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wuertz for austin 3-21

Detroit in need of relief pitching

From wire reports

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — With Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya out for undetermined lengths of time, the Detroit Tigers have continued trade talks with clubs that have surplus relief pitching.

Chicago Cubs right-hander Michael Wuertz, an Austin native, has emerged as one of the Tigers' targets. Wuertz, 29, appeared in 73 games last year, with a 2-3 record and 3.48 ERA.

The Cubs have considered adding another right-handed hitter, and they are believed to have some interest in Brandon Inge and Marcus Thames. The San Francisco Giants have also asked about Inge.

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Detroit manager Jim Leyland, though, isn't counting on acquiring a reliever.

"Nobody's going to parachute in here that's going to be our savior," Leyland said. "We can't make our bullpen, in the next 10 days, as good as if we had Zumaya and Rodney. We can't do it. So, forget about it."

Kevin Rand, the Tigers’ head athletic trainer, said Thursday that Rodney will be examined this weekend by team orthopedist Dr. Stephen Lemos. Rodney is not scheduled to throw again until after that.

"We need to take our time and make sure that he’s right, so he can get back and really help us," Rand said.

The team announced earlier this week that Rodney would begin the season on the disabled list because of shoulder inflammation.

Rodney’s shoulder has been examined multiple times this spring, without doctors discovering any structural damage. The shoulder was looked at again Tuesday, after Rodney’s most recent bullpen session.

With Rodney and Joel Zumaya out, the Tigers have continued trade talks with clubs that have surplus relief pitching.

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