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Dotel still bothered by elbow inflammation

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ANAHEIM -- When Tigers manager Jim Leyland left Phil Coke in to pitch a third inning of relief in the 13th and deciding inning Sunday, facing right-handed slugger Mark Trumbo, there was a reason. He didn't have his main right-handed specialist available.

Octavio Dotel is out once again with elbow inflammation, the same issue that sidelined him for a few days last week.

"The inflammation's still there," Dotel said. "It doesn't go away. We're just going to see how it will be on Tuesday."

The Tigers are off on Monday before beginning a nine-game homestand Tuesday night against the Royals.

Leyland did not comment on Dotel's status -- other than the fact that he wasn't available Sunday -- nor did he want to discuss the possibility of a roster move. The Tigers were able to handle the loss of Dotel last week by skipping Rick Porcello for a start and putting him in the bullpen. That's not much of an option this week; the best they could do is push his start back by a day.

Thus, if Dotel isn't available, the Tigers would either have to work with a short-handed bullpen or make a roster move to call up somebody.

Dotel downplayed the injury a bit, saying it isn't pain but swelling.

"I haven't gotten the swelling to go away," he said. "It's still there. I'm just trying to get through that, but it's still there and hopefully we just found out a way to get out."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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