04/15/07 1:36 PM ET
Notes: Ordonez nicked up
Outfielder hit by splintered bat on Saturday, but should be fine
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
As Ordonez walked around the visitors' clubhouse at the Rogers Centre on Sunday morning prior to the series finale against the Blue Jays, he had a bandage with a bloody spot in the middle to show the price he paid in Saturday's victory. When Thames' bat broke in two on B.J. Ryan's pitch, the half Thames wasn't holding went towards Ordonez between second and third.
"It got me really good," Ordonez said. "The barrel of the bat hit me. I was running, and then I got hit."
Ordonez didn't notice the bat coming at him while he was running because he was watching the ball to make sure it fell in. The bat didn't stab Ordonez, but it scraped him enough to leave a bleeding wound on his right shin.
Though Ordonez said he could play in the outfield, manager Jim Leyland decided to keep him off his legs a bit. Ordonez was in the lineup on Sunday as a designated hitter, and Gary Sheffield played right field for the second time this series.
It's not expected to be a lingering injury, but it's part of a trend so far this year for the Tigers. Last Monday in Baltimore, Sean Casey had to dodge a flying piece of lumber that came at him so quickly that he couldn't get back to cover first base in time on a ground ball.
"I can never remember this many bats being broken," Leyland said. "I don't know what it is."
Durbin still dealing: Though Chad Durbin has had two rough starts to begin the season, Tigers officials say it's way too soon to even consider taking him out of the rotation. Nor will Leyland use Thursday's off-day to skip his spot in the rotation. It's not a tactic he likes to use in any situation, preferring to give his pitchers the extra day of rest.
Durbin's next scheduled start comes on Friday night to open the three-game series against the White Sox at Comerica Park. Though Leyland is sticking with his fifth starter, he also said Durbin threw too many "hittable" pitches for a Major League lineup.
Bullpen coach Jeff Jones, who was the pitching coach at Triple-A Toledo last year when Durbin anchored the Mud Hens rotation, certainly believes in him. He believes Durbin has to trust his stuff.
"What he did last year," Jones said, "would've gotten big-league hitters out."
Speaking of trusting stuff: After closer Todd Jones said Jason Grilli's three hitless innings on Saturday were big for his confidence after a rough first outing, Leyland said on Sunday he sees a more confident Grilli on the mound, stuff-wise.
"I think there are several players here who weren't sure how good they were," Leyland said. "They kind of tiptoed, and now I think that they're getting more confident. I don't think he realizes how good of an arm he has sometimes. He had a good slider yesterday, good velocity. Of course, he was fresh, but once you start having some success, you can build on it.
Motown weather: The bad side of the Tigers' return home on Sunday night is that they return to cold-weather baseball after four games in the controlled climate of the Rogers Centre. Though temperatures will climb up around 50 degrees for a high temperature on Monday and Tuesday, the Tigers have their first set of night games, leaving them with evening temperatures headed towards a low in the upper upper-30s. Monday's game-time temperature is forecast for the mid-40s with a wind chill around 40.
Leyland knows it'll be a transition, but he can't do much about it.
"I think it's the dumbest thing a manager can do when you try to convince people it's not that bad," Leyland said. "It's been bad. So, to me, you lose credibility as a manager. If you tell them, 'Hey, we've got to play through it. This is the way it is,' that's what you say. If you try to convince somebody it's not that bad, they look at you like you're an idiot."
Trahern wins again: Dallas Trahern picked up his second win in as many starts for Double-A Erie on Saturday night with another dominant performance. The right-hander scattered a run on six hits in 6 1/3 innings after tossing six scoreless innings earlier in the week. The SeaWolves are 1-3 in games Trahern hasn't started.
Leyland takes BP: Leyland closed out pregame batting practice on Sunday afternoon by grabbing a bat and taking a round. He received applause from Tigers fans in attendance when he sent a fly ball into left field, and he tipped his cap in response on his way off the field.
Coming up: The Tigers return home for the first time in a week and a half on Monday to host the Royals in a 7:05 p.m. ET start at Comerica Park. Justin Verlander (0-0, 0.00) will make his third start of the season opposite Zack Greinke (1-1, 1.38).
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.