05/28/11 9:45 PM ET
Needing roster slot, Tigers send Wilk to Minors
By Jason Beck and Chris Vannini / MLB.com
Wilk performed well in his Major League debut -- giving up two hits and one unearned run in 3 2/3 innings against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday. But with the left-handed Purcey coming over, the Tigers needed to move someone from the left-heavy bullpen.
Leyland said he has been impressed with the 23-year-old Wilk, but that didn't have much to do with his Major League debut.
"He had a nice outing," Leyland said. "My impressions are good about him, because I liked him in Spring Training, where I saw him quite a bit. My impressions are good, but that fact that he got by a few innings at the Major League level in a regular game is just what it is."
In Toledo this season, Wilk is 3-4 with a 3.86 ERA in eight starts with the Mud Hens.
Guillen working out, but no baseball activities
DETROIT -- Carlos Guillen is back at Comerica Park for the second time in three weekends, but he's actually doing less this time than he was before. While Guillen is doing exercises to rehab his surgically repaired left knee, head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Saturday Guillen isn't doing any baseball activities for now.
It has nothing to do with the knee, but the sore back that has been bothering Guillen off and on for the past few weeks. Until that improves, the Tigers don't want to push him, but they also want to strengthen the knee in the meantime.
There's no indication yet how much the delay could affect his return. Since the back is basically just a nagging injury, rather than anything serious, there aren't any long-term concerns for it. But it's still time lost in a season nearing two months old.
Guillen's timetable arguably becomes more newsworthy now that the Tigers' second-base picture is muddied with Scott Sizemore off to Oakland. Ryan Raburn is starting there for now, but by no means is Detroit guaranteeing that for the long term.
Magglio takes another round of batting practice
DETROIT -- Magglio Ordonez felt well enough Saturday after his first workout at Comerica Park that he did it again, this time taking another session of batting practice before doing some more work. And the Tigers continued to build encouragement that he's on the road to a return.
It's a telling sign that manager Jim Leyland talked Friday night about keeping the offense afloat until Ordonez returns -- until, not unless. Lelyland also said Saturday that how Ordonez plays left field, now that Ryan Raburn is at second base, depends on Ordonez's return. If Ordonez takes his normal spot in right field, Brennan Boesch would then become a part of the left-field mix.
"We're hoping to keep going, keep treading water until we get Magglio back," Leyland said. "And hopefully we get the real Magglio back, and hopefully we get Raburn going a little bit, and all of a sudden our offense looks pretty good. But it's got to happen."
First, it means the Tigers anticipate Ordonez being back soon. Second, it means Leyland, who usually makes a point not to talk about injured players and their anticipated returns, believes Ordonez can come back productive enough to provide a bump to Detroit's lineup.
Ordonez seems to share in the optimism.
"After [Friday], I would say he's very encouraged," head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said.
Rand did not talk about the next step. Ordonez's expected to go through some sort of Minor League rehab assignment, likely at Triple-A Toledo, to get his timing down at the plate following more than a month off.
Players play themselves into lineup
DETROIT -- There are many duties that come along with being a baseball manager, but deciding who plays and who sits is determined by those involved, manager Jim Leyland says. Players play themselves into and out of the lineup.
"It's like I've always said, the manager really doesn't make up the lineup, the players make up the lineup," Leyland said. "I don't mean exactly where they hit or anything, but they make the decisions on who you play. At some point, if guys aren't doing anything, you've got to try somebody else."
One of those struggling Tigers is third baseman Brandon Inge, who is hitting .205 on the season. Leyland called Inge one of the best defensive third basemen he's seen, but his struggles at the plate can't counteract that if he wants to play.
Leyland started infielder Don Kelly at third base on Tuesday and Wednesday to try to spark the lineup. He may have sparked Inge, who said Thursday he was "fired up" after sitting on the bench for two days.
"I want Brandon Inge to be in the lineup," Leyland said. "I read the other day where if he's not in the lineup, he's not happy. I don't blame him. When he's not in the lineup, I'm not happy either. That means he's not doing good."
Tigers revel in Barcelona's soccer championship
DETROIT -- Even professional athletes can be sports fans. Led by designated hitter Victor Martinez wearing his soccer jersey, several Venezuelan Tigers watched and cheered on Barcelona as the Spanish team won the UEFA Champions League, defeating Manchester United, 3-1, on Saturday.
Injured second baseman Carlos Guillen said Barcelona is the favorite team in Venezuela, and that was evident when Martinez, Guillen and first baseman Miguel Cabrera -- all Venezuelans -- roared when Barcelona scored its third goal.
It was Barcelona's second title in three years. It also defeated Manchester United in 2009.
Luckily for the Tigers, the game ended before they were required to be on the field for warmups, giving Martinez -- in his Barcelona jersey -- just enough time to take pictures of the TV on his phone after Barcelona won.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Chris Vannini is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.