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Published: Friday, 12/15/2006

Tigers add to roster of Mud Hens


Two more familiar faces are likely to be in Mud Hen uniforms when the team begins the 2007 season.

The parent Detroit Tigers signed six players to minor-league contracts, including former Hens Lance Davis and Jason Karnuth. The other signees are pitchers Felix Heredia and Dennis Tankersley, outfielder Brandon Watson, and catcher Dane Sardinha.

Last season Davis, a left-hander, posted a 3-2 record with a 4.73 ERA in 59 innings of work for Toledo. Karnuth, a right-hander, was 2-0 with a pair of saves and a 4.08 ERA after joining the team mid-season.

Heredia, a 31-year-old lefty, had a 6.75 ERA in eight games last season while pitching for Cleveland s Triple-A team in Buffalo. Heredia has appeared in 511 major-league games with six teams.

Tankersley, a right-hander, was 4-15 while pitching for Triple-A Memphis of the Pacific Coast League. Only two minor-league pitchers lost more games than Tankersley, but the right-hander allowed three earned runs or fewer while pitching at least six innings in 17 of his 29 starts for the Redbirds.

Sardinha split the catching duties for Louisville last season, batting .175 with two homers and 10 RBI in 71 games. In 2004, his best season with the Bats, Sardinha hit .262 with nine homers and 40 RBIs in 89 contests.

Watson also played for Louisville last season after coming to Cincinnati in a trade with Washington. The 25-year-old outfielder hit .305 with 13 RBIs in 21 games for Washington s Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans of the Pacific Coast League, then batted .270 with eight RBIs in 42 games with the Bats.

Earlier this off-season the Tigers signed five other players who previously played in Toledo: infielders Mike Hessman and Kevin Hooper, outfielder Jackson Melian, and pitchers Craig Dingman and Vic Darensbourg.

Among the other players signed to minor-league contracts by Detroit since the end of the season are pitcher Tim Byrdak and catcher Steve Torrealba.

The Mud Hens open the 2007 season in Louisville on Thursday, April 5. The home opener is set for Friday, April 13 against Durham.

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