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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-09-30


Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-09-30


Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2008-09-30
--SS Edgar Renteria, who sat out the Sept. 29 makeup game at Chicago with a sore pectoral muscle, was informed by Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski that Detroit will buy out his option year for $3 million, making him a free agent. "We need to get better defensively at shortstop," Dombrowski said. "We have advised him that we are not going to pick up his option for next year -- not closed the door on it, but we're also going to explore options." Renteria hit .270 in 138 games with 10 home runs and 55 RBIs. He hit .294 after the All-Star break. Detroit traded RHP Jair Jurrjens and CF Gorkys Hernandez to Atlanta last winter to acquire him even though it "knew Renteria's range at shortstop wasn't the same," Dombrowski said.

Renteria has expressed an interest in coming back, even at a greatly reduced salary. He can handle the job on an everyday basis. "I feel comfortable here," Renteria said. "I feel embarrassed, because I'm the kind of player that I love to win, and this year, we didn't play the way we have to play. I feel embarrassed for myself. I'm not talking about anybody else. It's just myself, and I feel disappointed. That's why I want to come back and show I'm ready to go."

--C Dusty Ryan has shown enough that Detroit feels he could at least open the 2009 season on the major league roster, but the Tigers prefer to have a veteran to at least split time with the rookie. "Do I think we could get by (with Ryan)?" Leyland said. "Probably. Would it be the best thing? Probably not."

"It might be Dusty Ryan," GM Dave Dombrowski said. "We've got to bring some young guys in here."

One of his weaknesses, though, is blocking balls in the dirt, and he was unable to corral three wild pitches in the sixth inning of the season finale. He needs work on his footwork and the angle of his glove hand.

--RHP Freddy Garcia walked the first two batters he faced and allowed an RBI single in the season finale but then settled in and gave up just one more hit in his five-plus innings of work before leaving with a stiff shoulder or neck. Garcia's control was a little wobbly in the early part of the first, but then his fastball got up to a peak of 92 mph and his curve, slider and changeup had much better bite as he ended with 72 pitches, three walks and three strikeouts. He walked the leadoff batter in the sixth, and Dewayne Wise stole second on the second pitch to the next batter. Garcia grabbed the right side of his neck, and manager Jim Leyland came out. After consultation with the pitcher and trainer Kevin Rand, Leyland took him out of the game. The exact nature of the injury and whether it was related to his shoulder surgery of 2007 was not immediately known, but Garcia was not acting as if it were anything too serious in the dugout.

--RHP Armando Galarraga was used in relief for only the second time this year in the season finale. He was brought in to face a right-hander with a man on second and nobody out in the sixth and threw two wild pitches while walking RF Jermaine Dye. Galarraga last started four days earlier against Tampa Bay, so it wasn't a stretch bringing him into the game. He was warmed up in the first inning while RHP Freddy Garcia was struggling. Dye was the only batter he faced.

--RHP Gary Glover got off to a good start with Detroit when first brought in after being let go by Tampa Bay, but his career-long pattern of inconsistency was in evidence for most of September. Glover was brought in to a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the sixth inning of the season finale, and the first pitch he threw ended up being a grand slam for White Sox 2B Alexei Ramirez. Glover's attempt at a sinking fastball was way too high in the strike zone, and Ramirez threw up his hands in celebration before the ball was five feet off his bat. Glover finished the inning and the next without additional damage.

--3B Brandon Inge showed in the season finale why he'll be playing third base again next season. Inge leaped into the seats to grab a foul popup early in the game and then rifled a fastball off the fence in left for an RBI double to tie the score at 1-1 in the fifth. Inge has unmatched fielding skills, and the club feels he'll hit better playing third than he would as a catcher.

--SS Ramon Santiago will be a fallback shortstop for Detroit next year if the Tigers are unable to find a one- or two-year alternative. GM Dave Dombrowski said Santiago could end up platooning at short on a "mix-and-match" basis because he believes the Tigers' long-term solution at the position is SS Cale Iorg, the club's sixth-round choice in 2007. Iorg, 23, spent two years on a Mormon mission and was regarded as the best defensive shortstop in the Florida State League in his return to baseball this summer. "Cale Iorg is going to be a superstar," GM Dave Dombrowski said, "and real soon."

--2B Ryan Raburn turned in another good fill-in job in the season finale while subbing for injured 2B Placido Polanco. Raburn had two singles and a squib hit that was thrown away by White Sox RHP Gavin Floyd for a run-producing error that gave Detroit a short-lived 2-1 lead in the sixth inning. Raburn also made a miscue in the eighth that let in Chicago's last run.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1 -- Errors by UT Brandon Inge this season. He played third base, catcher, left field and center field during the course of the season and didn't get charged with a miscue until the Tigers' 159th game, when he muffed a popup at third base.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You can't wash away in four days that we've underachieved. But the point that is important is that we were still playing and playing hard." -- Manager Jim Leyland, on the way his team finished its season.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 30, 2008

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