Notes: Rogers won't risk further injury
All quiet on Tigers trade front; Rodney's rehab slate altered
OAKLAND -- Kenny Rogers was shaking his head as he stood in the clubhouse at McAfee Coliseum.
"My timing can't be worse," he said.
Rogers, of course, is 25-4 in his career here, both as an Athletic and as an A's opponent. He's 21-7 lifetime against Oakland.
"He owes me a percentage," Rogers said of his replacement, Jordan Tata. "I already told him, 'You owe me,' because this is a great place to pitch."
He would've loved to take the mound again on Monday, and he might've been able to get through a few innings, but he had no way of being sure. Then again, had he gone out there Monday night, he could've done something worse to his arm that could've kept him from pitching anywhere down the stretch.
That, Rogers said, was his biggest concern.
"I didn't want to make it worse, something that takes me out for the season or whatever," Rogers said. "I want to make sure I finish [the season] doing what I'm supposed to do here. I'm pretty sure that going out there and continuing wasn't going to make it better. Hopefully, a short little layoff to let it calm down and hopefully go away completely will be a big benefit."
The decision to pull Rogers from the start came about quickly over the weekend. Irritation in his arm worsened to the point where he felt it in his last side session before his scheduled start. With the Tigers out in Southern California, Rogers visited orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum and told him what he was feeling. A quick exam of his arm led to the conclusion that it was inflammation, and taking some time off would be the best remedy.
With that, Rogers was shelved.
"I just tried to be honest with them," Rogers said of his conversation with manager Jim Leyland. "Me going out there and not getting out of the bullpen [warming up] is not an option. The last thing I can do is give our team eight or nine innings when I have no clue what I'm really going to do. So I told them, and that's not easy to do. It's never easy telling your manager that someone's a better option than you. I've very seldom, if ever, been able to do that."
Though Rogers had struggled for three starts since the All-Star break, he said the injury had no effect on that.
"I've won games where I've had much worse stuff and I've felt much worse," Rogers said. "That's why you toe the hill. You never know."
He'll rest the arm this week and go back at it. While limited to exercises and stretches for the time being, Rogers said he felt an improvement in it already Monday. He doesn't plan on any MRI exams or similar tests. He'll go by how he feels.
"We'll know in two weeks or whenever it is," Rogers said. "If I don't have any [discomfort], it'll be great. I'll be out there."
Still quiet on the trade front: That could easily change before the 4 p.m. ET Tuesday trade deadline, but as president/general manager Dave Dombrowski sat in the dugout talking with reporters while watching batting practice Monday evening, he did not have to whisk away to answer a phone call.
However, he said, "I bet you half the clubs in baseball, we talked to today."
That was the process Dombrowski goes through, gauging teams, seeing where they stand on the verge of the deadline, and see what could take place. He did not sense Tuesday could be a day for a flurry of activity around the league, but he was still open as to whether the Tigers could join in.
"I don't know if we are going to make any trades," he said. "I've talked to a lot of different clubs. ... So far, we don't have anything. And it wouldn't surprise me if we didn't do anything."
The Tigers' struggles over the past week have not seemed to change the situation. Though they've had discussions on a number of fronts, mainly on upgrading the bullpen, they also haven't liked what other clubs are asking in terms of prospects. While the Tigers are still considered to have a relatively talented farm system, they don't have the advantage of other clubs boasting highly regarded prospects who are ready for the big leagues, such as the Braves with Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
"I think I have a real good grasp of what's out there and what's available," he said. "Can they upgrade your club or not? And what is the cost of upgrading? I don't feel like we have to make a deal by any means, but you're always talking."
At this point, the biggest upgrades -- whether Dombrowski deals or not -- seem more likely to come from the DL. Dombrowski expressed particular optimism that Fernando Rodney will return soon, and with Joel Zumaya throwing off a mound, Dombrowski said he might not be "too far behind" if he's cleared by Dr. Charles Melone to throw breaking balls.
"Now I don't know 100 percent, and that's the part that's a little uncomfortable about it," Dombrowski said, "but I also know what's out there and what's necessary in order to make some trades."
Or as he later added, "Right now you can say we have a hole in the eighth inning, but I could have the hole fixed Friday."
Speaking of Rodney: His nine-pitch scoreless inning for Triple-A Toledo on Sunday altered his rehab schedule a bit. He's now scheduled to throw back-to-back 15-pitch outings Tuesday and Wednesday, the test Leyland has mentioned more than once he wants to see Rodney pass after forearm and shoulder tendinitis left his velocity inconsistent.
Leyland wants to know in those outings how Rodney is locating and how the fastball holds up over the workload of consecutive outings. If he comes through fine, the Tigers could go from there, though Leyland did not say for certain that Rodney would be activated then.
No left behind: A day after Craig Monroe's two-run single off the bench, he was back in the starting lineup Monday. He came into the night 5-for-8 for his career off A's starter Joe Blanton.
Ryan Raburn started in left Sunday night. Asked if he's going to decide his left fielder according to who gives his team the best chance on that particular night, Leyland said, "That's a possibility. A lot of it depends on who's pitching."
If the opponent has a lefty on the mound, Leyland can start Raburn in center and Monroe in left, resting Curtis Granderson. Against a righty, however, the matchups could play a factor.
Coming up: All-Star teammates Justin Verlander (11-3, 3.43 ERA) and Dan Haren (12-3, 2.42 ERA) will be foes on Tuesday for the middle game of this series. Game time is scheduled for 10:05 p.m. ET.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.