Notes: Players come home hurting

Notes: Players come home hurting

DETROIT -- The Tigers' offense came back to life in Baltimore, but they still limped back to Comerica Park.

Rondell White missed a second consecutive game with a sore left shoulder that he said felt like a "little man" was sitting on it. And while most Tigers were preparing to stretch for batting practice, Carlos Guillen was preparing to see a team doctor and have his sore right knee examined.

Neither case is expected to be serious, but they're not exactly comforting, either.

Though Guillen was out of the lineup for the fourth time in Detroit's last five games, his examination Tuesday revealed no further damage. Manager Alan Trammell mentioned that Guillen has been wearing a new knee brace lately, and the hope is that the brace is the cause.

"I think he wants to be reassured," Trammell said. "We think the majority of the problem is that he's been wearing a new brace. So he has a different soreness because of a different brace, and that's affected him a little bit."

As for White, he missed his second straight game after banging his left shoulder against the left-field fence on a catch at Camden Yards on Saturday. He's hoping he can return to the lineup on Wednesday night.

"The last few days, I feel like a little man's been sitting on my shoulder," said White.

Marcus Thames filled in for White in left field on Tuesday. Replacing Guillen is a little more complicated, and it figures to get more so next week. Ramon Martinez started at shortstop, and with Dmitri Young at first base, Chris Shelton earned a start at DH on his first night back with the Tigers.

If Guillen's knee remains too sore to play at short, that figures to cut into Shelton's time at DH. With the Tigers resuming Interleague Play next week against the Dodgers and Rockies, they lose the DH spot, making the lineup crunch worse. If Guillen can't play at shortstop that week, he can't play at all.

Percival throws again: Injured closer Troy Percival mixed in curveballs and breaking balls in his second bullpen session Tuesday afternoon and said he felt fine. If he feels well on Wednesday, he'll be on track to throw a simulated game on Friday at Comerica Park. What happens after that is unclear.

"Until we get to that next phase, I'm not speculating," Trammell said. "Let's just wait. That's where we're at. I'm glad that he's throwing, but until we get further along, we're just going to have to wait and see."

Percival said he doesn't plan to try to talk his way back off the DL sooner than expected. "I'm hoping my throwing does the talking," he said.

Higginson feeling good: Bobby Higginson didn't have to wear so much as a sling on Tuesday following last week's surgery to clean up a bone chip and other debris from his right elbow. He can't move the elbow much, though, and isn't expected to be able to do much with it for the next four weeks or so.

Higginson confirmed the timetable of eight to 12 weeks, putting him on course to return sometime around August, if not sooner. His contract expires at season's end, and he hopes to have an opportunity to play with the Tigers down the stretch.

"I'll be willing to be out there, anyway," Higginson said.

Buddy becomes the enemy: Only two Tigers remain from Buddy Bell's managerial tenure in Detroit, and one of them is the manager. Both Trammell and Higginson wished Bell well in his new job managing the Royals, though they see it as a tough situation.

"I thought he would get another chance," Higginson said. "He's a great manager. He'll do well. It's just that you can only work with what they give you to work with."

Said Trammell: "It tells you he wants to manage. Hey, you know what? I think he's going in thinking he's got something to offer, that they're going to do it the old-fashioned way. Go with hard work, maybe add a few players. I just know this is an opportunity that he wanted."

It's something that Trammell didn't understand when he started managing, but now that he's done so for a few years, he understands why former skippers want so badly to manage again. Trammell called it an adrenaline rush.

"There's no question, and I'm sure Buddy will say the same thing, it's the next best thing to playing," he said. "Coaching is not the same. When you're in charge, and you are in charge of 25 guys, it's a different feeling. He was a darn good player, too, so I think I know how his mentality is. It's different when you can do something. The next best thing is here. I didn't know [until taking over], I totally admit it.

"And as much as you say, well, you're going into a [tough] situation, your mind is always saying that you have something to offer, that you help. That's the challenge."

Yanks suspended: The Yankees received their punishment from the Commissioner's office for last Tuesday's beanball battle with the Tigers. Paul Quantrill, who hit Jason Smith with a pitch at the shoulder on his second try, was suspended three games.

Yankees manager Joe Torre was suspended for one game as part of his automatic ejection when a pitcher is deemed to intentionally hit a batter after an umpire's warning. Both were fined undisclosed amounts. Neither plan to appeal their suspensions.

Coming up: Jeremy Bonderman will try to end a personal three-game winless streak when he takes the mound against the Rangers on Wednesday night opposite Ryan Drese. 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.