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Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes
--RHP Justin Verlander had very good stuff Sunday night but still gave up six runs to Los Angeles. Verlander refined some adjustments (throwing more over the top) that he made in his last start and once again was showing a fastball that consistently registered 94-97 on the speed gun. His curve had more bite (at least until the sixth) and his changeup was sharp. The Angels scored single runs in the fourth and fifth but broke through for four in the sixth to chase Verlander, who has won just once this season.

--RHP Jason Grilli worked two scoreless innings Sunday and seems to have his control and confidence back. Grilli worked four scoreless innings from last Monday through Sunday, allowing just one hit. He's getting good sink on the ball and his location is good.

--DH Gary Sheffield is still hitless in three games since returning to the Detroit lineup after getting cortisone shots in his ailing shoulders. "I think he swung the bat well," manager Jim Leyland said after Sheffield's first game back, when he hit a long fly to the warning track in left-center with the bases loaded. "He just missed hitting a grand slam. If he pulls that ball more, it's gone. I thought he was on pitches, and I thought he was aggressive."

On Sunday, Sheffield still looked like he had a quick bat but he said he is having trouble getting his arms extended. Leyland said he'd be concerned except Sheffield is still pulling 95 mph fastballs foul. "I still think he's one of the feared and respected hitters in the game," Leyland said.

--LHP Dontrelle Willis is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Tuesday in New York. If it goes well he will make the first of two minor league starts Friday, probably with Class AAA Toledo. Willis pitched a simulated game Saturday with no problems either from his hyperextended right knee or his control. "He threw a lot of strikes," said Marcus Thames, one of three Tigers who batted against him. "The first round, he was pumping them in there pretty good." "I was just happy to get back on the mound," Willis said. "I feel like more of a baseball player. I feel strong, and I feel confident. I feel more confident after (Saturday), and I just hope they're pleased with my progress."

--3B Carlos Guillen is no stranger to his 'new' position, third base, the spot he began playing regularly Sunday. He hasn't played third in the majors since the end of the 2003 season with Seattle, a position he played 32 times that year.

However, Guillen played 68 games at third for the Mariners in 2000 and that was the position he played, not shortstop, regularly in winter ball in Venezeula.

"I always played third base," he said. "Long games in winter ball. I didn't want to be the shortstop."

--RHP Armando Galarraga will have a couple more chances to convince the Tigers he deserves a regular spot in their rotation. Galarraga is 2-0 in three starts as the substitute for injured LHP Dontrelle Willis and had a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings Saturday. He made a throwing error on a leadoff bunt by CF Torii Hunter in the seventh and the Los Angeles Angels scored three runs in the inning to create a 3-3 tie and deprive him of a third straight win. He's had streaks of 17 and 15 consecutive batters retired and the hit which spoiled his no-hitter, by Vladimir Guerrero, was the first by a right-handed batter off Galarraga this season.

"I thought (Galarraga) had the best stuff of the three games," manager Jim Leyland said. "But I'm learning that when he loses it, he loses it fast."

BY THE NUMBERS: 100 -- Major League games Carlos Guillen had played at third base (for Seattle) prior to making his first start at the position for Detroit this week. Guillen also said he'd played the position extensively in winter ball in Venezuela.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We believe it makes our team better. Actually, I know it makes our team better. In the long run, I believe your job as a manager is to get the most out of your players and put them in position to be the most successful. I believe that this makes our club better." -- Manager Jim Leyland, in announcing the switching of Carlos Guillen to third base and Miguel Cabrera to first.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 28, 2008

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