Tigers place Ordonez, Guillen on 15-day DL, purchase contracts of Larish, Rhymes from Toledo
DETROIT – The injuries to Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen added to a disastrous week for the Detroit Tigers.
Ordonez fractured his right ankle sliding into home plate in the third inning of Saturday night's 3-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays and Guillen strained his right calf two innings later, raising to three the number of starters Detroit has lost in six days.
Third baseman Brandon Inge, whom Ordonez and Guillen joined on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, broke a bone in his left hand Monday when he was hit by a pitch against the Texas Rangers. Ordonez is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
The Tigers, who went into Sunday's day-night doubleheader against Toronto third in the AL Central 2½ games back behind the Chicago White Sox, will be playing without their regular right fielder, second baseman and third baseman. Ordonez batted third in the order, Guillen was sixth and Inge seventh.
"We just have to go out and play. That's the bottom line," outfielder Johnny Damon said before Sunday's game against Toronto. "We know we're missing two of our big guys. We just have to deal with it."
Detroit filled Ordonez and Guillen's spots by purchasing the contracts of first baseman-third baseman Jeff Larish and infielder Will Rhymes from Triple-A Toledo.
Tigers' manager Jim Leyland acknowledged that the team would miss Ordonez (.304, 12 home runs and 59 RBI), Guillen (.280, five homers and 30 RBI) and Inge (.263, six HR and 40 RBI), but didn't lower expectations for his team.
"There's going to be no excuses here," he said. "There's going to be a lot of energy. Plus the veteran leadership with (Miguel) Cabrera, Damon and guys like that. And we'll still be OK if we pitch."
Ordonez's injury also raises questions about his future after this season.
The 36-year-old outfielder is in the last year of his contract, but only needed 135 starts or 540 plate appearances this season or a total of 270 starts and 1,080 plate appearances combined for the 2009 and 2010 seasons for his contract to be renewed for $15 million for 2011.
He was on track for both numbers — he's at 207 starts and 883 plate appearances for 2009 and 2010 — but the injury will make it difficult to reach the renewal figures.
"We're going to play our (butts) off and we're going to play hard," Leyland said. "I'm going to have to manage better and we're going to have to do things differently. But that's OK."
The Tigers created room for Larish and Rhymes on the 40-man roster by releasing right-handed pitcher Billy Buckner and designated the contract of right-handed pitcher Casey Fien for assignment.