Notes: Nook masters new art form

Notes: Nook masters new art form

PHOENIX -- When Tigers center fielder Nook Logan is scaling the outfield fence to rob a home run, he's thinking about throwing down an alley-oop.

Logan, a basketball standout in high school, has used his baseball instincts and basketball hops to bring back four would-be home runs this season. The most recent came on Saturday, when he robbed Arizona's Troy Glaus to preserve a 1-1 tie.

"You try to get in the right spot -- I almost wound up in the wrong spot [Saturday] night," Logan said. "It's just hand-eye coordination, running, jumping and catching. It's like an alley-oop."

Entering June, Logan had never snagged a potential home run. He said he brought a couple back in the Minors, but never actually came down with the ball. But he's made four robberies this month, with three coming in one series at Baltimore's Camden Yards.

Making the plays is based mostly on instinct with a little bit of talent -- and luck -- mixed in, because there's no way to simulate making that type of catch in practice.

When the Tigers were in Minnesota earlier this week, Logan sought advice from the master -- Torii Hunter. There was only so much help Hunter could offer, but he did give Logan a chance to watch and learn on Tuesday when he leapt on the run and reached well over the fence to rob Brandon Inge.

"When the ball's hit, you just get a bead on it, try to beat it to the spot, get to the spot. Hopefully you're in the right spot, and you make the play," Logan said Hunter told him.

But Logan's opportunities to make the highlight reel could be greatly reduced shortly. He's been struggling with the bat, hitting .067 in his last 11 games, and manager Alan Trammell announced on Sunday that Magglio Ordonez will begin a Minor League rehab stint that will last about a week.

With Ordonez's imminent return, Trammell will be forced to shuffle playing time. Logan got his opportunity in center when Ordonez went down with a hernia on April 13 and regular center fielder Craig Monroe -- the team's RBI leader -- moved to right.

"[Logan is] in the mix, but we'll just have to factor all that in," Trammell said. "We like his defense -- that's certainly a priority with me -- but with that being said, I've got some homework to do."

As for Ordonez, he'll head to Triple-A Toledo, where he'll begin his rehab by playing five innings in the outfield on Monday. The team won't activate Ordonez until he plays nine innings in the field on back-to-back days. Ordonez is scheduled to be the designated hitter on Wednesday, meaning Saturday would be the earliest he could rejoin the club.

"We're looking at basically a week," Trammell said. "The track record with an injury like this is [that] you really have to let it heal. The last thing you want to do is rush it and set him back."

"I'm anxious to play," Ordonez said. "There's about 90 games [left] -- I can do some damage."

More good news: The Tigers activated shortstop Carlos Guillen from the 15-day disabled list in time for Sunday's series finale against Arizona. Tony Giarrantano was optioned to Double-A Erie to make room for Guillen.

Guillen, who was hitting .355 in 169 at-bats before going on the DL with a pulled hamstring on June 8, will bat third.

"The reason why we activated him was he was able to go back-to-back days and feel good," Trammell said.

Although Trammell slotted Guillen into the third spot, he said he doesn't necessarily expect Guillen to immediately regain the pace he was on earlier.

"I don't know if we can expect him to come out and get two hits and all that good stuff," Trammell said. "But for him to get a game under his belt is going to be good."

Coming through in the clutch: It should come as little surprise that Rondell White came through with a big base hit with a runner on second in the seventh inning on Saturday. The only real surprise was that he didn't come through on his previous two at-bats with runners in scoring position.

White led the American League with a .406 batting average with runners in scoring position entering Sunday's action. His success has derived from his focus to shorten his swing and look for a base hit instead of trying to drive the ball for extra bases. Only one of White's eight home runs has come with a runner on second or third.

White admitted he tried to do too much in the sixth when he bounced into a double play with two on after chasing a sinker. He was able to refocus for his next at-bat and came through with an RBI single to left.

Now White just has to figure out a way to trick himself into thinking there are runners on every time he comes up.

"Sometimes I'm trying to hit the ball too hard, trying to hit home runs when I should be doing the opposite," White said. "Sometimes you don't want to do too much."

Just a loud strike: Dmitri Young hit a mammoth fly ball in the third inning on Saturday that, by conservative estimates, traveled 500 feet. Problem was, it went foul.

"I wished it was fair," Young joked. But Young has been around long enough to know these things balance out -- and also to know where he is playing this weekend.

"It's not a waste; it's part of the game," Young said. "You hit some hard, they go foul.

"You get jammed and it goes over someone's head and you win the World Series," Young said with a smile, making a reference to Luis Gonzalez's World Series-winning bloop single in 2001 for Arizona.

On deck: After a travel day on Monday, the Tigers return on Tuesday to Comerica Park, where they will host the division-leading White Sox for a three-game series. Nate Robertson will pitch against Mark Buehrle in a battle of lefties.

Dan Blank is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.