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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-09

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-09

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-09
--RHP Zach Miner (1-0), handed a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, gave up hits to the first three batters Wednesday night but wriggled out of trouble with only one run scoring. Then he pitched shutout ball until being relieved with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Miner, returned to the rotation after being dismissed in mid-spring, used his changeup and breaking ball effectively after the first. He was helped by double plays in the first and third. He walked two, struck out four and allowed only three hits after the first inning. Miner replaced injured RHP Jeremy Bonderman in the rotation.

--DH Marcus Thames is expected to get more at-bats this season, which would give him an opportunity to live up to the front office's predictions he would have more than 30 home runs if he batted 500 times in a season. His ratio of one home run per 12.64 at-bats last year was the best in the majors. He drilled a low inside fastball down the third base line for an RBI double Tuesday in the seventh inning. Thames had 26 home runs last season in 316 at-bats.

--UT Jeff Larish made Detroit's opening-day roster (at the expense of UT Ryan Raburn), and manager Jim Leyland intends to use him more than just occasionally. "I like him a lot," Leyland said. "He's studious and he pays attention. You always worry about young guys sitting too much, but I'll get him in there." Larish, 26, batted .260 in 42 games with Detroit last season. He can be used at the corner infield and outfield spots along with DH. He provides Detroit with needed punch from the left side of the plate and is a patient hitter, too patient sometimes. "It's hard to hit with two strikes on you all the time," Leyland said. "Going back to last year, I think I gave pitchers too much credit," Larish said. "Yeah, they're more consistent up here, but they do make mistakes. It's about capitalizing on mistakes."

BY THE NUMBERS: 36.1 -- Millions in salary the Tigers are paying to three players not on their opening day active roster. Released DH Gary Sheffield is owed $13.6 million after signing with the New York Mets for the major league minimum; RHP Jeremy Bonderman, currently on the disabled list recovering from last year's shoulder surgery, is being paid $12.5 million; and LHP Dontrelle Willis is getting $10 million. Willis is on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Are we right? I think so. If we aren't, I'll be wrong. The easiest thing is to say they are not ready. But with the stuff they showed, they deserved to be on the team." -- Manager Jim Leyland on his decision to put Detroit's last two first-round draft choices, RHP Rick Porcello (2007) and RHP Ryan Perry (2008) on his opening-day roster.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 9, 2009

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