Rehab stints handled with care


Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish is like any other Triple-A manager in that he wants the best possible players on his roster.

But he also knows that players who come to Toledo from Detroit to rehabilitate injuries have a specific set of needs that must be addressed.

"When they send a guy here, especially a pitcher, it takes precedence over anything else going on here," Parrish explained.

Parrish already has dealt with a rehab assignment for Tigers pitcher Dontrelle Willis, and probably will deal with another soon when pitcher Jeremy Bonderman reaches Toledo in his recovery from shoulder soreness that began in spring training.

"It's tough when a pitcher does only a two or three-inning stint," Parrish said. "It's got to get really ugly before you take a guy out [before his pitch count]. And sometimes starters at this level don't know how to come into a game in relief, so that can be a problem.

"It was good with Dontrelle because he was stretched out, so he could give you at least five innings. He gave [Scot] Drucker a chance to miss a start and work instead with [pitching coach] A.J. [Sager] on his breaking stuff in the bullpen."

Parrish said it is easier to handle a position player on rehab assignment.

"You plug him into the lineup and give him four at-bats," Parrish said. "If he's coming off a leg problem, you probably take him out after his four at-bats, and you have to make sure you don't make him hit-and-run or stuff like that.

"You plug him into the lineup wherever he fits in the big-league lineup and just say, 'Go get 'em.'•"

Pawtucket manager Ron Johnson dealt with a similar situation on Friday when Daisuke Matsuzaka made a rehab start for his team.

"The only thing [a rehab assignment] changes is how you view the game," Johnson said. "We're here to provide a place for a rehab player to get his work in.

"Last year we were playing Toledo at our place, and [Parrish] pitched to David Ortiz in the seventh inning of a tie game. 'Big Papi' hit a home run, but I love what L.P. did.

"[Parrish] gets it - he could have walked [Ortiz], but he pitched to him [to allow him to get his work in]."

REIMOLD'S REWARD: Bowling Green State University product Nolan Reimold may not be in Toledo when Norfolk visits the Mud Hens May 25-28.

Reimold was promoted Thursday to Baltimore because of injuries to outfielders Luke Scott and Adam Jones. If that pair gets healthy, Reimold may soon be sent back to the Tides.

If that happens, Toledo pitchers should be wary. Reimold, a Greenville, Pa., native, leads the International League with a .394 batting average, ranks second in home runs (9) and is fourth in RBIs (27). He also leads the IL with a .485 on-base percentage and a .743 slugging percentage.

THREE-DOT DATA: Wednesday's one-hit win over Pawtucket was the Mud Hens' second one-hitter this season; the first came April 14 at Louisville. Before that, the last one-hitter by the Hens was in May, 2004. Ryan Roberson saw a nine-game hitting streak end Wednesday. Roberson began the season with a 13-game streak. Don Kelly saw a seven-game hit streak end Thursday. Toledo leads the IL with 47 stolen bases. Individually, Wilkin Ramirez is tied for the top spot in the league with 13.