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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ordonez to start rehab stint with Toledo on Friday

When Tigers pitcher Phil Coke puts on a Toledo Mud Hens uniform on Friday, and trots to the mound in Scranton, Pa., for a rehab start against the New York Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate, it will seem like almost any other day at the office.

He’ll have a familiar coworker in the Hens lineup with him, after all.

Magglio Ordonez, who has been on the disabled list since May 13 with weakness in his surgically-repaired ankle, will begin his rehab stint with Toledo the same day, the Tigers announced Wednesday.
Even though Tigers manager Jim Leyland has tried to stay out of the discussion, leaving it between Ordonez and the training staff — “I just stay out of that stuff. ... Whenever they tell me Magglio’s ready, he’s ready,” he said — there’s no question that he’s been encouraged by watching Ordonez take batting practice on the field at Comerica Park the last few days.
“He felt fine the last couple of days, felt really good. And drove the ball pretty good. Just wait and see,” Leyland said after one session.

“He feels great, but is a couple of days swinging going to change how he feels? I wouldn’t think so, but I don’t know,” the manager noted after another.

Struggling off and on with his ankle in the cold weather early this season, Ordonez was hitting just .171 in 26 games before notifying the Tigers’ medical staff that he wanted to shut it down.
He was re-examined by Dr. Phillip Kwong, the surgeon who repaired his broken ankle last August, in Los Angeles three weeks ago, but has been rehabbing in Detroit since then.

Coke, who has been on the DL with a bruised bone in his foot, is scheduled to return to the Tigers’ active roster after his lone rehab start. Once he comes back, the Tigers will send left-handed starter Andy Oliver back to Toledo.

Ordonez’s return could make for a more interesting roster decision. Do the Tigers demote Andy Dirks, who’s hit .281 since taking Ordonez’s spot on the roster? Or Casper Wells (.228)? Or infielder Danny Worth, who may be less needed, once Ordonez’s presence in the outfield rotation pushes Ryan Raburn into the second base role full time?

Just wait and see on that, too, I guess.

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