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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-28

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-28

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-04-28
--LHP Dontrelle Willis took another step forward Sunday when he worked six successful innings for Class AA Erie. Willis, on the disabled list with an anxiety disorder, allowed just three hits in six innings. He did not allow a hit until the fifth inning, when he gave up two runs on a leadoff home run and two doubles. He left with Erie leading 7-2 in a game it won 8-4.

--RHP Scott Williamson was released from the Class AAA Toledo farm club so the Tigers could option down RHP Eddie Bonine, who was bumped with the return of RHP Joel Zumaya from the disabled list. Williamson, 33, signed a minor-league contract in January but did not make the club in spring training. He had struggled at Toledo, posting an 11.81 ERA in five games. He has not pitched in the majors since 2007.

--C Matt Treanor was placed on the disabled list Sunday and may miss 2-3 months of the season (or more) with a torn labrum and impingement in his right hip. He had surgery last October for the three tears in his left hip -- officially listed as "sports hernia" surgery -- but was increasingly bothered by pain in the same area in spring training and said he really started to feel it April 17 in Seattle. Surgery is now expected this week. "I tried everything I could (other than surgery)," he said. "I thought I did the right thing by trying to get through that and continuing to play without having surgery right off the bat. I didn't want to jump the gun and think I just had to get surgery. I was hoping to get to the All-Star break and maybe get another injection and finish up the year. I thought I would be able to get through it." He was hitless in 13 at-bats over four games. "I was feeling decent up until I got to Seattle," Treanor said. "It wasn't getting any better. After I played, I had to lift my legs up to get them in bed. I wasn't doing anybody any good."

--C Dane Sardinha's contract was purchased from Triple-A Toledo on Sunday, and he flew to Kansas City to find himself in the starting lineup. Sardinha threw out a runner (Coco Crisp) trying to steal in the fifth after stroking a sacrifice fly to center that scored the eventual winning run in the top half of the inning. Sardinha, who hit .231 in five games for the Mud Hens, was brought up when backup C Matt Treanor was placed on the disabled list with a hip problem that will require surgery. "I really like Sardinha," manager Jim Leyland, a former catcher, said of his new backup, who took a .143 batting average for 19 Major League games into Sunday's contest. "He's an excellent catcher. We don't expect a lot of offense from him. I'm not sure anybody expects a lot of offense from their backup catcher."

--RF Magglio Ordonez finally got his first extra base hit of the season Saturday night, driving a solo home run in the ninth inning of a 9-1 Detroit win at Kansas City after his first 17 hits of the season went for singles. A couple of those singles were the product of Ordonez's lack of speed but mainly they're the result of his hitting the ball where it's pitched instead of trying to yank everything over the left field wall. "About time, huh?" Ordonez said with a grin after the game.

--RHP Ryan Perry continues to impress with his ability to get hitters out and handle increasingly more pressurized situations. Sunday, he was brought in to start the eighth inning with a 3-1 lead and got three outs with only a walk marring his two-strikeout inning. Perry has pitched eight times already this year and by early May might exceed his innings total (14 1/3) of his first pro season, 2008.

--RHP Zach Miner returned to the starting rotation Saturday night and pitched just long enough to win his second game of the season. However with a day off Thursday it is likely Manager Jim Leyland will skip over Miner the next time through the rotation as he elects to keep RHPs Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson, Rick Porcello and Armando Galarraga in turn. Leyland wants Miner to be more aggressive in throwing strikes and attacking hitters. "He better," Leyland said. "He's got to get over that (not getting ahead of hitters), and I think he can. But if he doesn't, it's going to be tough for him to be a starting pitcher." Miner threw 83 pitches, 42 of them strikes, while holding Kansas City to three singles in five innings. "The balls I was getting hit were on the ground, which is always a good sign for me," said Miner, who got a key double play in the third while RHP Juan Rincon was warming up in the bullpen. "It seems like early they had some good swings on my changeup, which is a big pitch for me. I had to adjust a little bit, some more breaking balls and more sliders than I normally would."

--RHP Joel Zumaya returned to Detroit's active roster Saturday night with a scoreless ninth inning in a 9-1 Tigers' victory in Kansas City. It was Zumaya's first appearance since Aug. 12 of last season, when a stress fracture in his right shoulder shut him down. He was bothered by muscle soreness in back of his shoulder this spring and was not activated until working back-to-back scoreless innings in Triple-A last week to prove he could handle that chore without undue soreness. Zumaya gave up two harmless singles Saturday after his first two pitches were gunned at 101 and 98 mph. "He's gonna need his curveball," Manager Jim Leyland said after Zumaya's return. "They centered it pretty good off him. Those days (of getting by on just a blazing fastball) are over. They see so many of 'em now." "I'm fine," Zumaya said. "I had jitters -- a lot of jitters. But it's good to have a few jitters in this game."

--LHP Nate Robertson worked consecutive games during the weekend. He gave up just one walk in two-thirds of an inning Saturday after allowing three hits and a run in 1 1/3 innings the previous night in a 10-5 Detroit loss. "I think he wants to be a starting pitcher," Leyland said. "But I take my hat off to him. He's busted his (tail), his attitude has been great, and I appreciate that." Robertson is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA covering five games.

--RHP Eddie Bonine was optioned to Triple-A Toledo on Saturday to make room for RHP Joel Zumaya on the Detroit roster. The move was primarily made because Bonine, 27, had an option left whereas most of the other members of the Tigers' bullpen do not. "I like him a lot," manager Jim Leyland said. "Under different circumstances, he wouldn't be going back down. I think he can do a creditable job for what we're asking him to do. I think he can handle that job." Bonine was 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA in four relief appearances this season with eight innings pitched.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Base hits, all singles, by RF Magglio Ordonez this season before he finally collected his first extra-base hit of the season, a solo home run in the ninth inning April 25 at Kansas City.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We told him after the first inning, particularly in the second inning, that you just can't keep pumping it up here because that don't work. So he started using some other things effectively and then your fastball is that much better because his fastball is very good with a lot of late movement. I take a real positive from his standpoint out of this game." -- Manager Jim Leyland on the adjustments made by rookie RHP Rick Porcello in his April 24 start at Kansas City. Porcello took his second loss but retired 10 in a row after giving up three runs on a pair of home runs in the first two innings.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 28, 2009

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