For the Detroit Tigers injuries are not an excuse….but


We here at DJC never like to use the injury excuse. We think professional sports teams’ teh world over have to deal with injuries and they should be deep enough at every position to do just that. The 2012 Detroit Tigers have been anything but healthy, and while we don’t want to make an excuse for them, the injury list for this team is getting ridiculous. Last night Closer Jose Valverde suffered an injured wrist while warming up in the bullpen. Tonight Catcher Gerald Laird suffered a lower leg injury. Not to mention the fact that Andy Dirks is on the DL, along with SP Drew Smyly, and Catcher Alex Avila going through a rehab stint with the Toledo Mudhens. The Tigers also have RP Al Albuquerque on the 60 day DL, and Victor Martinez out till late August or early September.

They are also headed out to a National League park at the end of the week for the inter league play finale with the Pittsburgh Pirates. That means the daily lineup over the weekend will look a bit different. Manger Jim Leyland is also concerned about some of his players playing too much. Prince Fielder has started every game but one at first base andLeylandwould like to use him as the DH in tomorrow’s matinee against the St. Louis Cardinals. He has already used Miguel Cabrera that way to get him a little rest.  If Prince agrees we should see Don Kelly get the start at first.

With Smyly out, Tiger pitching prospect Jacob Turner gets the afternoon start tomorrow. To make room for him on the roster Luke Putkonen has been returned to the Mudhens. If the team plans to useAvilatomorrow another move will need to be made. Either putting Valverde and/or Laird on the DL, or sending another player back toToledo.

Avilawill likely be activated at some point before Thursday’s game as he has now played three games inToledo. He looks ready to return, and his stat line before tonight shows three hits in seven at bats. If not, and with Laird’s status for tomorrow uncertain at best, Bryan Holaday could find himself as the starting catcher tomorrow. Depending on the severity of Laird’s injury he will likely be with the big team for the time being.

Complicating matters is Ryan Raburn reached five year of MLB service today, and therefore cannot be optioned back toToledowithout his consent. They could pull a more drastic move but with all the injuries so far that does not seem likely at this point. Depending on the status of Valverde the team could send Danny Worth down to add another bullpen arm, or add another arm if Papa Grande has to go on the DL.

The point here is the Tigers really have to work to piece a full 25 man roster together for each and every game. GM Dave Dombrowski and Leyland have to make smart educated moves on who gives the team the best chance to continue to win series. As long as they can accomplish that the 2012 season is still savable. If the injuries continue to mount the media and the front office will have a built in excuse for why they did not live up to expectations.

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