Detroit Tigers: Joe Nathan rehab, scrappy Tigers, V. Martinez hobbled

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Closer Joe Nathan certainly had his troubles versus major league hitting last season. He will get a crack at some minor league batters on Wednesday.

For the first time since 2011, Nathan will pitch at the Triple-A level as part of a rehab appearance on Wednesday. If he doesn’t suffer a setback, Nathan will likely rejoin the Tigers on Friday for the series opener against the Indians.

With Wednesday’s Triple-A Toledo game starting at 10:30 AM, Nathan joked he could make it back to Detroit before first pitch versus the Yankees at 7:05 PM.

Speaking of the Yankees, New York beat Detroit, 5-2, on Tuesday, but not without another nail biting ninth inning for the opposition. The Tigers were able to load the bases and put the tying run aboad before the Yankees recorded the final out. New York manager Joe Girardi said teams can expect that kind of fight from the Tigers all season long.

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As great as that offense has been at times, it has disappeared at times too. Detroit has scored more than three runs just once in the last seven games, but it has gone largely unnoticed because the club keeps winning.

In particular, one hitter that just doesn’t look like himself is Victor Martinez. His stat line is fine, .310/.429/.345, but he isn’t producing much power and can’t run on the bases. Perhaps Detroit rushed him back from his offseason knee surgery a little too quickly.

Detroit Tigers’ Joe Nathan to make rehab appearance at Toledo; eyes potential return from DL Friday – James Schmehl, MLive.com

"Nathan, who threw light toss on Monday at Comerica Park, has been on the 15-day disabled since April 7 and is eligible to rejoin the Tigers on Wednesday. He threw a full bullpen session on Monday and reported no discomfort or soreness.“I don’t want to say we’re out of the woods,” Nathan said. “We still have bruising and stuff to deal with. But from where it was to now, it seems very minor.”Nathan, 40, said he will likely make one rehab appearance for the Mud Hens, who open a six-game homestand Wednesday. If he doesn’t suffer a setback, Nathan could be ready to rejoin the team Friday for the series opener against Cleveland."

Tigers may lose but they’ll be scrappy in doing so – Tony Paul, The Detroit News

"So, to recap: In 14 games this year, the Tigers have won 11 of them, had a chance to win two others in the ninth inning, and then lost one in blowout fashion.They have a lot of pieces in this lineup — power hitters, contact hitters, guys who can draw a walk, guys who can steal a base. And, because of that, while some less-motivated teams might go through the motions trailing by four in the late innings, these Tigers don’t ever feel like they’re finished.“We definitely don’t quit,” said Rajai Davis, who drew a two-out, bases loaded walk against Andrew Miller in the ninth inning to make it 5-2. “We expect to win every game, and when we don’t, people are a little bit disappointed.”"

Motor City Bengals: V-Mart might benefit from DL stint – Tom Zahari, Special to the Detroit Free Press

"The numbers and the eye test tell two different stories. Entering Monday, Martinez was hitting at a .310/.429/.345 split with four RBIs. On Sunday, Martinez went 3-for-3 with a ground-rule double — all from the right side of the plate.But in watching the game, his two singles fell in because the Chicago White Sox were playing him incredibly deep, and his double hit the foul line and spun into the stands.Martinez was not able to play full games in Pittsburgh, without the designated hitter rule, but he looked hobbled after fouling a ball off of the top of his knee. Ever since, Martinez has not seemed like the threat the Tigers need in the middle of their order."

Next: Tigers Heroes and Zeroes

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