Tigers lineup getting a shakeup
Jim Leyland said late last week that he was sticking with his lineup, the players in it, and believes in the team he has. In the same conversation, though, he made the point that it’s ultimately not his final call.
“I think you’re watching and you’re watching,” Leyland said Friday, “and the general manager and the manager and the coaches are watching. And all of a sudden one day, the general manager says, ‘Let’s do something.’”
The Tigers were in Cleveland. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski was not with the team over the weekend, but he was obviously around Monday with the team at home.
Dombrowski and Leyland met about the team Monday. By Monday night, Scott Sizemore was getting ready to head to Detroit, nearly a year after the Tigers sent him down from his season-opening second base job last year.
“We’re looking for a little punch,” Leyland said. “Sizemore’s hitting .400. He’s a second baseman. Rhymes is a second baseman. So [Rhymes] kind of got the short end of the stick, to be honest with you. But that’s just the way it is.”
He probably won’t be the only one.
One big obstacle seemingly stopping Sizemore’s return until now was the flexibility needed to fit Ryan Raburn and Brennan Boesch in the same lineup once Victor Martinez returns from the disabled list on Wednesday. If Raburn was going to get starts at second base, and Sizemore wasn’t going to be an everyday player, then why promote Sizemore from Toledo to sit on the bench in Detroit?
Instead, Sizemore is indeed expected to start the majority of games at second. That leaves Raburn likely to get more starts in the outfield, where Magglio Ordonez will be looking for starts once Martinez returns to Detroit to DH.
Ordonez’s average has fallen to .151. His spot in the lineup appears poised to drop as well.
“When we get Victor back, I might drop [Ordonez] down a little bit,” Leyland said. “I have a plan for that. Once we get Victor back, I have some thoughts. It might make sense for a while to drop him down a little bit.”
It could also make sense to get him days off if he’s going to play the outfield and test his surgically repaired ankle.
Leyland said they were making the Sizemore move “to start with” to get the offense going. Asked if any other hitters could get to Detroit shortly, Leyland was noncommittal, saying it was “putting the cart before the horse.”