04/25/10 1:08 AM ET
Leyland being careful with rookies
By Todd Wills / Special to MLB.com
Leyland gave Sizemore the day off Saturday as the rookie deals with the ups and downs of hitting Major League pitching -- he had three strikeouts in Friday's 5-4 loss. Sizemore also reported that his ankle is sore. He had offseason surgery on his left ankle.
Leyland pinch-hit for Sizemore in the eighth inning Friday. "I'm not going to give a young guy four strikeouts," Leyland said. Also Leyland wanted to give Ryan Raburn a start to keep him fresh, so Sizemore's day off worked out.
Leyland said he had a meeting with Sizemore this week after watching him for 15 games. He gave the rookie some constructive advice, telling him to remember whether it's offense, defense or baserunning, everything happens a little faster at the Major League level.
"It wasn't anything negative," Leyland said.
Everett exits with mild hamstring injury
Tigers shortstop Adam Everett left Saturday's game in the third inning with a mild right hamstring injury. He is day-to-day.
Everett singled to start the third inning and later came around to score, but did not return to the field. He was the Tigers' Opening Day starter at shortstop and has played in 13 games.
Manager Jim Leyland said Everett actually tweaked his hamstring going into the hole to make a play on an infield single by Vladimir Guerrero in the second inning.
"It's slight," Leyland said. "We think he'll be OK." Everett will not start Sunday. Ramon Santiago will play in his place.
Ordonez to get Sunday off
ARLINGTON -- Magglio Ordonez will get Sunday's game off, at least most of it, after starting the Tigers' first 18 contests, manager Jim Leyland said after Saturday's 8-4 win over Texas.
Brennan Boesch will take Ordonez's place in right field. Austin Jackson, who was originally supposed to get Sunday off, will play center with Don Kelly in left.
"I want to watch the guys a little bit," Leyland said. "Mags has played all the time. I've been watching him and he said he was a little sore. It's way too early to take chances. I'd never forgive myself if he came up with something."
Miguel Cabrera, Scott Sizemore, Ramon Santiago and Brandon Inge will start on the infield. Alex Avila will catch and Johnny Damon will be the designated hitter.
Santiago's at-bat impresses manager
ARLINGTON -- Ramon Santiago's 13-pitch at-bat in the ninth inning Friday night against Texas closer Neftali Feliz, one of the hardest throwers in the league, drew rave reviews from Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
"Very impressive," the manager said.
Leyland wouldn't go so far as to say Santiago's at-bat set the stage for the Tigers' two-run rally to tie the game at 4 in the top of the ninth -- the next three batters got hits. "I don't think it had anything to do with it," Leyland said.
But Leyland did commend Santiago for his effort. Feliz was throwing around 100 mph the entire at-bat. And Santiago did take a changeup on the 10th pitch, something he said was difficult to do.
Leyland did say Santiago's at-bat might have impacted Feliz.
"He probably did take a little bit out of him," Leyland said.
Jackson plays before big fan base Saturday
ARLINGTON -- Manager Jim Leyland wanted to give rookie center fielder Austin Jackson the day off Saturday and play Don Kelly in his place. That was up until Leyland found out Jackson, from nearby Denton, had 200 family members and friends coming to watch the game.
"I'm playing him," Leyland said. "I didn't know he had 200 passes.
"I said he wasn't going to play and two minutes later, I had 300 death threats. I'm joking."
Leyland questions Perry's pitch selection
ARLINGTON -- Tigers 23-year-old reliever Ryan Perry lost Friday's game on an 0-2 fastball to Texas second-year shortstop Elvis Andrus. The pitch was going to prompt a brief talk with the manager, Jim Leyland said before Saturday's game.
Perry got Andrus to swing widely on a first-pitch slider with the based loaded and one out. The Tigers right-hander then got ahead 0-2, setting up a perfect slider count. Only Perry threw a fastball and left it up, and Andrus pounded it into center field for the game-winning hit.
"He didn't make a smart pitch," Leyland said. "I'd like to know, 'What were you thinking?' Why throw a fastball for a strike? Why not throw the slider."
Leyland was told that Perry already understood he went with the wrong pitch.
"He's smart," Leyland said. "But I'm still going to talk to him."
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.