DETROIT (AP) -The Detroit Tigers hope a day off will help Gary Sheffield turn around his poor start.
The nine-time All-Star hit just .119 through the first 17 games this season, his first in Detroit, and is hitless in his last 12 at-bats.
``He'll start fresh on the West Coast, he'll be back in tomorrow,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Sunday before the series finale against the Chicago White Sox. ``It's a new team and he wants to do it so bad because the fans have been great. He's probably pressing, but his timing is just not right.''
The Tigers open a two-game series Monday night on the road against the Los Angeles Angels before traveling to play the White Sox on Wednesday and Thursday.
Detroit acquired Sheffield from the New York Yankees shortly after last season for three pitching prospects. His previous contract called for him to make $13 million this year and his new deal will pay him $28 million over the next two seasons.
In Sheffield's first 59 at-bats of the season, he had 15 strikeouts with only one homer, one double and five RBIs. He is among AL leaders with 13 walks.
``It's all mental because I can have bad mechanics and hit home runs,'' he said. ``I'm not really a mechanically sound guy, so it's just really between my ears.''
He was limited to 39 games last year because of wrist problems.
``Physically, I feel great. My wrist is not an issue at all,'' he said.
Sheffield began the season as a career .297 hitter with 455 homers and 1,501 RBIs. He received MVP votes each season from 2002-2005 - finishing second just three years ago in New York, and third in Atlanta four years ago.

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