On Thursday morning, everything seemed to be rolling along without a hitch. The Tigers had set their 25-man roster, the team made it through spring unscathed, and Kenny Rogers was set to make his final spring training warm-up start.
But then out of nowhere, Rogers was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a fatigued arm. Rogers stated he felt erratic in his most recent start, and the Tigers were going to take every necessary precaution with Rogers.
Then on Friday, word leaked that the injury was more serious than first thought, and a blood clot had been discovered. He had surgery later on to remove the clot as well as repair two damaged arteries, all in his left (throwing) shoulder.
The injury will leave Rogers completely idle for at least a month, and likely will not be back and able to compete at the big league level until midseason.
With the injury, Chad Durbin will get the first crack at taking over the spot in the rotation. However, should Durbin falter, there remain a number of potential replacements, including Zach Miner, who got a handful of starts last summer when Mike Maroth went to the disabled list.
Meanwhile, the day should have been a celebration for the organization and its long term health. That's because they had just completed a four year contract extension with shortstop Carlos Guillen that will keep Guillen in the ‘ol English ‘D' until 2011.
The deal is a four year extension worth $48 million. He currently still has one year and $5 million remaining on the three year extension he signed with the club after being acquired from Seattle.
Guillen, who sported a .920 OPS in 2006 – better than every other Major League shortstop, was hoping to get a five-year deal from the Tigers, much like the one Michael Young received earlier this year. The Tigers were originally hoping to extend him for an additional three years, but both sides were able to compromise on a four-year deal.
Wilson to DL Also
Adding to the Tigers sudden bad luck streak when it comes to keeping players on the field, Vance Wilson was placed on the disabled list on Friday with a sore right elbow. The Tigers had hoped it would improve with a few days of rest, but after that wasn't the case, the Tigers elected to place Wilson on the list.
To take his spot, the Tigers recalled Mike Rabelo from AAA-Toledo. While a catcher like Dane Sardinha had more big league experience than Rabelo does, Rabelo was already a member of the organization's 40 man roster (Sardinha wasn't), and Rabelo already has experience catching a number of the team's pitchers due to his call-up last September.
Of course, much like Wilson, ‘Rabs', as he's referred to, will serve in a backup role to Ivan Rodriguez, receiving limited action for the club.