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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-01-10

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-01-10

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-01-10
--CF Curtis Granderson is on the list of players invited to be on Team USA in this year's World Baseball Classic. According to Major League Baseball, provisional rosters will be announced Jan. 19 and the final 28-man rosters for each country will be announced Feb. 24. Team USA workouts begin March 2, and the Americans' first game is March 7 against Canada in Toronto. Team USA is in Pool C with Canada, Italy and Venezuela. All Pool C games are at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

--RHP Joel Zumaya could begin throwing this week as he continues to progress from the stress fracture in his shoulder that cut short his 2008 season. Zumaya quit throwing in September after tearing scar tissue in the shoulder. He was cleared late in December to expand his strengthening program to include overhead exercises with his arm and shoulder, according to trainer Kevin Rand. Zumaya was examined in San Diego, where he lives, by Dr. Heinz Hoenecke, one of the specialists who performed reconstructive surgery on the AC joint in Zumaya's right shoulder in November 2007. Zumaya plans to travel to Detroit's spring training base in Lakeland to begin his throwing program. "He's steadily gotten better," Rand said. "He's gotten full, pain-free range of motion back, and he was able to begin doing strengthening work." It is too soon to tell whether Zumaya will be ready to participate fully in spring training when pitchers and catchers report Feb. 14.

--OF Wilkin Ramirez, one of the Tigers' highly regarded hitting prospects, played only seven Dominican winter league games because of symptoms consistent with gastroenteritis. Ramirez was sent home after becoming ill. He was added to Detroit's 40-man roster in November and is expected to begin the season at Class AAA Toledo. Ramirez has good speed and power but must master changeups and curves to make the majors.

--RHP Freddy Dolsi is working on adding to his fastball as he toils for Licey of the Dominican winter league. Dolsi, who impressed as a midseason call-up by the Tigers after working only a handful of Class AA games, had a 6.75 ERA through his first eight winter league appearances, all in relief. Dolsi had eight strikeouts and only two walks in 6 2/3 innings, although he had allowed eight hits. He is seen as a future closer candidate once he gets a reliable pitch to add to his fastball.

--RF Magglio Ordonez enters the 2009 season eighth among active players with a .312 career batting average. That puts him 84th on the all-time list. Ordonez won the 2007 AL batting championship and challenged again in 2008 before a September slump put him out of the race. He has hit .300 or better three of his four seasons with the Tigers.

--OF Alexis Gomez is returning to the organization where he was most successful, the Tigers. Gomez rejoined the Tigers on a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the big club. Gomez, 30, last played in the majors in 2006 with Detroit, where he hit a two-run home run and drove in four runs in his first postseason game, in the AL Championship Series at Oakland. He went 4-for-9 in three games of the four-game ALCS sweep, helping make up for the left-handed bat lost when injured 1B Sean Casey missed the series. Gomez signed with Colorado that winter and spent the 2007 season at Class AAA Colorado Springs before joining the Marlins organization last year at Class AAA Albuquerque. He batted .234 with five doubles, four home runs and 12 RBIs in 23 games (73 at-bats) for the Isotopes. Gomez batted .272 for the Tigers in 2006, playing 62 games, mostly as a late game replacement. His contract calls for a $415,000 salary if he were to spend the entire season in the big leagues.

BY THE NUMBERS: 113 -- Errors committed by the Tigers last season, tied for fifth-most in the majors. It was a big reason Detroit has new players at shortstop, catcher, third base and left field for the 2009 season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We've really been focused on improving our defense, and that starts with putting Brandon (Inge) back at third, where he is one of the best in the league. When you add Adam (Everett), that gives us one of the best left-side infields in the game. Adam is one of the premier shortstops in the game." --General manager Dave Dombrowski on one of his offseason objectives to improve the Tigers for this season.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: January 10, 2009

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