10/1/2013 7:08 P.M. ET
Rondon, Coke not expected to pitch in ALDS
Neither able to throw; Alvarez or Downs to give club second lefty in 'pen
By Jason Beck and Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com
DETROIT -- Bruce Rondon and his 101-mph fastball had the potential to be an X-factor in the Tigers' bullpen for their American League Division Series. Right now, though, he's not throwing at all, his elbow still bothered by inflammation.
Neither is Phil Coke, whose flexor forearm tendinitis continues to sideline him. As a result, both relievers have been all but ruled out for this series, leaving Detroit's bullpen short.
"They will not be ready for the first round," manager Jim Leyland said. Game 1 is Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET on TBS.
Rondon has pitched in only one game since Labor Day, so the Tigers know how to get by without him. Considering how well he pitched in that one game last week in Minnesota, they're missing out on something special.
Rondon missed three weeks with elbow discomfort before striking out the side in order on just 10 pitches last Tuesday against the Twins. He threw four fastballs at 100 or 101 mph, but it was his slider -- a pitch that normally puts more stress on the elbow -- that seemed to give Minnesota hitters fits.
"Rondon would've been a nice piece, no question about it," Leyland said. "The performance up there in Minnesota was lightning."
Rondon said after that game he felt fine, but came down with more soreness the next day.
"It was difficult for me," Rondon said through a translator, "because I thought I was going to feel good after it. It was a great outing, but I felt discomfort again. It's very disappointing."
The soreness isn't as intense now, but until it's gone, he won't be cleared to pitch.
"I feel bad," Rondon said, "because I wanted to help this team in the first round. Everybody dreams of going to the playoffs."
Coke, whose flexor issues have hampered him even when he has been able to pitch, was on track to have a chance at the postseason before continued soreness during a brief mound session Wednesday sidelined him again. He spent the weekend rehabbing back in Detroit.
Both injuries leave the Tigers with some decisions to make on their postseason roster. Leyland said he'd like to have two left-handers in his bullpen. If he sticks to that, he would have to choose between Jose Alvarez and Darin Downs to put alongside Drew Smyly.
Both injuries could put more responsibility on Al Alburquerque, whose slider makes him both a situational strikeout reliever and a weapon against left-handed hitters.
"The responsibility falls to a good situation if he's right," Leyland said of Alburquerque, "because left-handers hit about .195 off him for his career. That's almost like having another left-hander."
Another pitcher whose role could increase as a result could be Rick Porcello, who will pitch out of the bullpen for a second consecutive postseason. Normally, the fifth starter fills a long relief role in the playoffs, but Leyland isn't tagging any role to Porcello.
"I'm going to play it by ear," Leyland said, "particularly in the first series, because each game is so important."
Iglesias declares himself ready for playoffs
DETROIT -- Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias, whose bruised left hand that sidelined him for a week still bothered him in the season-ending series in Miami, said he's fine for the playoffs and shouldn't be limited.
"I'm good," Iglesias said.
Iglesias started all three games against the Marlins, but said after Friday's game that there was some lingering soreness that he would have to work through, especially swinging a bat. He made progress each day after that, though he went 0-for-8 for the series.
"His hand's fine," manager Jim Leyland said. "His hand will not be an issue."
Peralta likely to make roster, but role unknown
DETROIT -- The Tigers aren't expected to announce their roster for the American League Division Series until at least Thursday. That means a little more waiting for bench players and relievers hoping to take a spot. That still means some uncertainty for Jhonny Peralta.
Peralta's bat appears likely to land him on the 25-man roster, especially with an extra position player likely to go as a result of the four-man rotation. The bigger question is what kind of role he'll fill, whether as a bat on the bench or a legitimate option in left field.
"I don't care what position I play right now," Peralta said. "I try to do the best I can and try to help."
Peralta said he grew more comfortable in left in Miami as the series went on.
"I'm going to feel excited," he said. "It's a new position. I don't know how it's going to be, but I'm going to do my best."
Tigers back off stance of A's stealing signs
DETROIT -- The A's pounded Tigers pitching over a four-game set in August, scoring 22 runs in 20 innings against the four starters they will be facing in the postseason. Oakland posted 34 runs during the series, the highest total Detroit had allowed during any four-game stretch since June 2011.
Afterward, there were suggestions from the Tigers that the A's may have been getting signs when they came to Detroit, sometimes without a runner on second base.
"They beat up on us," manager Jim Leyland said at the time on his pregame radio segment. "I still think that they were getting something somewhere. I'm just not believing. I know we made a lot of bad pitches, but I just don't believe you wear the ball out like that. I've seen a lot of games and a lot of series and I've seen teams get hot, but I'm a little suspicious that somewhere along the line they were getting something somewhere."
However, as the two teams prepare for the American League Division Series on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET, TBS) the Tigers aren't going to accuse the A's of any wrongdoing.
"We got pretty good pitching and they were wearing us out like they were taking batting practice," Leyland said Tuesday. "They could have just been hot and I still believe that's what it was because we've seen no signs of anything like that."
Club to fly to Oakland, work out Wednesday
DETROIT -- The Tigers' only workout at Comerica Park before heading to Oakland had a pregame feel to it. The team took batting practice and infield work Tuesday, but did not do much else.
After contemplating a light workout Wednesday, the Tigers decided to make it exclusively a travel day to get out to the West Coast. They're scheduled to work out at the Coliseum in Oakland at 6 p.m. ET.
The Tigers did not plan anything beyond that. It's a longer layoff than past seasons before the American League Division Series, but manager Jim Leyland doesn't correlate it to what they faced before the World Series last October.
"We've got four days off. They've got four days off. We'll see how it plays out," Leyland said. "This is a little bit different in the sense that a couple other postseasons we were sitting around six, seven days, and the other team wasn't. In this particular case, the other team's sitting around, too."
• Miguel Cabrera is again a finalist for Player of the Year honors in the MLB Players Choice Awards. The award, as voted on by players, selects the top player in either league. The other finalists are Orioles slugger Chris Davis and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Other Tigers up for awards include Max Scherzer and Anibal Sanchez for American League Outstanding Pitcher, Victor Martinez for AL Comeback Player, and Iglesias for AL Outstanding Rookie.
• The Tigers landed three prospects among this year's nine Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove winners: Triple-A Toledo first baseman Jordan Lennerton, Double-A Erie third baseman Wade Gaynor and Class A Lakeland outfielder Jason Krizan.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.