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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-05-16

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-05-16

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-05-16
--RHP Jeremy Bonderman believes he's very close to being able to return to the Tigers. Bonderman was scheduled to make a rehab start Saturday for low Class A West Michigan. "I'm maybe one or two starts away," Bonderman said in the Tigers' clubhouse before Friday night's game. He's been on the disabled list since March 30 because of lingering problems related to last year's shoulder surgery. Bonderman is doing his between-starts work with the Tigers. Bonderman made his first start for high Class A Lakeland and reported he "felt fine afterward and that was a big step. That's why I'm thinking I'm only one or two starts away." "I talked to him, and he said he's feeling pretty good," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I'm anxious to see how he does Saturday. ... The big thing is health -- how he's throwing, and can he get guys out?"

--RHP Juan Rincon opted to terminate the remainder of his $750,000 contract with the Tigers on Friday rather than accept a minor league assignment. He had been designated for assignment to make room for LHP Dontrelle Willis on Wednesday. Rincon was 1-0 with a 5.23 ERA for Detroit.

--RHP Justin Verlander was sitting and watching when his strong start was squandered by the faltering bullpen Thursday. Verlander got a no-decision after striking out a career-high 13 batters in 6 1/3 innings. He was removed after giving up a single and a walk following his 122nd pitch of the game. Verlander's fastball was sizzling and his curve devastating for the fourth straight start. He was charged with two runs although he left holding a 5-0 lead. It was his third straight double-digit strikeout performance, the first time that has been done by a Tigers pitcher since LHP Mickey Lolich in 1971.

--1B/3B Jeff Larish has sought out OF Marcus Thames, who's on the disabled list, for advice on how to handle sparse playing time. "The guy I go to is Marcus because I feel we're similar players," Larish said. "We're more of power hitters. I can relate to him. I can go and bounce some things off him. He gives me a lot of encouragement. He's the main guy that I go to as far as that. He's had to deal with it for so long, too. He does a very good job of making you feel comfortable and making you feel a part of the team and making you feel like he's there for you and encouraging you."

BY THE NUMBERS: 25 -- RBI by Detroit's two shortstops through May 10, most of any team in the majors. Backup SS Ramon Santiago had 13 and regular SS Adam Everett 12.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "This is not experimental and it's not developmental. This is the big leagues. He's going to the rotation and we expect everybody there to help us win games. The expectations are no higher on him than anyone else." -- Manager Jim Leyland, on the scheduled return Wednesday to the Detroit rotation of LHP Dontrelle Willis, who has been out all year with an anxiety disorder.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 16, 2009

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