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Published: Friday, 7/1/2005

Roney gets release, but Grilli to stay

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

The Mud Hens will lose one pitcher today, but another will stay with the team despite having an opportunity to ask for his release.

Pitcher Matt Roney will be granted his release by the parent Tigers today, but Steve Grilli will not exercise the "out" clause in his contract that also would take effect today.

The out clause stipulates that, if a player is not called to the big leagues or on the 40-man roster by a certain date, he will be granted his release.

"I've asked for my release because I'd like to pitch in the big leagues somewhere," Roney said. "I just don't think I have that opportunity in this organization right now."

Roney spent all of 2003 with the Tigers after being selected in the Rule 5 draft the previous December, but split time between Toledo and Double-A Erie last season.

This year Roney began the season with Double-A Erie, where he was 0-1 with a save and a 1.25 ERA. He was promoted to Toledo May 13 and went 1-1 with three saves and a 0.95 ERA in 14 relief appearances with the Hens.

Roney has no illusions that he will sign with a team that will immediately call him up to the big leagues.

"I'd like to have an opportunity to pitch in the big leagues with somebody, but most likely I'll start with someone in Triple-A and then hopefully get called up and see how things work out," Roney said. "Yeah, it would be nice to be on the 40-man roster, but they can add you to the roster any time, so it's not that big of a deal right away."

Grilli will stay with the Hens, with whom he has posted a 5-5 record with a 4.43 ERA in 15 starts.

"I just like the whole situation [here]," Grilli said. "I think I can help this ball club win. Whether they have me in their plans or not, that's not something I'm aware of. I like the coaching staff I've been working with.

"My gut feeling is that I can help this ball club win, and I think there's a future for me here in this organization."

ORDONEZ UPDATE: Rehabbing Detroit outfielder Magglio Ordonez continued his rehab work with the Tigers yesterday, going 2-for-3 with a first-inning single, third-inning homer and a walk in the fourth before popping out in the sixth and grounding out to second to end the eighth.

He also made a nice running catch at the waist on a sinking fly ball off the bat of Rodney Nye to end the second.

In his four games with the Mud Hens Ordonez is 3 for 14 (.214) with a home run and two RBIs.

GREEN TO BE ADDED: The Tigers are expected to fill Roney's spot on the Toledo roster by adding a minor-league pitcher from the Cleveland organization.

Steve Green, a right-hander who has spent this season with Double-A Akron, probably will join the Mud Hens today.

This season Green has a 2-2 record and 3.45 ERA in 26 relief appearances with the Aeros. In 441/3 innings, Green has allowed 36 hits and 23 walks while fanning 45.

Green has made one major-league appearance in his career, allowing two earned runs in a six-inning start for the then-Anaheim Angels in 2001.

THREE-DOT DATA: When Norfolk's Anderson Hernandez struck out last night, it marked the 12th straight game in which the "strikeout player of the game" fanned. Trammell declined an interview request during the eighth-inning rain delay The game was delayed by rain 21 minutes in the middle of the 8th.



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