When Ordonez last talked at Triple-A Toledo last week, he talked about needing a few more days to regain the timing in his swing that he relies on to produce power. After home runs on back-to-back days, including a three-hit night for the Mud Hens, Ordonez returned to the Tigers' lineup Monday feeling pretty confident.
"I played a few games in the Minor Leagues," Ordonez said Monday afternoon before heading out to batting practice. "I saw a lot of pitches. I played nine innings, so I think I'm ready."
The surgically repaired right ankle, which led him to the disabled list May 11, is no longer an issue, he reiterated.
"It's way different," he said. "It's stronger. I don't feel any pain. I don't feel any discomfort. I'm ready to play baseball."
He was also ready to bat lower in the order, even if it came somewhat as a surprise to everyone else. Manager Jim Leyland didn't go into his reasons for batting Ordonez sixth and keeping Brennan Boesch third.
"That's where I put him," Leyland said.
Ordonez, however, said later that Leyland had prepared him for the move before he went out on his rehab assignment a week and a half ago.
"Skip talked to me before I left," Ordonez said, "and he told me that I was going to probably bat sixth. But it's no different, just going to try to do my best and try to produce."