Roster in flux before Mud Hens hit the road


The Mud Hens roster is in a state of flux as the team prepares for an eight-game road trip against two of the top teams in the International League's North Division.

The moves began prior to the Hens' game Wednesday, when the Tigers promoted Toledo center fielder Nook Logan. Logan hit .267 in 97 games for the Hens with 61 runs scored and 37 stolen bases. The runs and stolen base totals rank among the best in the league.

Logan's time with the Tigers may be brief, since center fielder Alex Sanchez will begin a minor league rehab assignment this weekend.

Sanchez will not play with the Hens, though. He likely will be sent to Double-A Erie this weekend because the Hens are playing on artificial turf in Scranton.

"Playing on turf is not a good way to come back from a hamstring injury," said Ricky Bennett, Detroit's director of minor league operations.

During Wednesday's loss to Syracuse, first baseman Andy Barkett injured his right oblique muscle. He did not take batting practice or play yesterday, and manager Larry Parrish hopes to give him the next several days off to heal the injury.

Before last night's game with the SkyChiefs the Tigers activated Danny Patterson and sent reliever Craig Dingman to the Mud Hens. Dingman, who was 2-1 with a 5.03 ERA with the Tigers since being promoted on May 5, had not pitched in a game since July 4.

Even with the addition of Dingman the Hens are still a player short of a full roster, with only 10 position players, a situation Bennett said probably won't change until after this weekend.

"We don't want to make moves at [the minor-league] level, then have moves at the major league level make us have to undo all of those minor-league moves," he said.

Among the potential moves for the Tigers are the possible activation of Sanchez and infielder Greg Norton.

Norton, who joined the Hens July 6 on a rehab assignment, will see that rehab assignment end Sunday while the Hens are in Scranton.

Today the Mud Hens begin a four-game series against the Red Barons, who lead the North Division, before traveling to Buffalo Tuesday to play four games against the Bisons, Scranton's nearest competitor and the current leader in the IL's wild-card race.

- John Wagner