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News » Detroit Tigers Roster Report 2009-04-11

Detroit Tigers Roster Report 2009-04-11

Detroit Tigers Roster Report 2009-04-11
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 Armando Galarraga won 13 games as a rookie last season and seems poised to at least equal that number this year. Galarraga pitched five-hit, one-run ball over seven innings Friday and struck out a career high eight batters. Galarraga was picked up from Texas in a late spring trade last year and then called up in mid-April. He throws several varieties of fastballs and each one breaks a different way. Meld that with multiple sliders and when he gets them all over for strikes it makes for a deadly combination. Manager Jim Leyland would have started Galarraga in Toronto but felt he deserved to pitch the Tigers' first game at Comerica Park so the fans could honor is outstanding 2008 season.

--1B Miguel Cabrera is off to the kind of start that could make him a legitimate Triple Crown threat. Cabrera hit a grand slam Friday and later hit a two-run double off the top of the fence in left that barely missed being his fourth home run of the season. The six runs Cabrera drove in gave him 10 in Detroit's first five games and the slugger is batting .611 -- without a strikeout. "There's no telling what that guy can do," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's a force, one of the best in baseball. He's a big guy in big spots." The first three times Cabrera batted he swung at the first pitch.

--DH Jeff Larish got into his first game of the season Friday and hit a solo home run the opposite way, over the left-field fence. Larish was selected over Marcus Thames to DH because he had not appeared in a game and manager Jim Leyland didn't want him rusting away on the bench. He dribbled a single in front of the plate in the second inning and hustled to second when the catcher's throw went past first base for an error. He batted sixth, in front of C Gerald Laird.

--C Gerald Laird faced his old team for the first time since being traded to Detroit over the winter. He blooped an RBI single to center field in the second Friday and ripped a triple to left-center in the eighth. It was his first triple in three seasons and the sixth of his career. Laird also called a good game for RHP Armando Galarraga.

--3B Brandon Inge continues to show why it was a smart move for the Tigers to switch him back to third base. Inge made a play few, if any, players at his position could make in the first inning Friday when he raced full speed into left field to make a stretching catch of a high flyball by Texas CF Josh Hamilton. Then in the fourth inning he showed how he's changed his hitting approach by lining a 3-and-1 pitch to center for a single instead of trying to pull the ball.

--RHP Eddie Bonine, who made the Tigers' bullpen as a non-roster player this spring, got the final four outs Friday in Detroit's 15-2 victory. One of the runs was a solo home run, but that was the only runner he allowed and he understood his objective at that point was to throw strikes and let his fielders take care of the rest.


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 begin a rehab assignment with Class A Lakeland on April 11, and he will stay in the minors 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 11, 2009

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