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News » Detroit Tigers Roster Report 2009-04-08

Detroit Tigers Roster Report 2009-04-08

Detroit Tigers Roster Report 2009-04-08
The Tigers neared the end of spring training the same as they entered -- with unanswered questions about the state of the pitching staff. After RHPs Justin Verlander, Edwin Jackson and Armando Galarraga, the club had no rotation candidate without significant question marks. RHP Jeremy Bonderman (injured), LHP Dontrelle Willis (control problems, anxiety disorder), LHP Nate Robertson (no fastball, inconsistent slider) and rookie RHP Rick Porcello (great stuff, no experience) all had issues. The bullpen was also unsettled from top to bottom. The defense will be improved with the addition of SS Adam Everett and the return to third of Brandon Inge, and the club should score enough runs. Robertson showed late signs of adapting to a Kenny Rogers style of pitching, which would help a great deal. Porcello and fellow rookie RHP Ryan Perry made the club.


--RHP Edwin Jackson was everything Detroit was looking for in his first start with the Tigers. Jackson was pinpointing his fastball and mixing in a sharp slider as he worked 7 1/3 innings, allowing just a solo home run. Jackson, obtained in a winter deal with Tampa Bay, threw first-pitch strikes to the first seven batters he faced and 17 of 26 overall. He retired 12 batters in a row at one point. Jackson had Toronto shut out until giving up a leadoff home run in the eighth. He left after a one-out error in the eighth having allowed just two hits, walking one and striking out four.

--1B Miguel Cabrera has four hits in six at-bats in the young season as he opens what a few people think could be a year in which he challenges for the lead in the Triple Crown categories. His 70 RBIs after the All-Star break last year were the most in baseball as he settled in to a new league. He won the AL home run title (37) and might have been among the batting title contenders with a better first half.

--LHP Bobby Seay was brought in to face one hitter, a left-hander, and got a forceout at second. Seay did a nice job in the first half of last season but had troubles against left-handed hitters, especially late in the year when the whole Detroit bullpen fell apart. Seay's role this season, at least at this point, is likely to be as a specialist primarily against left-handed hitters.

--RHP Brandon Lyon couldn't nail down the closer's job in open competition with RHP Fernando Rodney this spring, and Tuesday he couldn't nail down a 3-1 victory. Lyon came in with a runner on first and two outs in the eighth, gave up a single up the middle and then a three-run home run to Aaron Hill on a first-pitch curveball. The breaking pitch had good depth to it but was too far inside, and Hill hit it as if he were looking for it. Lyon gave up a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth followed by a hit-and-run single. After an intentional walk, Rod Barajas hit a sacrifice fly to center to end the game. Lyon was excellent as the closer for Arizona the first half of last season but was ineffective in the second half, losing his job and eventually leaving as a free agent. He was erratic in a competition in which Rodney was less than overwhelming also.

--3B Brandon Inge looks as if he's going to do well at the plate until pitchers adjust to the changes he made between seasons. Inge tightened up his stance a little, moved his hands up and tilted his bat more toward the pitcher in an effort to get back to being a productive hitter. The Tigers also felt moving Inge back to his favorite position, third base, would help his productivity also. Inge hit a two-run home run in the first game of the season and added a double plus a score-tying home run in the ninth Tuesday. His first home run was to the opposite field, while his shot Tuesday was off the facing of the third deck in left-center.

--LF Carlos Guillen played left field Tuesday but will serve as Detroit's designated hitter in one of the Tigers' remaining games at Toronto. Guillen was the DH in Monday's opener, and manager Jim Leyland said he didn't expect to have Guillen in the field more than twice in Toronto. "Carlos tells me it definitely bothers his hamstring," Leyland said. "I don't want to start the season and have guys coming up lame."

--RHP Joel Zumaya threw 43 pitches in an extended spring game as he continues to make progress toward a return from the disabled list before the end of April. He could begin a rehab stint when the minor league seasons start and will return to the Tigers after he's proven he can work back-to-back games without undue discomfort on the third day.


LHP Dontrelle Willis (anxiety disorder) went on the 15-day disabled list March 29. The disorder was diagnosed through blood tests, and there was no timetable for his return. Willis, for his part, didn't understand the diagnosis and said he felt fine.

RHP Joel Zumaya (right shoulder soreness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He will remain in camp to work minor league games until he shows he can pitch back-to-back games successfully.

RHP Jeremy Bonderman (right rib removal, blood clot surgery in June 2008) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 30. He won't return until he nudges his fastball back up 90 mph on a consistent basis.


1. RHP Justin Verlander

2. RHP Edwin Jackson

3. RHP Armando Galarraga

4. RHP Rick Porcello

5. RHP Zach Miner


RHP Brandon Lyon (closer)

RHP Fernando Rodney

LHP Bobby Seay

RHP Eddie Bonine

RHP Juan Rincon

LHP Nate Robertson

RHP Ryan Perry


1. CF Curtis Granderson

2. 2B Placido Polanco

3. RF Magglio Ordonez

4. 1B Miguel Cabrera

5. LF Carlos Guillen

6. DH Marcus Thames

7. C Gerald Laird

8. 3B Brandon Inge

9. SS Adam Everett


C Matt Treanor

INF Jeff Larish

INF Ramon Santiago

OF Josh Anderson

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 8, 2009

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