DETROIT -- Brad Thomas said on Monday that an MRI exam showed no structural damage in his left elbow. The Tigers medical staff diagnosed his injury as a buildup of fluid around the elbow, not necessarily bursitis.
That inflammation, Thomas said, caused his elbow to lock up when he tried to throw on Friday in Pittsburgh.
Thomas said medical officials recommended allowing the elbow to drain on its own, rather than forcing it. He'll need a few days, anyway, to allow the swelling to reduce from the dye injection he received for the MRI.
Once that happens, Thomas doesn't expect to need much time throwing to get back up to game speed. Still, add up the time, and it appears unlikely he'll be ready to come off the disabled list when he's eligible on Thursday.
New-look Perry trying to regain old form
DETROIT -- Ryan Perry had a different look in an effort to change his fortunes on Monday before he even threw a pitch. He shaved his head, taking off all the hair he had grown out this spring in an effort to go back to his rookie look.
That likely won't have much to do with whether he can recapture his younger form that made him a central part of Detroit's bullpen. The mechanical work he has put in the last couple days to change his look on the mound will have more to do with that.
A day after manager Jim Leyland said Perry needed to recapture the sinking motion on his fastball to complement his slider, Perry said he was making changes to do that. After watching video all the way back to his college career at the University of Arizona, before he was the Tigers' first-round pick in 2008, Perry and Tigers coaches believe lowering his arm angle should do that.
As Perry explained it, his arm angle had gotten progressively higher in his release when he tried to put in work staying back in his delivery and gaining some consistency. It came at a price, apparently.
His two-seam fastball had been one of his better pitches, both for velocity and movement. Because he could move it opposite of his slider, he could keep hitters guessing.
"That's what got me on the team, really," Perry said. "My first year, I threw a lot of fastballs. Every catcher who caught me said, 'I don't know which way it's going to move.'"
It has become a lot more predictable.
"Now, they're all cutting," Perry said of his fastball. "It looks too much like my slider at times."
Coincidence or not, his fastball percentage has dropped. He went with fastballs on 77.3 percent of his pitches as a rookie in 2009, according to fangraphs.com. They comprised 66.5 percent of his pitches last year, and just 60 percent of his pitches so far this season. His average fastball velocity, in turn, has dropped from 95.4 to 93.9 mph.
"It hasn't given me all my potential, really," Perry said.
Perry went to work on changing that on Sunday. While Rick Porcello took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Pirates at PNC Park, Perry was throwing in the visiting bullpen, trying to get the feeling back of his old arm angle. Now, he said, it's a matter of getting the muscle memory down.
Leyland all talked out over lifting Porcello
DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland anticipated a good amount of second-guessing over his decision on Sunday to lift Rick Porcello after eight innings of one-hit ball in a 2-0 game and turn to closer Jose Valverde for the ninth inning. On Monday, when asked by a radio reporter if he was surprised by the fan reaction, he did not want to rehash the situation for the airwaves.
"I think that's the entertainment business," Leyland said. "I think that's what we're in, and I don't blame any fan ever who second-guesses taking out Rick Porcello. I would never blame somebody like that. But I don't listen to talk shows, guys that don't know about baseball. If you're asking if I listen to those guys, no, I don't.
"If I listen to somebody that has a legitimate second-guess like the one [Sunday], I respect that opinion. It's not going to change mine. I've said a million times that I manage for the fans, not with the fans. I don't manage with every Tom, Dick and Harry that calls a talk show, I can promise you that. But that one yesterday was a legitimate second-guess."
That doesn't mean he wavered in his personal opinion.
"You know what? Everybody forgets that the Tigers won the game. And if Jose Valverde is not better in the ninth inning than Rick Porcello after eight innings, and Jose Valverde's a top closer, then we might as well not have a closer. That's the way I look at it.
"I don't get sentimental into all that about, 'Oh, he has a chance to have a one-hitter.' I don't get into all that. I'm here to win games, and I felt that gave us the best chance to win the game. And he won the game. It could've backfired, and I would've still stuck by my decision. So it doesn't bother me. No, that's you guys' business."
Leyland seemed to try to go to length to delineate between fans second-guessing him and radio callers.
"There's a legitimate fan that calls that show that has real interest and has some knowledge and makes some sense," he said. "There's a bunch of other people that call in that don't know about what they're talking about. They just want to hear themselves on the radio and hear themselves talk. There is some definite, legitimate second-guessing, which is fine. That's the sport. That's fine. They're interested in the Tigers. They want to know what's going on. I have no problem with that stuff. But I don't get into that. It has no bearing on what decision I make."
Leyland apologized after Monday's win for some of the language he used, but he stood by his general idea. He doesn't want to repeat himself over the same decision day after day.
"It doesn't matter to me whether people agree or disagree," he said. "I'm always willing to explain why I did something, but I'm not going to sit there and keep getting badgered about it or argue about it. I'm not going to do that. I explained why I did it. If people still disagree, that's their business."
Ordonez set for pregame workouts on Friday
DETROIT -- Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordonez will return to Comerica Park on Friday to work out on the field, manager Jim Leyland said Monday, but he'll be doing that in pregame workouts, not in a game.
Thus, it's all but certain that Ordonez won't be coming off the disabled list when he's eligible on Thursday.
Ordonez, currently on the 15-day DL with soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle, is working out this week near his South Florida home with physical therapist Lisa Kearns.
Brayan Villarreal, optioned to Triple-A Toledo on Sunday to make room for Enrique Gonzalez, will work as a starter with the Mud Hens, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said on Monday. The innings workload should give him a chance to work on his pitches.
The Tigers' extra-base hit streak continues, now at all 47 games this season. It's the second-longest streak by a Detroit team since at least 1919, four games off the 51-game streak to start the 1986 season.
Joaquin Benoit collected his first setup situation since retaking eighth-inning duties, retiring his former team.