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Marte remains out, but Leyland hasn't forgotten him

The Sports Xchange

--RHP Luis Marte, who hasn't pitched since suffering a left hamstring pull that landed him on the disabled list April 4, might be gone from Detroit but he's not forgotten. "This poor guy, we felt he was going to be a nice piece for us, or else he wouldn't have made the team," manager Jim Leyland said. "I think about stuff like that; when is he going to be able to throw." Marte felt tightness in his leg in a recent effort to return to pitching and was shut down again, but now is trying to get ready for rehab appearances. He had made the Tigers' opening roster until the injury sidelined him. "It might not sound like a big deal to everybody, but that's important stuff," Leyland said. "It's not fair, just because he's injured, that he's out of the picture, because he's not."

--LF Delmon Young is eligible to come off the suspended list Friday and faces an uncertain reception once manager Jim Leyland decides to put him in the starting lineup again. Leyland proclaimed Young won't start Friday but that he could be inserted at some point if the situation warrants. He was suspended for seven games after being arrested and charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault in New York last Friday. Young might be kept out of left field and used as the designated hitter if public reaction is negative, and being in the outfield would subject him to taunts from fans.

--RHP Doug Fister seems to be on track to start Monday in Seattle. Fister said he felt great after throwing 68 pitches in four innings of a rehab start Wednesday night for Toledo. "I felt good; I let it fly," Fister said. "I went out there and pitched like I would normally pitch. ... I can't wait. I am eager to find out when we're going to get going, and what we're going to do. It's an exciting time for me. I've been antsy to get back out there and give the team some help. I want to do what I can do."

--LHP Drew Smyly will make his first start against the Chicago White Sox on Friday night at the start of a three-game weekend series. So far Smyly has been a more-than-pleasant surprise for the Tigers, with four starts in which he's allowed one earned run or less in each. Smyly has a low-90s fastball he uses on both sides of the plate, a curve that can be excellent and a solid changeup. He knows teams will be paying more attention to scouting reports if his success continues. "You've got to do you," Smyly said recently, when asked if planned adjustments when the word gets out or when he faces a team for the second time.

--DH Brad Eldred could be vulnerable when LF Delmon Young is removed from baseball's suspended list and returned to Detroit's active roster. Eldred was purchased from Triple-A Toledo when 2B Brandon Inge was released, but the Tigers need a roster spot when Young comes back. Detroit could temporize by putting OF Andy Dirks on the disabled list to let him fully heal his bad left hamstring, but he was used as a pinch-hitter Wednesday without seeming ill effect. Eldred got two hits in his first game for Detroit but didn't get another until lining a curve to left center for a double Wednesday, when he was hitting in the eighth spot in the order.

68 -- Pitches thrown by RHP Doug Fister during his Wednesday night rehab start for Triple-A Toledo. He came out feeling fine and is slated to start Monday for Detroit in Seattle, where he played before being traded to the Tigers last July.

"You've got to do you." -- Rookie LHP Drew Smyly, on whether he plans any changes when he faces teams for a second time this season.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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