September 5th, 2010

Tigers calling up Sizemore

The Tigers will expand their roster by at least one more player Monday. Infielder Scott Sizemore received word Sunday night to join the club in Detroit for Monday afternoon’s game against the White Sox.

The move gives the Tigers an extra infielder for the stretch run, something they did last year when they called up Brent Dlugach for the final few weeks of the playoff chase. For Sizemore, the move hopefully means a positive note to close out what he called his toughest season.

“This year, I would say, is probably as difficult of a year as I’ve ever had, just the mental strain and physical strain,” Sizemore said Sunday night. “I mean, I’ve been kind of beat up all year. It’s taken a lot out of me. But you know, to kind of end on a strong note and get the call up to the big club, it makes it all worthwhile. Sometimes in the year, you just go frustrated and you keep pushing through it, keep working, and you hope that there’s going to be some light at the end of the tunnel. Fortunately this time, there is.”

Sizemore began the year as the Tigers’ everyday second baseman, was sent down in mid-May after a rough start at the plate, then watched a revolving door of players handle second base. The latest at the position, Will Rhymes, has made an impression on the organization both offensively and defensively.

It’s difficult to define Sizemore’s fit in the organization, what with Carlos Guillen under contract for next year and Rhymes clearly making a case to stick around. But by no means is Sizemore a forgotten man. He’ll have a chance this winter to do a full workout program with a healthy ankle, something he couldn’t do last year after ankle surgery at the end of October, and he’s looking forward to it.

“It feels better,” Sizemore said. “There’s hardly any pain with anything that I do now, which is great. Because early on, almost everything I did kind of had some soreness or pain. The biggest thing now is I didn’t have the opportunity to lift in the offseason. This year, it’s just going to be back to my normal routine, get in the weight room, work on my speed and get back to being as explosive as I can.”

Sizemore fell a triple shy of the cycle Sunday night for the Mud Hens. He led off the game with a home run and added an opposite-field double later to go with a single. He fell a hit shy of finishing his Toledo tenure with a .300 average.

No word yet is that will be the extent of the Tigers’ September call-ups. The Mud Hens have one more game left Monday afternoon. However, manager Jim Leyland said last week that call-ups would be very limited. He indicated it was possible they’d only have one move, so this could be it.