Rhymes is the starting second baseman

A few hours after Scott Sizemore went from a strong candidate at second baseman to Triple-A Toledo, manager Jim Leyland finished up the second base competition. 

“Will Rhymes will get the first shot,” Leyland said.
That includes, most likely, Opening Day against the Yankees and CC Sabathia.
In the end, Leyland cited Rhymes’ performance last year — a .304 average, 12 doubles, three triples, 19 RBIs and a home run off Zack Greinke — as a separating factor in the second-base scrum.
“I know he hit .304 in the big leagues last year, and he hasn’t done anything to show me he can’t play,” Leyland said. “He’s played his tail off this spring. He gets base hits and fights his tail off at the plate. He’s a little energy piece for us.
“But I want to make it perfectly clear that I was really, totally impressed with Scott Sizemore, totally different guy. I think it’s 100 percent that Scott Sizemore is a big leaguer now, and I’m not sure I could’ve said that before. I’m speaking for me personally. And Danny Worth is a big league player as well. There’s no doubt in my mind.”


Well, that’s who I wanted at 2nd. Now, we’ll see if the Skipper and I agree on who I don’t want in the OF.

I’m not surprised that Rhymes is the starter, as we need a #2 hitter. The other option was Raburn. And if you start Sizemore, you have him, Raburn, Peralta and Inge in the lineup and they are all essentially interchangeable parts as far as what they bring to the lineup. Too much of the same thing. JL’s comment about Rhymes being a “little piece of energy” spoke volumes.
Assuming Ordonez is healthy and playing RF, what use is there for Boesch? We wouldn’t need a starter, we’d need bench guys that can play defense, pinch run, and still provide a little offense. That would be Thomas and Wells, with both being able to play all three OF positions. This is where I saw Clete’s value to this team, and Wells fits that bill fairly well too. Anyone see the way Boesch played that grand slam today? I don’t know if the ball was catchable or not, but he sure didn’t get himself into a position to make a play on it. Poor defense will lose you more games than any other factor. It’s not personal, I just can’t stand bad defense. In any sport.
If they want to run with Wells and Worth, I’m good with that. It’s about finding the parts for the 2011 club.

At this point in time, I’d probably take Dirks. He’s another one of those players who brings a little excitement to the game. Just my opinion, though. Felt the same way about those “catches”, Rich. Seemed like he couldn’t jump up to try and catch it and that isn’t the first time.
Of course Dannyboy Worth caught my eye last year with his slick glove. I wish we could keep him, but that may not be possible.
If Magglio isn’t on that field Thursday, I really am going to be worried. Let’s hope he heals up for this very long season of baseball. Injuries can kill a team as we all know.

At least a decision was made for 2B. Onward and upward. Trade winds are still blowing.
Funny, I thought the same on the slam. but in reality you can’t expect too many home-run snatching catches through the course of a season. The fault there lies with Penny’s pitch.
Boesch cant’ catch up to a HR and it’s indicative of a bad outfielder? How about Raburn botching a fly ball in left? The other day he mishandled a single out there trying to find the handle on it. I may be very mistaken but giving him a full time job in LF is not going to mysteriously fix his very suspect defense. Raburn, to me, belongs in the infield. I think Boesch can learn to be a decent fielder. We need LH power–heck we need power of any kind on this club. Magglio will have a difficult time in playing 120 games this year. Next year you have to cut him loose. Boesch can provide some trouble to the opposition by his presence here. Far more than Thomas or Dirks. I think they are wise to keep him and Wells. I even liked the way Wells came in there and went after that 1st pitch with the sacks packed in the 9th. No fear. He got his pitch and didn’t shy off of it. He’s gonna be good.
The big question early on is, is Jhonny Peralta capable of getting it together? If he can’t provide a somewhat dependable bat and 80 RBIs then we would actually be better off with Danny Worth. Worth can change the game when he is on the field. He can run, he can range, and if he can hit better than .260 then give him the job.
I think we are going to see Villareal and Schlereth and maybe even Wilk.

Good for you little Will – I like the idea of speed out there. I hope he can do it for us, I like him. What I don’t always like is how Leyland feels the need to overdo the “he is a big leaguer” thing all the time – these are grown men who didn’t make the big team. That in itself should tell them close , but not good enough right now, work it out and with the Tigers you know we’ll have injuries and there will be a chance to get called up and prove your worth.

I like little Willi Rymes and think he adds quite a bit to this team. I like him even better that CG. The real big deal in all of this is how deep the team has become. DD can shop a little more now and doesn’t have to resort to the clearance racks or pull magical deals like last year. These guys are all solid men and players. So what are our most urgent future needs? Unless we have one in the system I think a Shortstop of the future would be nice….who has the top 3 shortstops in the Minors and/or how about drafting one?

I was lucky enough to be at the Whitecaps winter banquet. Joel, Brennan, DD and of course Will were all in attendance. The Rhymster spoke with confidence. That is one nickname. I hope he comes thru as Big Will. I can’t wait til next Thursday. I sure everyone knows what day that is. Right, my birthday! Going to Florida for Spring Break the 1st week of April. Looking forward to when the games mean something. Go Tigers 2011. –Dave

I am not sure he would like it, but we call him “Wee Willie Rhymes”

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