As it turns out, Dontrelle Willis will be making a rehab start tonight for Triple-A Toledo, after all. Willis was originally scheduled to pitch Monday, but that was pushed back due to a sore hip. He was initially scratched for tonight, as well, but it appears he got the "all clear" sign from the doctors.
In today's Freep, Jo-Ann Barnas looks at Willis's effort to get back. Tonight will be his first pitching appearance since June 14, when he was put back on the DL for anxiety disorder.
Over at Tiger Tales, Lee analyzes the popular notion that Aubrey Huff is "a RBI man." Does he really seem to focus more or hit better with men on base? And between him and Miguel Cabrera, which should be expected to drive more runs in from here on out?
Dave Dombrowski says some in the Tigers' organization believe that left field could be Huff's best position, according to Tom Gage. However, he hasn't played the outfield since 2006. Huff himself says he's most comfortable at first base or DH, but that's also where he's played most recently. How does he feel about possibly playing outfield at Comerica Park?
"It's been a while since I've played the outfield. I'm going to take some fly balls and see how it goes. But I don't think I've ever played in an outfield like this -- lot of ground to cover."
Here's another "Huff-ington post": (That's just not going to catch on, is it? Sorry, Billfer.) After taking another day to think about it, Fire Jim Leyland thinks acquiring Huff was "a move just to make a move."
Mike wrote more about the deal for Beyond the Box Score, comparing the trade to Dave Dombrowski rearranging furniture in his basement.
Did you catch Terry Foster spreading a rumor on Facebook that Dombrowski and John Smoltz had lunch over the weekend? Foster added an update today, saying the Tigers offered Smoltz a bullpen role, but the Cardinals are offering a starting pitching job, and that's what he'd prefer.
I'm skeptical, though Dombrowski did shoot down any possible interest to Jon Paul Morosi. Smoltz had also been attached to rumors with the Marlins, Rangers, and Dodgers. It's a moot point, however, as it looks like he'll be going to St. Louis.
Baseball America published its annual managers' survey, ranking the top three players in a variety of categories (best power, best change-up, etc.). MASN.com's Roch Kubatko posted the list, and several Tigers came out favorably.
Mack Avenue Tigers has a profile of pitcher Zach Simons, who could be the next reliever called up to Detroit for bullpen help. Simons has split time between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo this year, compiling a 3-2 record, 2.61 ERA, and three saves in 37 games. He's struck out 59 batters and walked 23 in 62 innings.
(Love that Asheville Tourists hat in his roster photo!)
Sticking with the Royals, there's some disagreement in the K.C. blogosphere over the decision to demote Alex Gordon to the minors. Royals Review thinks this is the type of move that a bad team makes, demoting a player to delay his service time and subsequent free agency. Sam Mellinger believes, however, that this was all about Gordon's performance. Fangraphs' R.J. Anderson comes down somewhere in the middle.
And let's end on a laugh, shall we? Did Brett Favre come out of "retirement" to sign with the Minnesota Vikings... or the Minnesota Twins? The Dugout tries to figure out what's going on in Favre's head. Good luck with that.