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PostSubject: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 8:52 am

03/27/08 4:00 PM ET
Tigers drub Phils in spring home finale
Polanco, Thomas go deep; Inge collects three hits, three RBIs

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

TIGERS 14, PHILLIES 5
at Lakeland, Fla.
Thursday, March 27

Phillies at the plate: Pedro Feliz powered Philadelphia's offense with a three-run home run in the sixth inning, his fifth homer of the spring, bringing the Phillies within two runs. Carlos Ruiz and Shane Victorino had two hits each.

Tigers at the plate:
Brandon Inge's three hits accounted for three RBIs, including a two-run double down the left-field line in the fourth. Placido Polanco belted a solo shot, Ivan Rodriguez added a pair of doubles and scored twice, while Clete Thomas put away the game and possibly a roster spot with a two-run homer in the eighth.

Phillies on the mound: Most of Detroit's damage came off starter Adam Eaton, who gave up seven runs on 11 hits over 4 2/3 innings. Clay Condrey and J.C. Romero held the Tigers scoreless before Tom Gordon gave up Thomas' two-run shot in the eighth.

Tigers on the mound:
Kenny Rogers retired the first seven batters he faced before giving up three hits and two runs in the third inning of his final spring tuneup. Aquilino Lopez pitched a scoreless fifth before Ian Ostlund gave up Feliz's three-run homer.

Grapefruit League records:
Phillies 12-16-1, Tigers 14-13-3.

Up next: The Tigers flew to Houston on Thursday for a two-game exhibition series with the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Jeremy Bonderman will start Friday's tilt opposite Wandy Rodriguez. The 8:05 p.m. ET tilt will be broadcast online at MLB.com's MLB.TV and Gameday Audio and in Detroit on 97.1 FM and AM 1270.

The Phillies also left Florida on Thursday for Philadelphia, where they'll host the Blue Jays on Friday and Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. Cole Hamels is scheduled to take the mound opposite Randy Wells in Friday's 7:05 p.m. ET contest, which will be broadcast on MLB.com's MLB.TV and Gameday Audio and WPHT-AM 1210.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


Last edited by TigersForever on Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:59 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 9:02 am

03/29/08 12:48 AM ET
Thomas final addition to Detroit roster
Fourth outfielder lauded by Leyland; bullpen set at seven

By Jim Molony / MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland made it all but official Friday night: Barring any unforeseen events the roster is set and rookie Clete Thomas has made the team.

"Unless somebody is injured our roster is set," Leyland said after the Tigers defeated Houston 10-0 at Minute Maid Park. "We're going to take Clete Thomas [and] the pitching staff is set with 12 pitchers."

Leyland informed Thomas and the two relievers who had been on the bubble, Yorman Bazardo and Aquilino Lopez, following Friday night's game.

"I told him to prepare yourself," Leyland said of Thomas. "I basically told him just to enjoy the ride, however long it is."

Thomas, 24, is batting .308 with a home run and six RBIs this spring. His presence became necessary when center fielder Curtis Granderson fractured a finger last Sunday.

Thomas had already left the visitor's clubhouse and wasn't available for comment.

"From what I've seen he's the best tools prospect that we have," Leyland said. "This guy's got a lot of ability."

Thomas will be the fourth outfielder on the Opening Day roster, joining Jacque Jones, Magglio Ordonez and Marcus Thames.

Bazardo and Lopez will be part of a seven-man bullpen that will also include Denny Bautista, Jason Grilli, Zach Miner, Bobby Seay and closer Todd Jones.

The rotation is set with Justin Verlander, Kenny Rogers, Jeremy Bonderman, Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis.

Ivan Rodriguez is the starting catcher, with Brandon Inge backing him up, who is also available for infield and outfield duty.

Rounding out the rest of the expected 25-man roster are infielders Carlos Guillen, Edgar Renteria, Placido Polanco, Miguel Cabrera, Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn and designated hitter Gary Sheffield.

Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 9:09 am

04/04/08 7:14 PM ET
Thomas fitting in with Tigers
Rookie oufielder making his mark with veteran club

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

DETROIT -- As a team, the Tigers can be excused if they're feeling tight. As a rookie center fielder on a veteran-laden team, Clete Thomas finally can loosen up.

Of all the at-bats Thomas had in his three-hit performance Friday, it was one of his outs that showed a sign of how Thomas was fitting in. With Brandon Inge on first base and one out in the sixth inning of a tie game, Thomas stepped to the plate, looking to lay down a sacrifice bunt. After White Sox left-hander Boone Logan missed with his first two pitches for a 2-0 count, Thomas squared around to bunt again.

Again, Logan missed, this time high and inside. But in ducking away to dodge the pitch, Thomas actually got the bat on the ball, laying down a roller to third that accomplished his purpose and advanced Inge to second.
"If not for my bat, it might've hit me in the face," Thomas said. "It was a bunt by accident."

It was odd enough for him to have a laugh about it afterwards. That was a good sign for manager Jim Leyland.

"I think he's having a lot of fun right now," Leyland said. "Even in that bunt situation, he was laughing when he was running down to first. He's kind of loose and having a good time. That's probably the best thing for him."

Hitting like he did in his other at-bats gives him a pretty good reason to smile, too.


Each of Thomas' first three at-bats Friday ended with line-drive singles into the outfield. One set him up to score the game's first run in the opening inning. Another drove in Detroit's next run with two outs in the second inning, earning Thomas his first Major League RBI. With his leadoff single in the fourth, Thomas became the first Tiger since Brent Clevlen two years ago to post a three-hit effort within his first three big league games.

It won't earn him an everyday role, but it at least earns him another start Saturday. If Miguel Cabrera isn't ready to play third base again and Gary Sheffield remains out as expected, Thomas will be back in center field. If Cabrera is back at third, Leyland said he would likely use Jacque Jones at DH and Thomas in left field.

"It's kind of tough being a role player, especially since you're used to playing every game [in the Minors]," Thomas said. "But I'm going to be here to help the team. If I go back to being a role player whenever somebody gets healthy, then that's what I'll do. As of right now, I'm just trying to get in there, get on base and try to get something going every time I get up there."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 9:29 am

30 seconds with Clete Thomas
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News
March 7, 2008

Q. You were a sixth-round draft pick out of Auburn three years ago who has always been described as a "gamer" by the Tigers development people. Jim Leyland (Tigers manager) paid you a similar compliment the other day. What does "gamer" mean to a 24-year-old outfielder?

A. Just going out every day and busting your tail, trying to do whatever you can do to win a game.

Q. You have had a fine camp, and although your batting average hasn't been great (.167), you've been hitting the ball hard. What will it take to get to the next level?

A. Just continue to cut down on my strikeouts and to swing at better pitches. I've got to do whatever I can to improve everywhere.

Q. What have you noticed about your first big league camp? What has been the biggest difference and biggest highlight?

A. They're more consistent with their pitches up here. Instead of two pitches, they've got three they can throw on any count.

Q. What was your major at Auburn?

A. Criminology. They told me to pick a major so I picked that. But I don't think that's what I want to do if this (baseball) doesn't work out.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 9:38 am

Q & A with rookie Clete Thomas
Thomas hates cold and most vegetables

Joanne C. Gerstner / The Detroit News
Apr 07, 2008

In the on-deck circle with Tigers rookie outfielder Clete Thomas:

Q . Coldest weather you've ever played baseball in?

A . Hmm. I'd have go back and check the temperatures, but there were some games we played last year in Erie (Tigers' Double-A team) that were horrible. Like in the 30s. Coldest I've ever been.

Q . You're a good Southern boy, so you can't handle the cold?

A . Exactly. I can't stand cold weather at all.

Q . Food you won't eat?

A . Anything green. I don't like salad or anything vegetable.

Q . No broccoli, no asparagus, no green beans?

A . I'll eat green beans. And that's it. I eat meat and potatoes.

Q . You're getting extra meal money now that you're in the majors (a jump from $20 per day in Double-A to around $85). What are you going to do with it?

A . It's going to be nice for my wife (Susie) and I, we won't have to scrape through a season anymore. In the minor leagues, the salary was really rough. It's just going to be nice to have a regular salary and live a little bit now. Before, we've had to scrimp and save everywhere to get by. We had to work hard in the offseason to make ends meet.

Q . What did you do?

A . I was helping my father-in-law with stuff, acting like his maintenance man. I was clearing out properties, fixing stuff, working hard. Susie was working hard, too.

Q . People on the outside don't realize that until you make it in the majors, most players have offseason jobs.

A . Totally. And if you don't make it, you've put yourself in such a financial hole, you're in trouble. And if you're waiting to make it, you're scraping by season to season.

Q . Last book you read?

A . It was the "Last Flag Down," a Civil War book about the Confederate Navy.

Q . Are you into history? The Civil War?

A . I'm really into the Civil War. I've read some books about it, and I've tried to research if my family had any relatives fighting for the Confederates. I want to go see the battlefields and significant sites from the war.

Q . Have you found any relatives?

A . I actually did, there are a few relatives. There was one guy who got his shoe shot off. He lived.

Q . Are you neat or messy?

A . For sure messy, just ask Susie. I am leaving stuff all over the place, and she's telling me to pick it up. It was the same way when I was a kid. I had a messy room, and my mom was telling me to pick my stuff off the floor. So I guess I go from my mom being mad to now my wife being mad.

Q . There is a pattern here.

A . I know it. And it comes from me being messy.
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 9:42 am

Meet Clete Thomas: The last Tiger to make the roster
By JOHN LOWE • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • March 30, 2008

Some fast facts on new outfielder Clete Thomas, as provided by Thomas:


• He played in Comerica Park in a minor league game with the Class A West Michigan Whitecaps.

• In Little League, he was an infielder and pitcher. In high school, he was an outfielder and closer. From college (Auburn) onward, he has been an outfielder.

• He feels comfortable at all three outfield positions.

• Of all the people he told Friday night and Saturday morning that he'd made the team, he said the one with the most interesting reaction was his wife, Susie.

"She got all excited," Thomas said. "She didn't believe me at first. She was yelling. I lost it again when she started yelling. So it was pretty awesome."

Thomas learned from Leyland after Friday night's game that he'd gotten the open spot for a reserve player.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 9:45 am

CLETE THOMAS
Flashback: Tigers' Clete Thomas is pure country

BY JON PAUL MOROSI • FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER • May 30, 2008

During the winter months, when there are no baseball games to play, the best days for Clete Thomas are slow, simple and everything that the major leagues are not.

He loves to bring his wife, Susie, and their labs, Maverick and Sage, to the cattle ranch in Webster, Fla., that Susie's family has owned for generations.

"We just hang out, play with the dogs and let them run around," said Thomas as he relaxed in the Tigers' clubhouse last week.

"That's fun for me. That'd be an ideal day, just to get away from it all."

He likes to hunt. He likes to fish. And he lives modestly, by nature and by necessity.

He received a $150,000 signing bonus after the Tigers selected him in the sixth round of the 2005 draft. But as with most minor leaguers, he has earned a small salary each year since. He spent last season at Double-A Erie, where many players make roughly $10,000.

So, in addition to his off-season training, Thomas had to find a part-time job last winter. Susie's father, a veterinarian, hired him as a maintenance man. Susie worked at the office as a receptionist. "We had to bust our tails," Thomas said.

With his ascent over the past several weeks, though, Thomas may soon be able to retire his socket wrench.

A surprise addition to the Opening Day roster following an injury to centerfielder Curtis Granderson, Thomas has made a lasting impression. Even if he returns to the minors when Granderson comes off the disabled list -- which could happen as early as this week -- Thomas has carved a niche for himself in the team's future plans.

Thomas, a 24-year-old outfielder, may become for these slugging Tigers what Melky Cabrera was for the Yankees two years ago: a youthful, spirited underdog in a lineup of All-Stars.

"Certain players make that jump," says Al Avila, the Tigers' assistant general manager. "He's athletic, he's fast, and he gives us another dimension."

Thomas is hitting .271. He has good speed and bats left-handed, valuable commodities for a team that relies on right-handed power. Manager Jim Leyland is so enamored with Thomas' fielding ability that he has become a fixture in the Tigers' late-inning defense.

Closer Todd Jones recalls vividly what Thomas did in the Tigers' first win of the season, April 9 in Boston: In the eighth inning of a close game, he came off the bench -- on a cold night -- and executed a perfect sacrifice bunt. One inning later, he singled off side-arming left-hander Javier Lopez.

"He does all the little things that nobody really notices," Jones said.

Those who know Thomas best say his success starts with the unflappability that he has shown since his preteen years. He made it to the 1996 Little League World Series with R.L. Turner Little League, based in Panama City, Fla. He played first base, second base and pitched.

"He was a child that didn't show a lot of emotion," his mother, Kim Gann, said in a telephone interview. "When he pitched in the Little League World Series, they called him 'Ice Man.' You never could tell what he was really feeling."

Said his uncle Mike Scott: "He's always handled success with humility and the downtimes of baseball with calmness. He's very mature."

And it has never been difficult to see his motivation: He wants to win and often does.

Thomas played in two state championship games during his career at Mosley High School in Lynn Haven, Fla. He won the title as a senior, after his team rallied from a 7-0 deficit with four runs in the sixth and four in the seventh.

Doug Lee, then the Mosley coach, said Thomas had a key hit late in the game. Thomas can't recall what he did individually, but he remembers Darren Golema had the winning hit and Kyle Pearson scored the winning run.

"I was right there to greet him," Thomas said.

By then, former Auburn assistant coach Mark Fuller was aware that some professional scouts had compared Thomas to a young Mark Kotsay. Fuller feared a major league team would draft Thomas that June and woo him away from college with a big bonus. He was partially correct: Minnesota took Thomas in the fifth round, but he chose to go to school.

Jerome Cochran, then the Tigers' amateur scout in that region, watched Thomas play in each of his three seasons at Auburn. Cochran liked his ability, his hustle and his improvement each year.

When Cochran asked others about Thomas' personal qualities, the response was overwhelming. Great guy, he was told. A winner. A competitor.

To Cochran, he sounded like an outfielder from the Chicago area he had signed three years before: Curtis Granderson.

"I could tell," Cochran said, "that he (Thomas) was going to be a better professional player than he was in college."

Thomas posted good offensive numbers during his first three seasons in the Tigers' organization. He probably would have received more industry acclaim had he not been drafted the same year as another centerfielder: star prospect Cameron Maybin.

Thomas, about 3 1/2 years older than Maybin, remained ahead of him in the farm system until August. It was then that Maybin moved up to Double-A Erie and tore through Eastern League pitching for one week, on his way to a surprise call-up by the Tigers.

Maybin played centerfield during his stay at Erie ... which meant Thomas had to move to left.

It would have been easy for Thomas to complain to manager Matt Walbeck about switching positions. But he never did.

"Not a problem at all," said Walbeck, the former Tiger who now coaches third base for the Texas Rangers. "He wanted to play. I think those were his exact words: 'I don't care. I just want to play.'

"That's the kind of guy you want to have on your team."

How long, though, will the Tigers have him on their team?

He has the least experience of any position player on the team, and baseball can be a brutal business. Thomas has made it work with his enthusiasm and talent. His respectful manner has made him popular within the clubhouse; Jones said he hopes to take him shopping for new suits when the team travels to New York.

Thomas is a hardworking eldest son who married his college sweetheart. Susie is so devoted to helping Clete pursue his dream that she found a part-time job in Erie last year; Clete gave her Sage, the yellow lab, as a Valentine's Day gift before he left for spring training one year.

He might make millions in this game, but it doesn't seem he'll change. ("I think he'll be the same," his mother said. "I really do. He's just a grounded person.")

Said Fuller, the former Auburn assistant: "He's just a down-home country boy. If he's making $6 million a year, he'll still be wearing jeans, flip-flops and a camouflage Auburn hat."

Contact JON PAUL MOROSI at 313-223-4097 or jmorosi@freepress.com. Check out his Tigers blog at www.freep.com/sports.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 9:46 am

Leyland: Clete Thomas' energy is what Tigers need

FREE PRESS STAFF • May 30, 2008

After Wednesday's game, the Tigers called up outfielder Clete Thomas, who made a good impression during Curtis Granderson's season-opening stay on the disabled list.

Thomas came up from Triple-A Toledo this time when the Tigers sent down Matt Joyce, who had just lost the leftfield job to Thames.

"Thomas is a real energy guy. I think that's something this club needs," Leyland said.

------------------------------------------------------------


MEET CLETE THOMAS


By Jon Machota -- originally printed in April 2008

Some things you do to relax? Hang out with my wife and my dogs. (I like) hunting and fishing, anything outdoors.

Have you got a chance to fish the Great Lakes? No, actually me and my dad went up to north Minnesota in Ely near the Boundary Waters. We went up there a couple summers in a row. The first one we just paddled out and came back a week later. The next one they flew us in to Canada, so we paddled about halfway out and camped on an island for three or four days and just fished. (I just) enjoy the outdoors. It was really fun.

How did you get your middle name, Clete? (Michael is his first name.) I'm named after Clete Boyer. He played for the Yankees, way back when (1959-66). I guessed my mom and dad liked the name. My dad liked it more than my mom, but they gave me that my name.

What was it like getting your first hit in your first major league at-bat? It was a great feeling. I don't think it really sank in until that night. Because I remember being on second base and just being like, "Wow, it's awesome being out here."

Was there anything surprising about the Tigers or the facility?
The locker room's huge. I've never been in a locker room like this. I wasn't expecting it to be this big. But it is really nice.

Who's a player you admired growing up? I liked Dale Murphy a lot. He was kind of my childhood guy, and I was really upset when he left the Braves and went to the Phillies.

Were you a huge Braves fan growing up? Yeah, kind of. I guess it was the closest team to where I grew up (Lynn Haven, Fla.). So it was kind of who we rooted for.

Since you attended Auburn University, were you, and are you still, a Tigers football fan? Yeah, I still check in on them and see how they do. I went to every game while I was there. It was a great experience.

Who's the loudest guy on the team? I guess (Miguel) Cabrera is kind of the most animated; he's probably the loudest on the field.

Favorite kind of music? Classic country. I like Willie Nelson a lot. I like Waylon Jennings.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 9:49 am

06/01/2008 5:17 PM ET
Thomas back with Detroit in old form
Outfielder returns to big leagues after new approach to game
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Clete Thomas had to wonder if he was going to get back here again. He worked his way back by not worrying about it.

After making Detroit's Opening Day roster as an extra outfielder, Thomas' Minor League season finally began in late April once Curtis Granderson returned from the disabled list. Statistically, however, he had a hard time catching up.

The hits, the speed that marked his brief stint in Detroit in April with a .295 average, went missing soon after he arrived at Triple-A Toledo. He went 8-for-31 at the close of April, then fell into an 11-for-62 (.177) funk.

It wasn't anything mechanical, by his account, or bad habits. The root of it, he said, was mental.

After a few weeks in the big leagues, he came back out-thinking himself before he even took a swing, and it was getting in the way of his reactions.

"Analyzing where it's going to be, what pitch it is, whether it's too close to take, that kind of stuff," Thomas said.

It wasn't a matter of wondering what he did wrong to get sent down. He knew he was headed out as soon as Granderson was ready. But that didn't stop him from thinking about what he needed to do to become a better player and eventually stick.

"When I was sent down, I started thinking about stuff and started overanalyzing," he said. "You can't do that. So I stopped thinking and let it happen."

The results might well have turned his season around. Over his last nine games for the Mud Hens before the call up, Thomas went 12-for-35 (.343) with five doubles, a home run, seven RBIs and eight runs scored.

That allowed him to show a little more of the energy that stood out to Tigers manager Jim Leyland when Thomas was up with the Tigers earlier in the year.

"I just felt like I was being myself," Thomas said. "That's all I can be. [Leyland's remarks] just let me know that I was doing what I can do to not change anything, just being myself. I'm just high-strung [on the field], you know. I just play hard."

His chance to play again will have to wait until the upcoming series at Oakland. With Carlos Guillen now joining Marcus Thames in the mix in left field, Thomas spent most of this weekend's series on the bench. Leyland said he wants to get Thomas a start in left for one of the three games against the A's.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 9:59 am

Clete Thomas NEWS L6WPTEmR
Some feel that players like Clete Thomas have injected energy into the Tigers. (Getty)

06/28/08 6:44 PM ET
Several Tigers also popular in Minors
Three among leaders in Triple-A All-Star voting tallies

By Scott McNeish / MLB.com

DETROIT -- Three Tigers lead their respective positions in All-Star Game voting. No, not the one coming up at Yankee Stadium.

The trio ranked among the leading vote-getters in a recent poll for next month's Triple-A All-Star Game in Louisville. If selected, current Tigers Dane Sardinha, Michael Hollimon and Clete Thomas would represent one-third of the International League's starting lineup in the July 16 contest.

Sardinha earned the most fan votes at catcher, Hollimon led at second base and Thomas placed third among outfielders. Eddie Bonine had the most starting pitcher votes, as well.

"It would be a great honor if I get voted in, but I'd rather not go," Thomas said. "Hopefully, I'll just be here the rest of the season."

The Tigers have enjoyed having them around. Players and coaches appreciate the spark that the youngsters bring to the team.

"I've always said they give the club a lot of energy," Leyland said. "These are good young players. When you mix them in, it makes a nice combination with the veterans.

"They have no fear. You can see it in their eyes. That's something you can't teach."

Of the three leading vote-getters, Thomas will likely stay in Detroit the longest. The Tigers called up Sardinha from Toledo on Wednesday to fill in for the injured Brandon Inge, while Hollimon has subbed for sidelined utility infielder Ramon Santiago. Both injured Tigers could return in the next few weeks.

But, obviously, Sardinha and Hollimon would rather stay, even if it means minimal playing time.

"I'm trying to take everything in and ask as many questions as possible," Hollimon said. "I'm trying to soak in information. I'm trying to learn the backup role and do that as best as I can. Whether it's helping off the bench, keeping everyone light in the dugout -- whatever it is, that's what I'm glad to do. It's definitely a learning experience, but I'm grateful. I think it's better that I learn [the backup] role in the big leagues first, so I can be a more complete player."

Hollimon started two straight games this week at shortstop, showing off his speed, smooth glove and strong arm. Thomas' strong eye at the plate allowed him to work a bases-loaded walk that brought in the game-winning run in Thursday's extra-innings victory, and he cranked three hits the next night. Sardinha, in his only start, helped Nate Robertson throw 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball in Thursday's win.

A steady helping of youth has helped the Tigers scratch and claw their way into the American League Central Division race. To veterans like Curtis Granderson, that doesn't come as a shock.

When players make the hour-long drive on I-75 from Toledo to Detroit, they come from a team that has won three consecutive IL West Division championships and leads again this season. Two of those division crowns led to league titles.

The callups expect to win, and that attitude rubs off in the Tigers' clubhouse.

"They don't want to come up here and, all of a sudden, lose. That's not what they're used to," Granderson said. "It's worked in the past, I think. In 2005, we won the International League, so the next year we didn't want anything less. I think it was a big part of our success in '06."

So far, it's given the Tigers a nice boost in '08.

Scott McNeish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 10:03 am

07/16/08 12:20 PM ET
Tigers option Thomas to Triple-A
Detroit makes room on roster for returning Ordonez

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

The Tigers made room for Magglio Ordonez's expected return from the disabled list by optioning outfielder Clete Thomas to Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday morning.

Ordonez was also recalled from his one-game rehab assignment at Class A West Michigan. He'll be formally activated from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday before the Tigers open the second half of their season at Baltimore.

Thomas and fellow outfielder Matt Joyce became the key cogs in the Tigers' effort to fill in for Ordonez once he went on the DL on June 29 with a strained oblique muscle. Thomas had been brought back from the DL a week earlier to share playing time in left field with Marcus Thames.

Ordonez's injury meant more playing time for Thomas, who started nine of Detroit's 14 games with Ordonez out. He went 2-for-4 in the Tigers' first game without Ordonez, but went just 6-for-35 after that.

Joyce, who was called up to fill Ordonez's roster spot, went on enough of a hitting tear -- 9-for-22, four home runs, four doubles and six RBIs -- to earn American League Player of the Week honors for the week ending last Sunday. He'll stick around in the outfield picture alongside Thames, while first baseman Jeff Larish remains as an extra left-handed bat and possible fill-in at first base if Miguel Cabrera continues to be hobbled by his left hip flexor.

Ordonez heads into the season's second half with a .307 batting average, 19 doubles, 12 home runs and 50 RBIs. Those numbers are obviously off from his MVP runner-up campaign, but he's nonetheless the run producer within Detroit's star-studded offensive attack. After the Tigers heated up in June, they went 7-7 without him. They averaged better than 5.5 runs per game over the 20 games before Ordonez went on the DL, but 4.28 runs per game in the 14 games without him.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 10:05 am

Tidbits

Outfield prospect Clete Thomas was scheduled to undergo Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery Thursday to fix a right elbow ligament tear that had been bothering him for much of the summer, Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said. Noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews will perform the procedure in Birmingham, Ala.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 10:07 am

Sep 12, 2008
From the Freep this morning:

NOTEBOOK: Tigers outfielder Clete Thomas underwent successful ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow in Birmingham, Ala., on Thursday. He is expected to recover fully in six to eight months.

Contact JON PAUL MOROSI at 313-223-4097 or jmorosi@freepress.com. Check out his Tigers blog at www.freep.com/sports.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 10:08 am

02/15/09 8:07 PM EST
Thomas to be limited during camp
Outfielder recovering from surgery, still in contention for backup spot

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland hopes to have a backup center fielder for Curtis Granderson on the roster. He might have to wait on one of his candidates.

Though no late arrivals are expected when full-squad workouts begin Tuesday, outfielder Clete Thomas won't be able to do all activities. He'll be held out of throwing drills as he recovers from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.

"He'll be able to hit, go through drills," Leyland said. "But he won't be able to throw."

Leyland said the Tigers are hopeful Thomas can throw by the end of Spring Training.

Thomas underwent surgery to fix a ligament tear in his throwing elbow last September. If he were a pitcher, he'd be facing a much longer rehab process. Since position players don't throw nearly as often or put as much stress on their arms, the rehab is a little easier.

If Thomas can return, he will be a strong in-house candidate for the backup spot. The 25-year-old played all three outfield positions over his 40 games with the Tigers last year, and he racked up four assists from left field. At the plate, Thomas batted .284 (33-for-116) with nine doubles, one home run, nine RBIs and 14 walks. Combined with his work at Triple-A Toledo, Thomas was recognized as best defensive outfielder and best outfield throwing arm in the Tigers' organization by Baseball America.

Once he was sent back to the Mud Hens for the second and final time in mid-July, Thomas struggled down the stretch. He was put on the disabled list Aug. 29 and eventually diagnosed with the tear.

With Thomas limited, the Tigers will have chances to try out others in center in early March once Curtis Granderson joins Team USA for the World Baseball Classic. Ryan Raburn started four games there last season, while Brent Clevlen started in center for three. Brandon Inge had 12 starts in center, but Leyland said he will only play third base barring an emergency.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 10:10 am

CLETE THOMAS - Video: Detroit dominates Minnesota
5/5/09

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-US&brand=foxsports&from=sp&fg=%2Fregional%2Fdetroit&vid=7e2e3aa3-4158-470e-b2cc-58245f572f58" target="_new" title="Detroit dominates Minnesota">Video: Detroit dominates Minnesota</a>


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 10:17 am

Thomas' arm strong as ever after surgery
Outfielder showcasing accuracy in wake of Tommy John

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/24/09 2:02 PM ET

DETROIT -- If Clete Thomas was a pitcher, he'd be considered one of the success stories of Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, finding his old arm strength thanks to a new ligament in his elbow. Instead, as an outfielder, it's easy to forget now that he had an offseason full of rehab to get to this point.

Thomas, of course, remembers. But even he's a little surprised at his arm.

"Eight months of surgery, I'm as accurate probably as I've ever been," Thomas said. "It's strong, and it really keeps getting looser. Every week or so, I notice that it's gotten a little looser. But it feels great. It doesn't hurt. There's no pain, which is a big thing."

Thomas had few chances to test out his throwing arm in game situations during Spring Training. He spent most of camp on a throwing program in the mornings and as a designated hitter in the games until he was finally cleared to play the outfield with two weeks to go before Opening Day. Considering how well he hit for most of the spring, it was the arm and the work it needed that basically left him out of consideration to make the team.

What was an overriding concern is now a strength of his game. He made a big throw from right field three times this past week -- first to throw out Texas' Nelson Cruz early in the week, then nearly nabbing Colorado speedster Dexter Fowler Saturday before his strong throw to third kept Matt Murton at second base following his leadoff double in the second inning Sunday -- preventing a potential sacrifice-fly situation.

Thomas has been a big reason for the Tigers' upgrade in outfield defense so far this season, and not just for his legs.

Thomas said he made some small tweaks in his mechanics during his throwing program, but nothing major. Simply, he thinks his arm strength and accuracy post-surgery is the reason.

"My [arm] extension's getting better every day," Thomas said. "I can almost straighten it all the way out now. It feels really good. I can just get out there and let it go. It feels good. We'll see what happens."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 10:20 am

Click title or picture to view video

Thomas cuts down Cruz

Clete Thomas NEWS Rth_4659877_th_6


Added: 05/21/2009
Duration: 00:00:30
05.21.09: Clete Thomas catches the pop fly then fires home to get Nelzon Cruz trying to score


-----------------------------------------------------

Thomas' tater

Clete Thomas NEWS Rth_4659731_th_4


Added: 05/21/2009
Duration: 00:38

05.21.09: The Tigers answer with a solo homer of their own in the bottom half of the first when Clete Thomas goes yard
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeMon May 25, 2009 12:11 pm

Go Clete
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeFri Jun 12, 2009 12:12 am

Tigers option Thomas, bring up Kelly
Slumping at the plate, outfielder to work on mechanics

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

06/11/09 8:47 PM ET

CHICAGO -- Donnie Kelly will make his return to the Majors in his hometown, the place where he first broke into the big leagues. Clete Thomas' early season role as a catalyst, on the other hand, is over.

The Tigers optioned the slumping Thomas to Triple-A Toledo for some hitting work after his 0-for-4 performance Thursday extended his nearly month-long struggles. Detroit, meanwhile, purchased Kelly's contract from the Mud Hens and will add him to the active roster Friday to start their three-game series against the Pirates at PNC Park, where he'll probably start in left field.

Thomas started out as a spark for the Tigers after joining the team in early May, but he was batting under .200 since May 16, including 0-for-4 with two strikeouts Thursday. His go-ahead grand slam against the Angels last Sunday at Comerica Park was one of just three hits for him in 29 June at-bats, dropping his average for the season to .237.

As much as manager Jim Leyland likes what Thomas brings to the Tigers, he couldn't keep going to him with Detroit's offense struggling.

"We think he's got a shot to be a very good everyday player," Leyland said, "but he's got to work on shortening his swing. The swing's too long right now. He's got to go down there and work on getting that foot down and shorten up his swing a little bit."

Thomas struck out 14 times over 96 plate appearances in May. That strikeout rate jumped in June to 11 over 31 plate appearances.

"This is really not a punishment," Leyland said. "This is a player that we love. We think a lot of him, but this is what you do. When you see there's some obvious stuff that big league pitchers are going to take advantage of, then you send him down to work on stuff like that."

Kelly, meanwhile, has been a versatile piece for the Mud Hens. He was batting .341 for Toledo with a team-best 62 hits, three homers, 22 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 17 attempts. Moreover, the former Tigers middle infield prospect has added positions to repertoire. He spent most of Spring Training as an extra first baseman, where he remained once he joined the Mud Hens until they needed help in center field. His transition there, by many accounts, has been impressive.

"He can play all over the place, pretty much anywhere," Leyland said. "It gives us a little bit more versatility, a little more depth."

The offense, meanwhile, seems to be a combination of physical and mental maturity. While he has gotten stronger at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, the 29-year-old is now in his ninth Minor League season since the Tigers selected him in the eighth round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft out of Pittsburgh's Point Park College.

The Butler, Pa., native had spent the previous two seasons in other organizations, including 2007 with the Pirates, who gave him his first shot at the big leagues that year by putting him on their Opening Day roster as a utility infielder. He went 4-for-27 at the plate before Pittsburgh designated him for assignment in June.

"He's come back and really done well," Leyland said. "To me, that's what it's all about. When you have somebody that needs to work on something, then you reward people that are really doing well. And he's really done well."

But the biggest part of the move, Leyland said, is to get Thomas back in form.

"You can see they're throwing high fastballs by him," Leyland said. "They're going out of the strike zone, and he's long, and he's not catching up with it right now. But I'm sure he'll be back. He's one of the players in our organization we think has a chance to be a very, very good Major League player."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeFri Jun 12, 2009 1:38 pm

NO!


First Perry; now Thomas
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeWed Jul 08, 2009 12:59 am

Clete Thomas coming back to Tigers; Don Kelly heading back to minors
by Steve Kornacki
Tuesday July 07, 2009, 10:57 PM

DETROIT -- Detroit swapped left-handed hitting outfielders after Tuesday night's game, calling up Clete Thomas from Toledo and designating Don Kelly for assignment.

Kelly, who also played third base, was hitting .250 with one triple, three doubles and three RBIs in 48 at-bats.

Thomas was batting .357 in his past 21 games for the Mud Hens, and .295 overall with one homer and 17 RBIs.

He hit .237 with four homers and 17 RBIs for Detroit earlier this season, and was sent to Toledo to cut down on the length of his swing and make better contact.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Thomas will play Wednesday against Kansas City.

"We're hoping to catch lightning in a bottle," Leyland said. "He gives us a spark from time to time. Is he ready? I don't know. But he has a live bat, a loud bat. He plays good defense and makes good throws."


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeWed Feb 17, 2010 5:23 pm

... Clete Thomas has been losing sleep, but for the best of reasons. His wife, Susie, gave birth to an 8-pound, 6-ounce son, Brooks Massey Thomas, on Jan. 30. Brooks is his wife's maiden name and Massey is Clete's grandfather's name.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100217/SPORTS0104/2170408/1129/Tigers-don-t-like-being-used-in-Johnny-Damon-sweepstakes/Tigers--Nate-Robertson-had-groin-surgery-in-November#ixzz0fpYkx9GU


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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeFri Mar 26, 2010 10:19 pm

X-rays negative on Clete Thomas
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on March 26, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Tests on Clete Thomas' injured right shoulder blade came back negative, according to manager Jim Leyland, confirming the diagnosis of a bruise. He's considered day-to-day. He was originally on the travel roster for today's game against the Braves at Disney World, but that obviously wasn't going to happen.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeWed Mar 31, 2010 1:21 pm

Thomas has MRI on shoulder
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on March 31, 2010 at 10:23 AM

The final spot on the Tigers roster is still undetermined, and possibly, so is the nature of Clete Thomas' shoulder injury. It's still classified as a deep bone bruise on the right shoulder blade, but he underwent an MRI exam this morning just to make sure.

Basically, he said, nothing has changed. He can hit fine, and has been taking batting practice the last few days, but he can't throw. He said he's probably going to try throwing during batting practice this morning, but so far I only see him doing underhand tosses when he gets to balls in the outfield.

The fact that the Tigers are holding off on finalizing their roster sure seems to suggest they want to wait and see if Thomas is ready for the start of the season, wherever that may be.

For what it's worth, he's taking the news pretty calm.

"It's either going to be good or it's going to be bad," Thomas said. "Nothing I can do really."


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Clete Thomas NEWS   Clete Thomas NEWS Icon_minitimeWed Mar 31, 2010 4:23 pm

Thomas sent to Minors as shoulder heals
Tigers' 25-man roster set with Kelly getting last bench spot

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

03/31/10 1:55 PM ET

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Tigers set their 25-man roster Wednesday by optioning outfielder Clete Thomas to Triple-A Toledo, thus making utility man Don Kelly their final position player.

The move came after an MRI exam on Thomas' injured right shoulder showed no serious damage. He's expected to be ready in time for the Mud Hens' season opener. He hasn't played since taking a pitch off his shoulder last week, causing a deep bone bruise on his shoulder blade. He can swing the bat and has taken batting practice for several days, but he hasn't been able to throw.

Essentially, the choice had come down to Kelly or Thomas for at least the final week of camp. In the end, Kelly's ability to play infield and outfield offered more to the Tigers, who have third baseman Brandon Inge and second baseman Scott Sizemore back from offseason surgeries.

With Kelly and Ryan Raburn, the Tigers have two superutility players who can play most positions on the field, except for shortstop, catcher and pitcher. Kelly bats left-handed, and Raburn is a right-handed hitter. Both played all over the field in Spring Training.

"His versatility was a factor," manager Jim Leyland said of Kelly.

Thomas can play all three outfield spots well, but does not play the infield.

Both Kelly and Thomas had strong Spring Training performances at the plate. Kelly got off to a torrid start, then found a level after cooling off. He entered Wednesday batting .364 (20-for-55) with six doubles, two home runs and six RBIs. Thomas was batting .389 (14-for-36) with a home run and three RBIs before his injury.

"I think Clete Thomas is one of the best prospects we've got," Leyland said. "I think he should be an everyday Major League player. I'll tell you the one thing I told him: I think the one thing he's got to learn to do is get regimented, where every day's the same -- get into a routine, a concentration routine every single day -- and I think he'll be an everyday Major League player for a long time."

The Tigers' everyday lineup has long been set. Detroit's bench will feature switch-hitting utility infielder Ramon Santiago, left-handed-hitting catcher Alex Avila, Raburn and Kelly.

The bullpen features three left-handers of different styles: converted starter Phil Coke, sidearmer Fu-Te Ni and power/crafty blend Brad Thomas. Closer Jose Valverde leads the right-handed part of the 'pen along with setup men Joel Zumaya and Ryan Perry. Knuckleball pitcher Eddie Bonine has the ability to be both a long reliever and a ground-ball inducer.

"I like our team," Leyland said. "I think it's a talented group. I think it's a great bunch of guys."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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