DETROIT -- Magglio Ordonez did not return to Comerica Park with a cape. But he does believe he returned with his bat.
When Ordonez last talked at Triple-A Toledo last week, he talked about needing a few more days to regain the timing in his swing that he relies on to produce power. After home runs on back-to-back days, including a three-hit night for the Mud Hens, Ordonez returned to the Tigers' lineup Monday feeling pretty confident.
"I played a few games in the Minor Leagues," Ordonez said Monday afternoon before heading out to batting practice. "I saw a lot of pitches. I played nine innings, so I think I'm ready."
The surgically repaired right ankle, which led him to the disabled list May 11, is no longer an issue, he reiterated.
"It's way different," he said. "It's stronger. I don't feel any pain. I don't feel any discomfort. I'm ready to play baseball."
He was also ready to bat lower in the order, even if it came somewhat as a surprise to everyone else. Manager Jim Leyland didn't go into his reasons for batting Ordonez sixth and keeping Brennan Boesch third.
"That's where I put him," Leyland said.
Ordonez, however, said later that Leyland had prepared him for the move before he went out on his rehab assignment a week and a half ago.
"Skip talked to me before I left," Ordonez said, "and he told me that I was going to probably bat sixth. But it's no different, just going to try to do my best and try to produce."
Tigers keep Wilk, send Gonzalez to Triple-A
DETROIT -- In Tigers manager Jim Leyland's ideal scenario, he probably wouldn't have Adam Wilk sitting in his bullpen, waiting for an opportunity to pitch. But still, the Tigers had the chance to send Wilk down to make room for Magglio Ordonez's return from the disabled list, and they didn't.
Instead, Enrique Gonzalez is with the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens again, and Wilk is still with the Tigers, a week after Detroit called him up to supposedly serve as a short-term fill-in while David Purcey was on paternity leave.
Though Gonzalez was a veteran long reliever who could warm up in a hurry and eat innings, the Tigers see a chance for Wilk to learn the ropes of relief up in the big leagues. Thus, the Tigers outrighted Gonzalez to Triple-A Toledo to make room for Ordonez and kept Wilk up.
That doesn't necessarily mean he's here for the long haul. Brad Thomas will begin his Minor League rehab assignment at Toledo on Tuesday, and it isn't clear yet how that will shake out. But Wilk has an opportunity.
"I think Adam Wilk is a prospect," Leyland said. "Truth be known, it would probably be better if Wilk was out pitching, but he's not at this particular time. He's getting his feet wet a little bit up here, and that doesn't hurt any. He's got a little experience under his belt, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's a little unique, to be honest with you right now, to have four left-handers."
Leyland compared Wilk's work to the way the Tigers broke in Charlie Furbush a few weeks earlier. Furbush still works in long relief, but he also gets some specialty situations, opportunities that could increase the better he pitches.
"He's done OK," Leyland said of Wilk. "He's ideally probably a left-handed long guy to break him in the right way. Probably not necessarily good for the team, but probably good for him. He's an ideal left-handed long guy if you get behind early. It's not because you don't like him, but because that's how he can get some experience with a little less pressure on him."
Reliever Schlereth battling command issues
DETROIT -- Daniel Schlereth said he can't put his finger on the issues that he's battling as he tries to find his command in shorter relief opportunities.
Schlereth entered Sunday's game against Seattle looking to maintain a one-run deficit in the eighth inning. He retired cleanup man Jack Cust, then gave up a four-pitch walk to left-handed-hitting rookie Carlos Peguero. Manager Jim Leyland replaced him with Joaquin Benoit, who gave up a two-run homer to Miguel Olivo on his first pitch.
"Left-handed relief pitchers cannot walk left-handed hitters," Leyland said.
He said it was a general philosophy, rather than directed at anyone in particular. Still, it was clear what he meant.
Schlereth knows it, too. He has two hitless innings in June, but he's given up three walks and a hit batter in four appearances.
Schlereth has had shorter appearances this month, partly due to the sudden abundance of left-handers in the bullpen. With last month's trade for David Purcey and the callups of Charlie Furbush and Adam Wilk, more than half of the Tigers' relievers are left-handed. When the season began, Schlereth and Brad Thomas were the lone lefties.
McCartney to play at Comerica as part of tour
DETROIT -- The last time Paul McCartney performed in Detroit, the year was 1976, and the venue was Olympia Stadium. The legendary musical artist and songwriter has been in the area since, but his formal return to the Motor City will be at Comerica Park next month.
Olympia Entertainment announced Monday that the home of the Tigers will be a host for the Detroit leg of McCartney's On the Run Tour this summer, which will hit other ballparks across America. It'll hit Comerica Park on Sunday, July 24 for an 8 p.m. ET concert.
Tickets will range from $19.50 to $250, and will go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. at OlympiaEntertainment.com.
McCartney just completed his Up and Coming Tour earlier this month. His new tour will begin July 15-16 with shows at Yankee Stadium for the first time in his career. The performances are said to feature nearly three hours of music, combining familiar hits with lesser-known tracks from his time with the Beatles as well as Wings, plus his acclaimed solo career.
It'll be the latest in a line of headlining summer concerts at Comerica Park, which hosted Eminem and Jay-Z in concert last September and will host Kid Rock later this summer.