Sizemore coming to Detroit

When Will Rhymes was named the Tigers’ Opening Day second baseman, manager Jim Leyland said he was getting the first shot at the job. Scott Sizemore is now getting the next shot.

With the Tigers’ offense sputtering and Rhymes’ playing time diminishing, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski pulled the switch Monday night, recalling the hot-hitting Sizemore from Triple-A Toledo and optioning Rhymes back to the Mud Hens.

The move is the Tigers’ first step in their attempt to fix an offense that batted .249 in April and has played a major role in Detroit’s seven-game losing streak, the latest a 3-2 loss to the Yankees Monday night at Comerica Park. Rhymes certainly didn’t bear the brunt of responsibility, but his struggles to escape his early slump looked bad while Sizemore kept hitting up a storm in a Mud Hens uniform.

Sizemore was a late scratch for the Mud Hens Monday at Pawtucket once the Tigers made the decision. He made the move up with a .408 average (31-for-76), seven doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs for the Hens. He hit .452 (14-for-31) in his past 10 games with seven walks, four doubles, a home run and nine RBIs.

His return to Detroit comes almost a year after he lost the starting job at second base last season, having struggled early while working his way back from ankle surgery the previous offseason. His improved health was obvious in Spring Training by the way he moved around the infield defensively. It was not as evident in his hitting.

With Carlos Guillen opening the season on the disabled list, Rhymes won the starting job in Spring Training based in part on his success last year, and the fact that he hadn’t done anything to lose the job. A .221 average (15-for-68) in 19 games with only one extra-base hit and two RBIs hurt his chances, despite 10 walks.

The Tigers’ other offensive struggles didn’t help Rhymes, either. Part of his strength is the ability to move runners in the second spot, and Austin Jackson’s struggles atop the batting order didn’t give him many opportunities. Likewise, Magglio Ordonez’s slow start behind him impacted the way opponents pitched Rhymes.

10 Comments

I’m sorry, but this is a lame move. Unlinke others on the team, at least Rhymes has been hitting the ball and putting it in play. Why not option Jackson and bring up Clete? Why not release Magglio? Why not option (or better yet release) Raburn? These guys are barely hitting the ball, yet DD elects to send Rhymes down? Based on past performance, we can pretty accurately predict that Sizemore will not hit (again) at the MLB level. I’m sure Carlos will be handed 2B when/if he ever comes back too.
I’m a lifeloing Tigers fan, and I hate to see yet another season like this. The team scrapes its elbow and DD slaps a band-aid on its knee. How long until Mr. Illitch realizes that nothing will change until he replaces Dombrowski & Leyland? It pains me to do it, but I will not be attending any games this season while DD & JL are there. My “fun money” fund is very small this year and I’d rather spend it on something that will bring me some entertainment, not a bunch of overpaid ballplayers (thanks DD!) who are secure in their jobs because management doesn’t know how to assemble a winner.

Amen! I have been calling for this for 2 weeks! Just got back from the game, I don’t know what it looked like at home but it sure seemed to me that Verlander’s strike zone wasn’t nearly as generous as Mr Colons. Not to mention the reactions of the players to it. A few times between innings Verlander and leyland seemed to be discussing it with the incompetent behind the plate. But just he reactions made me believe my feelings about it were correct.
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Really while JV hasn’t been lights out, he hasn’t been horrible though he hasn’t given up more than three runs to anyone. The hitting along with he pen has been the true problem lately. I don’t know nothing is going right either. Looks like a lot of rain in the forecast for tomorrow! Well see. Boy this is depressing streak the got going here!

Avila hitting down the order can’t replace black holes either side of Miggs which Boesch has now also been sucked into the past three or so games.
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If Sizemore hits from the get go, would not be surprised to see him or Raburn on 3B sooner rather than later.
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Sure is ugly seeing wins evaporate before your eyes. Bullpens are such a contagious environment. Crazy to carry pitchers where management has little or no faith using and the vibes pervade slowly but surely.

Why, exactly, would they even consider putting Raburn or Sizemore at 3B? If Sizemore hits, which still remains to be seen at this level, that’s great. We know Raburn is an all or nothing hitter, with the majority of his AB’s falling on the nothing side. Swapping Inge for Raburn is a wash offensively, and defensively Raburn is a HUGE liability (not just at 3B but anywhere he plays). I just don’t get the Raburn love from JL and some fans. The guy probably wouldn’t make any other MLB roster, which is why we’ll never be able to trade him.

Mech Man,
Why would you want Clete? You do realize he batted a .169 average for April.
Hens’ OF Andy Dirks is hitting .340 with 6 HR, 17RBI and has 10 SB in 10 attempts.

I was just throwing Clete’s name out there. Send Jackson down and bring up whichever OF is hitting, which appears to be Dirks.

Raburn is not a 3B, that is the only reason he cannot replace Inge. Raburn is a much better hitter than Inge. If Sizemore hits again (he hit well in Sept) then yes he might get a shot at 3B. Inge’s defense is vastly over-rated since his knee injuries. He made one nice play yesterday, but botched 2 (Jeter in the 1st and the ball in the 8th). And Inge is right up there with AJax and Maggs as black holes in offense. We no longer have the luxury of carrying a defense only 3B. Problem is: our 3B of the future is 19.

Clete is not an option now. Dirks maybe, but what about Wells. Why not try him in CF or RF? He hit well in September. Problem with bringing up Dirks is that he is young and needs to play every day and that won’t happen in Detroit…yet.

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And now, in Mid-May, Rhymes is hitting .315 in Toledo and Sizemore is hitting .248 in The Show with one double (in his very first game). Rhymes was heating up when he got sent down, and was a scapegoat for Jackson, Inge, etc. not hitting.

Detroit needs to settle this issue and get one of these kids somewhere they can play. Languishing in the minors hitting over .300 for years is not fair. Rhymes hit over .300 in 50+ games last year. He deserves to play for someone.

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