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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-11

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-11

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-11
--RHP Ryan Perry got his first look at 44,000 fans in one place Friday when he got two outs in the eighth inning of a lopsided Detroit victory over Texas. Perry walked two batters, however, and manager Jim Leyland removed him after the second walk. "We wanted to get him acclimated," Leyland said, noting Perry and fellow rookie RHP Rick Porcello kept eye-balling the crowd in awe before the game. "I took him out because I wanted to make sure he didn't throw a whole lot of pitches." Leyland said Perry might be needed in the late innings Saturday.

--RHP Rick Porcello threw his first major league pitch for a strike and tossed three shutout innings before allowing four runs in his five-plus-inning outing Thursday. Porcello, 20, threw 89 pitches, but his first big-league decision was a defeat. His sinker topped out at 91 mph, he had an effective curve, and his changeup was off and on. Mistakes he probably would have gotten away with in the minors were whacked for long hits -- a so-so curve that was up too much and a changeup that caught too much of the middle of the plate were both banged for solo home runs. But on the whole he gave Detroit a chance to win and certainly did not look out of place. Porcello was the youngest Tiger to start since Bruce Robbins in 1979.

--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 11, 2009

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