Notes: Trammell reshuffles lineup

Notes: Trammell reshuffles lineup

NEW YORK -- Nook Logan's first stretch as a leadoff hitter lasted a week.

With the Tigers struggling mightily at the plate heading into Tuesday's series opener at Yankee Stadium, manager Alan Trammell shuffled his lineup, essentially undoing his changes from a week ago. Brandon Inge was moved back to leadoff from the second spot, and Logan was pushed back to ninth in the order.

Just as Trammell said a week ago that he didn't know how long Logan batting leadoff would last, he doesn't know how long this setup will last. It's far more likely to last, obviously, if the Tigers hit better in this series.

"We're not hitting, so I could change tomorrow," Trammell said. "That's what happens when you're not hitting."

Detroit hit .248 over their just-finished nine-game homestand. Though Tigers pitchers entered Tuesday's contest leading the American League with a 3.03 ERA in May, they're averaging just 3.35 runs per game on offense during the month. Their .253 average for May ranks 10th in the AL.

Trammell isn't blaming Logan for all the troubles -- plenty of other hitters are struggling. At the same time, he said on Sunday that the top of the order sets the tone for the rest of the lineup. Logan went 6-for-38 during the homestand and 1-for-13 during the weekend series against Arizona. The former Yankees draft pick came to New York batting .365 (27-for-74) batting ninth and .244 (11-for-45) batting first.

As usual, Logan was at the park early to work with hitting coach Bruce Fields, so work ethic isn't the reason.

"Sometimes applying it in games is hard to do," Trammell said. "He did well when he was ninth. I'm hoping he gives us a jump-start as another leadoff guy [batting ninth]."

Logan said that batting leadoff wasn't the problem, just that he simply fell into a slump.

"It just wasn't happening up there," he said. "It's not a big deal."

When Trammell put Logan in the leadoff spot a week ago, he said it would be for more than just a day.

Asked how long he'd have Logan ninth, Trammell said, "We'll go day to day. Most likely, it won't be just today."

The other change to the lineup came at second base, where Trammell replaced Omar Infante with Ramon Martinez. That change most likely won't last long -- Trammell said he didn't like the matchup between Infante and Yankees starter Mike Mussina. For reference, Infante is 1-for-5 for his career against Mussina with a walk, strikeout and RBI.

Enjoying the Hall: The Tigers' trip to Cooperstown had them traveling late on Sunday night and getting up early on Monday morning, not a typical travel-day schedule. Yet for many players and other team members, the history and atmosphere of the Hall of Fame made it worth their while.

"It was the greatest way you could spend an off-day with your teammates," said bullpen catcher Todd Maulding, who struck out as a pinch-hitter in the Hall of Fame Game. "It's about the closest you could get in this game to a company picnic."

Trammell reiterated that he was "amazed" by the presentation they put on for the game. Though many woke up not exactly feeling their regular-season energy after all the travel, he said that the reception they heard on their parade to the ballpark was invigorating.

Was an appearance at the Hall bittersweet for Trammell, whose case for induction has been a tough topic for Tigers fans? Trammell said no.

"I think it's probably because I'm the manager, and I know what I was there for," Trammell said. "I only think about it when people ask me. I know at this point, the way it seems is it would be so much of a long shot, the way I look at it. If it happens, it would be great, but if it doesn't, you're never going to hear me complain. It's still a pretty good life that I've been able to enjoy through this wonderful game.

"I know in my mind that I played at a high level. If that's the way it is, it's good enough for me."

Rodney working his way back: Assistant general manager Al Avila said that reliever Fernando Rodney was clocked at around 94 mph during a recent outing at extended Spring Training. Rodney has missed the entire season to this point with right shoulder inflammation and a sore biceps muscle, but could return in about a month, according to Avila.

Minor matters: Virgil Vazquez's debut at Double-A Erie was nearly a no-hit performance. The finesse right-hander allowed a hit and a walk over eight scoreless innings in the SeaWolves' 1-0 victory at Akron on Monday night. Vazquez retired the first 16 batters he faced until giving up a double with one out in the sixth inning. He ended up facing just one batter over the minimum. Tony Giarratano's RBI single in the third inning provided the lone run and extended his hitting streak to 17 games.

Coming up: Mike Maroth will face the Yankees on Wednesday night for the first time since tossing a complete-game one-hitter against them last July at Comerica Park. Game time is 7:05 p.m. ET.

Jason Beck is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.