Injuries: Not Always A Bad Thing

Normally, when you think of a MLB team's players going on the DL, it's a bad thing. But with the multiple Tigers that have been hurt already, I think it's actually helping the team in both the short term and the long run. We've been able to take a longer look at some of the AAA kittens and have been able to rest some of the older guys. Here's a quick peek.

Carlos Guillen, shoulder
Carlos wasn't doing too much before heading to the DL, but since he's been gone, Magglio's been able to DH more and it seems to be helping him at the plate. More importantly, Jeff Larish has had a chance to come back and he's been doing quite well. Take your time coming back, Carlos. Then again, it'll probably only be a couple more weeks before you're hurt again.

Mr. Misty-May Treanor, torn labrum, right hip (out for year)
Dane Sardinha hits about as well as Ty Cobb does...and by that I mean Ty Cobb's remains today. But the kid can catch. The players seem to like him. And Rod loves calling him "Pineapple" (racist jerk). I'd still like to see the Tigers be on the lookout for a quality MLB backup catcher (or starter if Laird keeps struggling), but I guess there's more important things to worry about than getting a .240 hitting backup to replace your .200 hitting backup. (I hope he hits .200.)

Marcus Thames, left ribcage strain
Every year, Jim struggles to find Marcus Thames some at bats. With the big man gone, though, he's been able to play Josh Anderson, Clete Thomas, and Ryan Raburn a lot more and find out what they have to offer. I've loved what I've seen out of Anderson, Clete's been better than I expected (he's still not a #3 hitter, though), and Raburn's finally catching fire. It's fun to watch Thames swing for the fences, but I'm willing to bet that Leyland's happy to have the chance to watch the three young guys play a bit.

Jeremy Bonderman, thoracic outlet surgery
Dontrelle Willis, crazy

With the two starters out, we got the MLB debut of Dreamboat Rick Porcello, who's been quite impressive for a guy so young. In fact, if JV and EJax weren't being so dominant, I think Rick would be getting more attention. Also, extended looks at Miner and Galarraga have helped to see who truly belongs in this rotation. With Bondo returning soon and Galarraga struggling so much, I can see Armando becoming the odd man out, which I don't think would have happened without the mentioned injuries. Willis and Bondo continue to remain question marks at this point, though.

Nate Robertson, bruised labia (or whatever)
Poor Nate. He has to feel unwanted and forgotten at this point by everyone. (I'm still here for ya, buddy.) There just is no place for him on the team anymore and with his injury, "The Tickler" Luke French has been able to come up and throw a couple scoreless innings for us. Yet another kid for Leyland to get a good look at.

Last year was different. Granderson going down early killed this team from the start. Injuries continued all year. This year, negatives have become positives. Hopefully, this trend continues and the Tigers can keep learning from the chances the younger guys have been given in 2009.