Sizemore, Weinhardt among Tigers cuts

The latest round of Tigers cuts came this morning, and it included two pretty big surprises. Scott Sizemore and Robbie Weinhardt are headed to Triple-A Toledo, along with Clete Thomas. Fu-Te Ni and Max St. Pierre were assigned to minor league camp. The moves whittle Detroit’s roster to 28 players, with three more moves needing to be made by the time the Tigers break camp next Tuesday.

Until this past weekend, Sizemore seemed to be in a very good position to open the season at second base, though his batting average had dropped in recent days in .237 (9-for-37). Not only had he not started in the past three days, he had only one plate appearance in that stretch.
His return to Toledo for a third year as a Mud Hen came as Will Rhymes won the leaves Danny Worth and Will Rhymes as the two main contestants left in the battle for second base. Danny Worth remains in contention for an infield spot if the Tigers decide to keep another utilityman alongside Don Kelly and Ramon Santiago, rather than another extra outfielder.
Weinhardt, meanwhile, seemingly stood on solid ground to take one of the two or three openings in the bullpen as a right-handed ground ball specialist, having pitched in nine games this spring. But he also had three outings in which he gave up a run on two hits in an inning. His return to Toledo, and Brayan Villarreal’s standing in camp, makes Villarreal’s bid for a long relief look even better.
Villarreal and Enrique Gonzalez are the two right-handed pitchers left in camp without a roster spot assured. Lefty relief, meanwhile, appears to be down to Daniel Schlereth and Adam Wilk, with Brad Thomas looking all but set to break camp with the big club along with Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit and Ryan Perry. The Tigers could take both Schlereth and Wilk along with Villarreal and give themselves three lefties and another long man in their bullpen.
Ni made a good early impression in camp, looking physically stronger with better command. He allowed a run on four hits in 10 innings, but he also walked five, including two in one inning last Friday against the Red Sox.
Thomas’ camp was a victory of health, having shown no problems in his return from microfracture knee sugery. But he faced an uphill battle to try to win one of the two outfield spots left to be decided. Brennan Boesch, Andy Dirks and Casper Wells remain in contention for those jobs, with Wells’ position looking more secure as a right-handed hitter.
Both Boesch and Dirks bat left-handed, which put the left-handed hitting Thomas in a logjam of sorts. Thomas went 12-for-42 (.286) at the plate, but just two of his hits went for extra bases. 


Not a big shock. Awful disappointment for them, though.

Clete missed most of last year and playing everyday is probably best for him even though I wanted to see him on the team.
Three non-roster players still in camp (Gonzalez, Wilk and Dirks) with three more cuts to be made. If any of them make it, someone gets cut from the 40 man roster. It looks like on the the pitchers will make it at this point with only 13 left in camp not counting Zumaya.

I don’t like these moves.

Scott Sizemore was the only one of the second base candidates that had a chance of being major league average, especially at the plate. Neither Rhymes, nor Worth can hit like an average second baseman, and please don’t start with the batting average bit. Sizemore had 100 points OPS above Rhymed in over five seasons at the same levels in the minors. Bad move. Santiago is now the best remaining option to start at second base, and should be given every chance to do so. I’d rather trade Peralta than Santiago.

Robbie Weinhardt is a better pitcher than either Schlereth or Thomas- even against lefty hitters. We now have two bullpen spots left if Thomas and Schlereth are both on the team. Valverde, Benoit, Perry are solid. Thomas is an okay LOOGY, but never, ever let him face a righty. Schlereth is a prospect rushed to the majors with great stuff. Robbie should be on the team.

At least we’ve found the sore thumb- someone has rearranged the manager’s mental furniture!

I think the mind-set here is getting Guillen back. With him as this year’s annointed 2B there is no room for eihter Rhymes nor Sizemore. Worth can fill in till that happens (and I am not a fan of this mind you) or Santiago if they keep him. Actually it may have been a better idea to let Raburn man the fort till Guillen gets back and keep a good fielding OF like wells or Thomas. It has been said many times here that 2B is Raburn’s best position (so far). I see him him as taking over from Brandon very soon. Though we all know Ingie can hit .180 and play everyday for JL.
I have to trust the decision on Weinhardt. I would think Knapp has more input on these decisions.

Leyland is putting his LHB to the test today. Rhymes, Boesch, Avila, Kelly are all in there against the southpaw.
Worth is getting the nod at short, Kelly at 3rd. I’d like to see Wells in there but presumably they will give him some more chances.

I’m not overly thrilled with this myself, but I guess we’ve all chosen our favorites. There are as many opinions as there are players in the mix.
It has appeared to me that the club is pushing Boesch no matter what he does on the field. I may be proven wrong on this, I hope. I’d prefer Wells and I’ve already placed my “vote” for Clete. I just like complete ballplayers and Boesch is another Timo Perez. Both of them walk around with a bat in their hands constantly. I do like Rhymes because he makes things happen regardless of what the statistics say. They used to call it intangibles, don’t know if that’s still the term.
On the pitching side, who we take north certainly won’t be who pitches with the club all year. After Valverde, Perry and Benoit, it’s all very much up in the air, especially with Coke in the pen the first few days.

The whole Sizemore thing is why I can’t get too worked up about guys coming in with a lot of hype of what he can do. Not that he is a bad player, but last year and now this year doesn’t look like it will pan out, and we were being sold last year that he was our 2nd baseman.

I am mixed on Clete – I root for him, seems like a good guy, but seems like he just can’t complete the package of being a good every day player.

I just am worried we’ll end up with the same problem as in the past – a bunch of guys hitting .225.

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