Sizemore, Scherzer to Toledo; Worth coming up

The first Saturday night fireworks of the season at Comerica Park weren’t just on the field. After the Tigers’ comeback win over the Red Sox, they made three key changes to their roster, optioning starting second baseman Scott Sizemore and key starting pitcher Max Scherzer to Triple-A Toledo and anointing Carlos Guillen as the new starter at second when he returns from the disabled list.

Armando Galarraga, who was already being recalled from Toledo to start Sunday’s series finale against Boston, will stay in the rotation. To replace Sizemore, the Tigers purchased the contract of infielder Danny Worth, who could make his Major League debut as soon as Sunday at second base.

Manager Jim Leyland said he’ll fill second base with some combination of Ramon Santiago, Worth and utilityman Don Kelly until Guillen is ready. Guillen, currently on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring, has been taking ground balls the past couple days and is expected to begin a rehab assignment sometime next week after the Tigers’ current homestand ends Tuesday.

The moves and announcements came just before midnight after Detroit’s 12-inning victory, and they came in a flurry.

The Tigers tabbed Scherzer to fill the void in the middle of their rotation immediately upon acquiring the gifted 25-year-old from Arizona in the Edwin Jackson trade last December. After four encouraging April starts, however, he fell into a deep four-start struggle that saw him battle his mechanics moreso than hitters.

Scherzer gave up 27 runs on 33 hits over 18 innings in his last four starts, the last three of them losses. The capper came Friday night, when he surrendered three home runs — including a 450-foot drive from David Ortiz — tagged him with six runs on six hits over five innings.

Scherzer has given up nine home runs this season, tying him for second in the American League entering Saturday.

Scherzer would’ve been on track to start next Thursday at Oakland. Instead, the Tigers will likely slot Dontrelle Willis into that outing, pitching him in his hometown. Galarraga can then start Friday against the Dodgers on his regular turn after starting Sunday.

Galarraga has boasted impressive numbers in Toledo, owning a 4-2 record with a 3.92 ERA. With a strike-to-ball ratio of better than 2-to-1, his command seems to have improved since last season with the Tigers, where he posted a 6-10 record in 25 starts before being relegated to bullpen duties.

The 25-year-old Sizemore has struggled for the vast majority of this season to date, but has fallen on particularly tough times lately. His two strikeouts against Red Sox lefty Jon Lester Saturday night extended his current slump to 0-for-14 and dropped his average to .206. He hit one home run and added eight RBIs, part of the struggles at the bottom of the Tigers order.

The telling sign came Saturday night, when manager Jim Leyland used Ramon Santiago to pinch-hit for Sizemore in the eighth inning of a tie game with Red Sox left-hander Hideki Okajima and the potential go-ahead run on third with one out. Santiago lined out to third and stayed in the game at second base before drawing the walkoff walk to drive in the winning run in the 12th.

The 24-year-old Worth was once among the Tigers’ shortstop prospects, having been drafted in the second round of the 2007 Draft out of Pepperdine. He largely struggled as a hitter in his first three seasons, but has proven valuable around the infield this year at Toledo, where he entered Saturday batting .274 with five doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs.  He has played at shortstop, second and third.

6 Comments

Is JL reading this Blog over 2B and possibly SS if Worth hits? Glad to see a vote of confidence in the GMan.

Good moves. I’m glad management didn’t drag it out in some kind of face saving measure. Sizemore was having a rough go of it but I think he’ll come out okay in the end. His was a hard road to hoe, trying to replace Polanco. The Guillen move to secondbase was a move that had to be made. Here’s hoping he stays healthy and this works out in that regard. I have no doubts of his abiilty to play the position. It’s a good idea to put Galarraga in the rotation before his start tomorrow, so he won’t feel the pressure of an audition. Facing Boston can be tough enough. Scherzer can get himself straightened out now and rejoin the team ready to contribute.
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Again, good moves.
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–Rich

It took some guts and intelligence to make the moves. I wouldn’t have brought up Worth though. I’d have gone for the scrappy Will Rhymes. He gets on and he can play 2nd. Worth has been playing 3rd at Toledo and now will be asked to adjust to 2nd at the MLB level. If they are Waiting for Godot ( I mean Guillen) then why nut plug a true 2nd baseman in meantime?
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Anyway, I am happy they have seen the light with Sizemore. His time isn’t yet.
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Scherzer needs to sort things out and experieince some success again on the mound. He should be able to do that in Toledo.
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Tonight’s wind was pretty incredible. It seemed destined to remind me a little of the frustration of game #163.
Ordonez was a real factor and it is good to see him rediscover his stroke after fading out a bit the last while. He certainly has a knack for it.
Boesch is unconscious.
Avila must be horribly frustrated. Especially with the fact that even a little hitting would probbly get him the catcher’s job at this point with Laird being virtually non-existent offensively.
JL got away with throwing Zumaya a 3rd inning. Thought for sure he would get burned with that one.
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Damon has got to start figuring it out. He got a bad call on that 2nd strike but watched the 3rd strike go by too. He has been called out on stikes in important situations far too much for a hitter of his caliber. He mad a nice play on a lineout in the top of the 11th. He can get to balls.
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Good luck to G-Man tomorrow and this year. We need a shot in the arm from another starter.
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As to Willis, I’m not agreeable about him not being sharp because of his layoff. I think he just gets that way and you never know when it’s going to happen. I wish him the best and this would be great for us if he were to comeback but I don’t think management should count on it.
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I think we will see Schlereth up before too long. He is dominating , though his walks are still unacceptable. In my mind, Brad Thomas is pretty iffy. That Sborz guy down there has Valverde type numbers. My guess is he is only coming up if something happens to Zumaya or Perry.
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Raburn is hitting down there so it’s a pretty good bet he will come up when Worth goes back. Are they keeping Wells for now?

As much as I hate to say it they should consider sending Alex down if he doesn’t start hitting (and consequently playing more). It’s not doing him much good riding the pine like this.

I said last night during the game when they were showing clips of Carlos working out in the infield that I bet they are going to put him at 2nd base! Am I a genious or what?? Ha ha
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Well I feel bad for Sizemore and Scherzer but they did give them a chance to figure it out but hence it didnt work. Sizemore showed brief signs (like last Friday in Cleveland but those numbers washed away) but then would collapse right back into a funk. We need Scherzer up here so I hope it doesn’t take too long to figure it out and lets hope that Armando has. I noticed that he started out well but maybe has given up a few lately???
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I tell you this last nights game was a whole lot more fun that being at Fridays.
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GK

Good moves, imo. Never was impressed with Sizemore.

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