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Magglio Ordonez Nearing Return

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The Tigers announced yesterday that injured starter Phil Coke will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo on Friday. Today, the club announced that Coke will have some help in paying for the post-game spread.

Magglio Ordonez, sidelined for the past three weeks while dealing with the after-effects of his broken ankle last season, will also start a rehab assignment with the Mud Hens on Friday. If all goes well, Maggs could return to Detroit fairly quickly. Ordonez has been working out with the Tigers before games during the homestand and coaches have given him high praise. From Jason Beck:

"The team didn’t give an indication on how long the assignment is expected to last. The fact that the Tigers are sending him on the road with the Mud Hens, rather than keeping him at home with Double-A Erie or Class A West Michigan, suggests the assignment will last at least into next week, when the Mud Hens return home for an eight-game homestand."

Ordonez has been showing good power to the pull field during batting practice, which for a guy who is notorious for looking terrible during BP has to be a good sign. It would seem to indicate that he’s able to hit of a more solid base and word is that he’s been running well also.

In Magglio’s absence, the Tigers have employed a steady dose of rookie Andy Dirks in left and Brennan Boesch in right. Dirks has performed well enough that he’s made forgetting Magglio a little easier. Still, a healthy and productive Ordonez makes this club a lot better. The Ordonez we saw during April, however, was neither healthy nor productive.

I’m hoping the Tigers don’t rush him back. The Indians won’t be playing .600 ball all year and Ordonez is more important in the stretch run than he is right now, at least in his condition. Let’s make sure the ankle is fully healed and Ordonez is capable of returning to form before we risk  a return trip to the DL. Dirks has provided a bit of a spark with his bat and a big improvement on defense. That’s okay for now.

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