchased the contract of Enrique Gonzalez from the Mud Hens. The diagnosis for Perry is bicep tendonitis.

The injury supposedly isn’t serious, but I get nervous about diagnoses like this. Zach Miner had elbow tendonitis which turned in Tommy John surgery. Bobby Seay’s early diagnosis was tendonitis before it becoming a rotator cuff issue. Fernando Rodney had bicep tendonitis which caused him to miss large swaths of 2007. Now sometimes nothing happens and everything is fine. But tendonitis diagnoses seem to beget more severe injuries.

As for his replacement, Gonzalez was signed as a minor league free agent and hung around fairly late into spring training. He’s been starting for the Mud Hens which means he can eat some innings (which could be helpful in the short term with Eddie Bonine being extended last night and unavailable for a few days).

If this had happened 3 weeks ago it likely would have been Jay Sborz or Robbie Weinhardt getting the call. Sborz though has struggled as of late and Weinhardt is working his way back from the DL.

Questioning the IBB

In my opinion these are the hardest losses to swallow. On a night when the team had to have been tired they really did battle. They fought against a closer with an electric arm and tied up a game in the 9th. But then there was a failure. A failure of execution and of strategy. A game where it seems like the manager let his team down.

I wish that Fox Sports Detroit did a post game with Jim Leyland because I’d love to know the thinking in walking Ryan Garko to get to Nelson Cruz. I don’t always agree with Leyland’s decision making process, but I can usually see his side. In this case I don’t really see another side at all. I’m dumbfounded. Given the effort his team gave him in the top of the 9th, they deserved better.

Perhaps I’m making too much of the IBB. The win expectancy only went down 1% for the Tigers. It was actually the smallest WE event of the inning.

Of course Leyland wasn’t the one who walked Justin Smoak, or Nelson Cruz for that matter. Fu-Te Ni’s control has been poor this season (8 walks and 2 HBP in 6 innings). Ryan Perry has to make a better pitch with 2 strikes to Elvis Andrus. If Perry comes in and doesn’t get Garko out, I don’t have a beef with the manager. In this case though it seems like Leyland walked right into what Ron Washington wanted.

The downside is that I spent 3 paragraphs lamenting negative instead of talking about the top of the 9th inning, which was terrific. The at-bats were all solid. Don Kelly fanned but it took 7 pitches. Ramon Santiago had a 13 pitch at-bat that resulted in an out but had to certainly wear on Neftali Feliz. Austin Jackson was determined to not strike out for a 4th time and put the first pitch in play, and Johnny Damon fought off a couple pitches before getting a bloop hit. And of course Magglio Ordonez with the line drive to right to tie the game. Great stuff that should be remembered.

And we haven’t even mentioned Brennan Boesch’s debut which saw him hit a double and a single (and later make a baserunning mistake). We haven’t mentioned Max Scherzer who went 7 innings and fanned 7 in a quality start. There was quite a bit of good in this game, and the players deserved the same from their manager.

  • It’s a quality start Scherzer because one of the runs was unearned and was the result of a charged error when Alex Avila used his mask to corral a ball.
  • Avila did gun down both attempted base stealers.
  • Scott Sizemore had a rough night at the dish with 3 uncomfortable looking strike outs. A pinch hitting appearance by Don Kelly may have spared him the sombrero.
  • Ordonez looked a little off balance at times on the west coast, but he reached base 4 times.
  • Miguel Cabrera’s 5 game double streak came to an end, but Austin Jackson’s 16 game strikeout streak and Johnny Damon’s 10 game hitting streak are still intact.

Is Bonderman Back?

Jeremy Bonderman returned to the mound, health for the first time since before the All Star Break in 2007 and the results can only be described as encouraging. He retired the first 11 hitters he faced before struggling in the 4th inning. But the best news is that the slider was darting straight down like Bonderman slider of doom that we all know and love.

The pitch f/x data is a little inconclusive at this time. It misclassified the splitter and I don’t know that I trust the 4 seam versus 2 seam fastball splits either. While he got up to 93mph on the fastball a few times, he was usually a few ticks below that. But for those that watched the game, the slider was just nasty.

My only concern is that Bonderman’s velocity seemed to peter out a little as the game wore on. The hope is that this is just a matter of him rebuilding stamina. The graph below is of all the pitches the Gameday classified as a fastball (two-seam and four-seam are included).

Bonderman's Fastball Velocity
That is just nitpicking an outing though where he only allowed 3 baserunners. Bonderman and Leyland were certainly pleased with the outing as well.

For one full turn through the rotation, Tigers starters have all pitched effectively. Granted, they haven’t face offensive juggernauts in the Royals and Indians, but there is reason for some optimism.

Other items from the game

  • I like this version of Magglio Ordonez. He’s driving balls to all fields and getting the results that go with it.
  • I like this version of Brandon Inge too. The one that is selective at the plate and is driving the ball to right center field with regularity.
  • Very nice defense today all around. Adam Everett made a couple nice plays at shortstop and Miguel Cabrera continues to dig everything in the dirt.
  • Ryan Perry got 4 outs and the save on 11 pitches. He looks like a different guy this year. The potential of last year is turning into results this year.
  • The Tigers drew over 35K for game number 2 and I’d expect a similar sized crowd today. It’s great to see a full park, not just on Opening Day

Tigers relief notes

With the deals for LaTroy Hawkins and Brandon Lyon it appears that the market for “back end of the bullpen pitchers who could potentially set-up or close” may be getting steep for the Tigers. And with that the club may turn to in house options.

Jason Beck spoke with Dave Dombrowski who said that a return of Fernando Rodney is unlikely calling it a “long shot.” More frightening though is that the team is viewing Joel Zumaya as a legitimate option for the closer role.

I’m on board with not sinking a lot of money into a bullpen. I think the Tigers have done a good job the last few years of mixing young guys, minor league free agents, and fringy closer material guys together the last few years. It’s a quantity over quality approach where you hope enough guys make it work each year.

But going into a season with Zumaya competing for the role of closer is a ridiculous gamble and yet another reason to question the clubs intention to compete in 2010. In 2006 Zumaya was incredible. He hasn’t been healthy or effective since then. The velocity is certainly still there, but the results haven’t been for too long to “count on him.”

Ryan Perry and the newly acquired Daniel Schlereth would like be competing for such a role as well so all the eggs aren’t in Zumaya’s incredibly fragile basket. Still, those other options are particularly assuring at this point in their career either.

How many wins would Halladay add?

Lynn Henning reports today that the Tigers and Blue Jays discussed Roy Halladay and the price would be Rick Porcello, Ryan Perry, and Casey Crosby. Essentially the top 3 arms drafted and signed in the last 2 years by the Tigers. It’s a very steep price that had me balking on first blush. But after a deeper dive and this trade looks a lot more interesting.

Continue reading How many wins would Halladay add?

Ryan Perry rejoining the team?

UPDATE Again: Now it’s official. Bondo to the DL for continued rehabilitation.

UPDATE: While there still hasn’t been an official announcement from the team, it does appear that Jeremy Bonderman is hitting the DL. I’ll update with more as I know it.

The Free Press is reporting that Ryan Perry is not with Mud Hens and is believed to be on his way to Pittsburgh to rejoin the team. Perry was optioned down to make room for Jeremy Bonderman. Perry has to stay on assignment for 10 days unless he is recalled to take someone’s place due to injury. So if he’s coming back it means someone is going on the DL and it is likely Bonderman.

If Bonderman does hit the DL it will be interesting to see how the Tigers handle his rehab. Once he starts pitching for a minor league club he is limited to 30 days. Will they start him right away hoping he gets the velocity back in a month or do they wait a while?

Willis will start Sunday

The Tigers have made a decision, at least for the time being, to stick with Dontrelle Willis in the starting rotation. Jeremy Bonderman will head to the bullpen…for now. Keeping Willis in the rotation is probably the right decision if Bonderman is the other option. Of course I kind of agree with Lee that perhaps that pool should include Zach Miner. That doesn’t seem like an option the team is exploring at the moment though, so what can we take from this decision?

First of all, Bonderman isn’t ready. I don’t think there is a lot of questioning of this point. I don’t see him being able to rebuild his arm strength pitching in sporadic low leverage situations in the pen. My guess is he gets optioned to Toledo (assuming he clears waivers and agrees to it) to work in the rotation and hopefully get his velocity back. He’s in the pen now because they need another arm in the pen, and likely want to bring Ryan Perry back. But Perry has to stay on optional assignment for a minimum of 10 days.

As for Willis, it appears he is pitching just well enough (not necessarily good) to hang in the rotation. This will be another test. I guess the goodish news is that we get to see Dontrelle hit for the first time.

Ryan Perry optioned to Toledo

The move to make room for Jeremy Bonderman was the optioning of Ryan Perry to Toledo. I don’t think this is a bad move at all and it could be for no more than the minimum 10 days. The Tigers can’t continue with 6 starters and I think a decision on the rotation will be made after Dontrelle Willis’s next start. Someone will get bumped from the rotation which will then answer a question about the bullpen, and then Perry’s recall could be scheduled.

The one about the bullpen last night

Gut wrenching losses are good fodder for second guessing (and page views). My thoughts and perspective on what happened last night (some of these may sound like a defense of decisions made or not made, that’s not necessarily the intent).

1. Why take out Edwin Jackson, he was pitching awesome? Edwin Jackson had been pitching awesome, until he lost his control. For those that hate pitch counts as a reason to pull a pitcher, you should love this decision. Clearly the 89 pitches weren’t the issue. It was the fact that after peppering the strike zone all night he started falling behind hitters.

2. Why only one batter for Bobby Seay? Leyland was playing platoon advantages. Look at the righties coming up after Snider. There wasn’t a lefty in sight. Seay did his job.

3. Why not Ryan Perry then? The popular belief is that this was too much of a pressure situation for a debut. I don’t believe it, and I don’t think Leyland does either. When Zumaya debuted it was in a hold situation. He’s not afraid of that at all. And really, if Perry comes in a blows it then how many question why he was brought into a pressure situation to debut? A ton. Most questioned when Rodney and Zumaya were brought into pressure situations when first returning last year, and they’d faced those situations before. No. The real reason was because at the moment Leyland views Lyon as his second best reliever behind Fernando Rodney.

4. Why use your second best reliever in such a high leverage situation? This is the better question, and one that stat heads have been hammering on managers for for years. But if it’s not the 9th you can’t use your closer for some reason.

5. Why leave Lyon out there in the 9th? I’ve got nothing. This was stupid. Even if you let him start the inning, when he continues to struggle why not go get him. Ridiculous.

Analysis: Breaking down today’s roster decisions

Today’s roster decisions pretty much wrapped up nearly 2 months (and in some cases even more) of speculation. There is one spot yet to be decided. That will go to either Jeff Larish or Brent Clevlen, though the Tigers are reportedly in trade talks with the Pirates regarding Clevlen. (ironically, or at least coincidentally, such a trade would displace former Tiger Craig Monroe) But with 96% of the roster decided we shift our guessing from personnel to performance.
Continue reading Analysis: Breaking down today’s roster decisions

Porcello and Perry make the team

It appears the Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry will be breaking camp with the Tigers. Details are still thin beyond that. I’ll update as more information floats North. Also, Mike Hessman was placed on outright waivers and Ryan Raburn was optioned to Toledo. That leaves 29 players in camp including Scott Williamson, Brent Clevlen, Jeff Larish, Eddie Bonine, Juan Rincon, Zach Miner, and Nate Robertson battling for one spot in the rotation, a couple in the pen, and one on the bench.

UPDATE: Juan Rincon and Eddie Bonine are also in. Dane Sardhina and Scott Williamson were assigned to minor league camp.

UPDATE 2: Clay Rapada was optioned to Toledo and your second lefty in the pen is Nate Robertson. It’s down to Brent Clevlen and Jeff Larish for the last roster spot.

So…the pitching staff looks like this:

Rotation: Verlander/Jackson/Miner/Porcello/Galarraga (I’m guessing on the order to start the season)
Bullpen: Lyon/Rodney/Seay/Rincon/Perry/Bonine/Robertson

Bad news for one reliever, good news for another?

The Tigers announced that they have outrighted the contract of Macay McBride to Toledo. McBride is still trying to get health after Tommy John surgery last year and doesn’t really figure in the immediate plans. The outrighting does open up a spot on the 40 man roster though. There are three relievers not on the 40 man roster who look to be in contention for a spot on the 25 man roster. Ryan Perry, Casey Fien, and Juan Rincon are all making a favorable impression this spring and would require a 40 man spot. Is this good news for one of the trio? Is it a sign that the Tigers are about to make a trade for a starter to flush out the rotation? Or is it just a clerical move?