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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-04-29

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-04-29

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-04-29
--LHP Kenny Rogers will be looking to turn it around Tuesday against the New York Yankees. He is 1-3 with a 7.66 ERA, a tick or two above the rest of Detroit's starters. He only threw 44 of his 73 pitches for strikes in his last start, lasting just 3 1/3 innings of a Tigers' blowout win. "I feel good," he said. "Physically, I'm better than I was in a lot of ways (last year). That's not a reason for me to be unsuccessful now. I have plenty of stuff to be successful, and that's the dilemma. I have plenty of stuff, but I have to get the success to go along with it. But I feel pretty good. I really do. If I didn't, it would be understandable to a degree. But when you're feeling good and you feel like you've got enough velocity and your pitches are in the vicinity of where you want, those are things where you're like, 'I should have a little better results than that.' But you look at the bottom line. Look at the results. They've got to get better."

--DH Gary Sheffield is looking for his first hit since getting a few games off and having his shoulders receive three shots of cortisone. Sheffield, 0-for-11 since returning to the lineup, is hitless in his last 16 at-bats overall and is without a hit this season in 16 at-bats with runners in scoring position. He's batting .159 with one home run and three RBIs -? but a year ago, he was hitting .193 with one home run and six RBIs. "I still think he's one of the most feared and respected hitters," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I still think they pitch him as good as anyone. The other thing is I think it's too early to decide if he's going to hit. If he's healthy, we're going to find out. I think it's a fair question, though, but I also wonder where those people think I should hit him. Gary Sheffield would be the first guy to come in this office and tell me if he felt he couldn't help the team. He won't play for his own stats. If he feels like he's not the Gary Sheffield he wants to be, he'll tell me. I don't expect that will happen. But I can't argue that he's not hitting."

--RHP Justin Verlander feels his stuff is coming together, regardless of what his 1-4 record and 6.50 ERA might suggest. "That was a shame," manager Jim Leyland said after Los Angeles pinned a 6-2 loss on Verlander Sunday night. "But I think he's really coming around. I do. Obviously, the end result wasn't good, but I think he's going to be fine." Verlander allowed six runs in 5 2/3 innings Sunday with perhaps the best stuff he's had all year -? fastball registering a consistent 95-97 mph on radar, sharp down-breaking curve and excellent changeup. "The best stuff I've had all year," he said. "Raising my arm slot a little bit has helped get my stuff back to the way it should be. You see me out there with that kind of stuff on a nightly basis, most times I'm going to be successful. My breaking ball was sharper, fastball had better life on it, everything was better. You put me out there with that stuff, most of the time, and I'll be all right."

--UT Brandon Inge did not play Sunday as manager Jim Leyland trotted out the lineup he hopes to have most of the rest of the year. Inge had been a de facto regular from the start of the season due to injuries first to CF Curtis Granderson and then to other regulars. But now that everybody is healthy, relatively, Inge will resume his waiting role -? waiting for Leyland to give somebody a day off or for a regular to have something happen to him. Given the age of some of Detroit's players, though, he may get more playing time than he expects.

--3B Carlos Guillen debuted for Detroit at his new position Sunday. Got charged with an error, too. "He's got good hands and a good arm and he played short, so he shouldn't have any problems at third base," manager Jim Leyland said before Sunday's 6-2 loss to Los Angeles. "If I had any reservations at all, I wouldn't have put him there." He'd played 100 games for Seattle at third base and countless winter league games at the position. Guillen was charged with a strange error in the sixth inning when he got tangled with Gary Matthews Jr., who had just gone first-to-third on Vladimir Guerrero's single. As Guillen tried to avoid Matthews and pick up the ball, Guerrero took second, costing Guillen an error. "He's going to be fine there," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He plays third base well."

BY THE NUMBERS: 100 -- Major League games Carlos Guillen had played at third base (for Seattle) prior to making his first start at the position for Detroit this week. Guillen also said he'd played the position extensively in winter ball in Venezuela.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We believe it makes our team better. Actually, I know it makes our team better. In the long run, I believe your job as a manager is to get the most out of your players and put them in position to be the most successful. I believe that this makes our club better." -- Manager Jim Leyland, in announcing the switching of Carlos Guillen to third base and Miguel Cabrera to first.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 29, 2008

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