Detroit Tigers Notes And Quotes 5-29-11
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–RHP Rick Porcello started out attacking the strike zone but got off the edges five outs into the game and was driven from the game with a five-run second inning. Once SS Jed Lowrie singled to right off a 1-2 pitch with two out in the second, Porcello began working from behind on almost all of the remaining batters he faced. “He was just all over the place,” manager Jim Leyland said. “His control just wasn’t very good.” The first four batters he faced in the third reached base and three of them reached three balls in the count. After getting the first out of the inning, Porcello gave up his second home run of the inning on a 3-2 count. Left-handed hitters were batting .301 against Porcello and Boston ran out seven of them. Lefties went 5-for-11 with two home runs and a walk off Porcello. “I had trouble locating the fastball,” Porcello said. “Fell behind guys, 2-0, you’re not going to be successful falling behind hitters. They don’t miss pitches. The mistakes you make, they make you pay for them.”
–LHP Charlie Furbush has made two major league appearances and has yet to allow a run in 8 2/3 innings. Working in relief of RHP Rick Porcello, Furbush worked five two-hit shutout innings with two walks and six strikeouts. Furbush blanked Tampa Bay over 3 2/3 innings in his major league debut earlier in the week. He offsets a firm fastball with a sharp curve and a good changeup. “Furbush was tremendous,” manager Jim Leyland said. “He seems like a pretty cool customer. At some point he’ll probably get hit around a little bit. You’ll learn a little bit more when things don’t go right. We’ll just have to wait and see. His stuff is plenty good enough.” “I’m just trying to stick to what makes me successful, things that I know I can do on the mound,” Furbush said. “Not trying to get ahead of myself.”
–RHP Ryan Perry was optioned to Class AAA Toledo to make room for LHP Andy Oliver, who comes up to start Saturday against Boston. Another roster move becomes due when LHP David Purcey reports from Oakland. Perry has struggled from inconsistency and underuse, posting a 12.19 ERA in his 13 appearances, spending time on the disabled list with an eye infection. “Right now, we’re just beating ourselves up,” manager Jim Leyland said. “So is Ryan. He just needs to get away from this atmosphere. Hopefully it’s temporary, he’ll get it straightened out. (Toledo is a) little more relaxed atmosphere. It’s without question the best thing for him. And hopefully in the long run, for us.”
–SS Jhonny Peralta is about two months ahead of where he was last year in the home run department. Peralta ripped his eighth of the year leading off the second inning. He didn’t hit his eighth a year ago until joining Detroit from Cleveland. Peralta hit his eighth when he joined Detroit in Boston July 30. “He kind of quietly does a tremendous, tremendous job for us,” manager Jim Leyland said.
–DH Miguel Cabrera had started all 49 of Detroit’s previous games at first base this season. He made his season debut as the Tigers’ designated hitter, in part because he hurt a knee sliding into second trying to break up a double play Thursday. Cabrera lined an RBI single to left in the first inning to give the Tigers a brief 1-0 lead. Whether he DHs again depends on how he feels when he gets to the park Saturday.
–1B Victor Martinez made his first start of the season at first base for Detroit. Martinez has appeared now in 131 games as a first baseman. Getting on the field didn’t hurt his batting average as he singled his last two times up. It’s the presence of Martinez the last few series that has kept teams from walking 1B Miguel Cabrera ahead of him.
–LHP David Purcey joins the Tigers as soon as he can get from Oakland. Detroit acquired the southpaw in a trade for 2B Scott Sizemore. He had a 2.13 ERA in nine games for Oakland this season but his ERA stood at 11.57 when he was dealt to the A’s from Toronto on April 12. “We’ve been trying to get him for a long time,” said GM Dave Dombrowski, who collects hard-throwing pitchers. “We tried to get him last winter, but they wouldn’t trade him. We also tried to get him when he was traded by Toronto, but weren’t fortunate enough to get him. Oakland is getting healthy and has an abundance of relievers now, so we called to tell them of our interest in Purcey. They said they would do it if Sizemore was involved. “Hopefully he will help stabilize our bullpen. He’s a hard-thrower who used to be a starter. We look at him as someone who can probably pitch in middle relief, seventh inning-ish. He’s a guy who can pitch an inning or two out of the bullpen.” Purcey was 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA in 33 games for Toronto last season. In 68 career appearances he has a 5-10 record with a 5.17 ERA. He was a first-round draft choice by the Jays in 2004.
–IF Danny Worth was called up by Detroit to replace 2B Scott Sizemore on the roster. He was in uniform for Detroit’s game with Boston but was not used. Worth played 39 games for Detroit as a utility infielder last season, batting .255. He hit .270 with three home runs and eight RBI in 31 games for Class AAA Toledo this season. He is expected to see most of his action at second but could also play short and third.
–LHP Andy Oliver comes up to start Saturday against Boston. “I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on him,” manager Jim Leyland said. “He’s coming up to pitch against a team that’s pretty hot right now. He’s a left-handed pitcher; probably a better a fit right now. We’ll see how he does.” Oliver was 0-4 in five emergency starts for Detroit last year. He is seen as a future starter for the Tigers and he’ll get at least two starts while LHP Phil Coke recuperates from a bone bruise in his right foot.
–2B Scott Sizemore was traded by Detroit to Oakland, ending his second shot at being the Tigers’ starting second baseman. “I just couldn’t find my stride,” said the visibly shaken Sizemore as he packed to leave. “I couldn’t get it to click.” He was handed the starting job last spring but still bothered by an ankle injury and was returned to Toledo hitting a bare .200. He looked better upon returning to Detroit but by that time 2B Will Rhymes had the job. Rhymes opened this season as the starter but didn’t hit and Sizemore, hitting .400 in the minors, was brought back. He hit .222 in 17 games. “We didn’t see any benefit by having to send him back to Class AAA at this time with the organization,” GM Dave Dombrowski said.
BY THE NUMBERS
4 — Players Detroit has started at second base this season, with UT Danny Worth becoming the fifth the first time he makes a start there this year. Will Rhymes opened the season as the starter and was supplanted by the just-traded Scott Sizemore. Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago have also made starts at the position.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“If we can help our bullpen, which we know we need to add to and hopefully we’re doing that, then maybe we can deal with some of the offensive aspects, either internally or externally, as time goes on.” — President, CEO and GM Dave Dombrowski, as part his announcement that Detroit had traded 2B Scott Sizemore to Oakland for LHP David Purcey.
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