Results tagged ‘ Scott Sizemore ’

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. 

Guillen has sore knee, comeback on hold

If it sounds like nothing new has come out on Carlos
Guillen’s comeback the last few days, there’s a reason: His surgically repaired
left knee is sore, which has put his work on hold. The knee has been sore the
last few days, according to manager Jim Leyland, and head athletic trainer
Kevin Rand said he’s getting treatment today.

You might remember Guillen saying Friday he’ll know by the
end of this week if he has a chance at making Opening Day. Leyland wasn’t
outright ruling it out yet, but he’s choosing his words carefully.

“I would say the clock’s ticking,” Leyland said
Monday morning.

First reaction would probably not be surprise, given his
injury history the last few days and the microfracture surgery he had last
September. But considering how well he was progressing for the first half of
camp, there were serious hopes he could be ready.

“There was one point where I thought he had a good
chance to be the Opening Day second baseman,” Leyland said.

Now, the second base competition pretty much has full
clearance to be a fight for the Opening Day spot. Will Rhymes starts against the
Nationals today; Scott Sizemore was on the trip to Sarasota to face the Orioles
yesterday. Danny Worth is also solidly in the mix.

Leyland: Guillen in mix at second base

The Tigers haven’t quite come up with a set definition of Carlos Guillen’s role so far this offseason, partly because of the injury concerns coming off knee surgery. It becomes a bigger issue now that Victor Martinez will be getting the bulk of the at-bats at DH.
On Tuesday, however, manager Jim Leyland confirmed what many have suspected for a while: If Guillen is healthy, he’s going to be in the mix at second base.
“Nobody’s talking about Carlos Guillen,” Leyland said on the Tiger Talk radio show Tuesday night. “I think that’s a big key. I said that last year. If you get Carlos Guillen close to what he was, particularly offensive, he can be a big key at that position. He’s going to be involved in that mix for sure.
Leyland was the guest on the season premiere of the Tiger Talk show Tuesday night. You can grab the link to the show archive here or listen live to the weekly program. 
Leyland talked with Tigers radio voice Dan Dickerson and Pat Caputo about the Tigers offseason so far, but some of his best remarks were about current players and where they fit in. That includes Guillen, whose season-ending knee injury from a Brett Gardner slide in August put his role in question, mainly with the question of whether he’ll be ready for the start of next season. That’s looking a little more likely now.
At season’s end, Leyland and team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski raised the idea of Guillen rotating positions next season, getting at-bats around the infield and maybe one of the corner outfield spots. But it was clear that as long as Guillen’s health was a question mark, the Tigers had to look at their options at second base.
They still have those options — Scott Sizemore and Will Rhymes are heading into their sophomore seasons, while Danny Worth is expected back from his foot issues — but they also have Guillen.
“Danny Worth is the best defender of that group,” Leyland said. “Rhymes showed us a spark. Sizemore looked much better when he came back. and like I said, Carlos Guillen is still a wild card.”

Monday: Tigers vs. White Sox

First the injury roundup: Ryan Raburn is not in the lineup today, but he said he’s feeling much better after coming down with what he suspects was food poisoning Sunday morning. He said the illness finally lifted overnight. Gerald Laird is not available; his back is still out of alignment. He’s hoping to be back to play against White Sox lefty John Danks Wednesday night.

Other than that, it’s a pretty standard lineup. Note that Scott Sizemore is NOT available today. He is indeed being called up, as reported last night, but the move won’t be official until tomorrow.

TIGERS

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Rhymes, 2B
  3. Damon, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Kelly, LF
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Boesch, RF
  8. Avila, C
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Max Scherzer

WHITE SOX

  1. Juan Pierre, LF
  2. Omar Vizquel, SS
  3. Carlos Quentin, RF
  4. Manny Ramirez, DH
  5. Mark Teahen, 3B
  6. Andruw Jones, CF
  7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  8. Mark Kotsay, 1B
  9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

P: Edwin Jackson

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.

Leyland sets mix at third base

Sorry so late on this. Scott Sizemore arrived at Comerica Park just before batting practice, but Don Kelly is getting the start nonetheless. Sizemore will start Thursday at third base against Blue Jays left-hander Brett Cecil, then again Saturday agaisnt Ricky Romero before settling into more regular time at third base as soon as next week.

What happens from there might well depend on the trade market and whether the Tigers find a deal for a third baseman or utility infielder at a reasonable cost. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan tweeted Wednesday that Detroit inquired about Blue Jays slugger and AL home run leader Jose Bautista, who can play third and the outfield.

There’s potentially an interesting dynamic at play with the fact that Brandon Inge is not only out for the next few weeks, but he’s a free agent at season’s end at a position where Detroit has no obvious successors. If Sizemore holds his own there and hits, does third base become a potential home for him in 2011? If the Tigers swing a deal, do they look beyond this season with it?

One more thing on the third-base situation: There’s a misconception that Carlos Guillen didn’t want to move to third base and forced the Sizemore shift. Guillen was willing to move to third if the Tigers asked, but it never got to that point. The Tigers made the decision themselves and left Guillen out of it.

Inge to DL, Fien recalled

The Tigers need an extra arm in the bullpen at the moment more than they need a third baseman to replace injured Brandon Inge. So Detroit placed Inge on the 15-day disabled list and recalled right-hander Casey Fien from Triple-A Toledo Tuesday afternoon to provide an extra arm while it ponders what to do at third base.
Inge is expected to be out 4-6 weeks after fracturing a bone in his left hand Monday night against the Rangers.
After Monday’s 14-inning loss to Texas, a fourth-inning exit from Andy Oliver Sunday afternoon and a day-night doubleheader that included another extra-inning game Saturday, Detroit’s bullpen has pitched 20.2 innings over five games in four days since the All-Star break. Five relievers pitched Monday night, including closer Jose Valverde for the second consecutive day.
That left the Tigers looking for an extra arm to handle work Tuesday night if Armando Galarraga can’t work deep into the game. Enter Fien, who was up with the Tigers for two days a few weeks ago before Ryan Perry returned. Fien pitched two scoreless innings June 30 at Minnesota.
Fien’s arrival means third base will fall to the Detroit’s utilitymen for at least Tuesday. With the Rangers starting right-hander Tommy Hunter Tuesday night, Don Kelly appears likely to get the start at third base for the second time in three days. Kelly gave Inge a day off Sunday at Cleveland and replaced him at third base in the fifth inning Monday. 
Once the Tigers get their bullpen back in order, they have a few options to replace Inge positionally. Jeff Larish has been the primary third baseman at Triple-A Toledo, and is batting .298 with 12 doubles, 10 home runs and 36 RBIs since June 1, but the Tigers didn’t consider Larish an everyday third baseman during his stints in Detroit. He was playing there to enhance his versatility.
Scott Sizemore, the Tigers’ Opening Day second baseman, has hit well since coming back from injuries and could feasibly return to the big leagues if the Tigers move Carlos Guillen to third. However, Sizemore just recently came off the DL with a hip injury, and Guillen hasn’t played third base since spending half the ’08 season there.
Guillen likely won’t have a problem moving again. How he does there remains to be seen. His middle infield instincts have allowed him to handle second base a little better than expected.
Detroit’s best defensive option could be to go with Kelly, an infielder by trade coming up through the Tigers farm system before adding outfield to his resume in recent years in the Pirates and Diamondbacks organizations. He’s batting .219 (25-for-114) with Detroit this year with three doubles, a home run and eight RBIs. Fellow Tigers utilityman Ryan Raburn also has experience at third base.

Sizemore, Scherzer to Toledo; Worth coming up

The first Saturday night fireworks of the season at Comerica Park weren’t just on the field. After the Tigers’ comeback win over the Red Sox, they made three key changes to their roster, optioning starting second baseman Scott Sizemore and key starting pitcher Max Scherzer to Triple-A Toledo and anointing Carlos Guillen as the new starter at second when he returns from the disabled list.

Armando Galarraga, who was already being recalled from Toledo to start Sunday’s series finale against Boston, will stay in the rotation. To replace Sizemore, the Tigers purchased the contract of infielder Danny Worth, who could make his Major League debut as soon as Sunday at second base.

Manager Jim Leyland said he’ll fill second base with some combination of Ramon Santiago, Worth and utilityman Don Kelly until Guillen is ready. Guillen, currently on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring, has been taking ground balls the past couple days and is expected to begin a rehab assignment sometime next week after the Tigers’ current homestand ends Tuesday.

The moves and announcements came just before midnight after Detroit’s 12-inning victory, and they came in a flurry.

The Tigers tabbed Scherzer to fill the void in the middle of their rotation immediately upon acquiring the gifted 25-year-old from Arizona in the Edwin Jackson trade last December. After four encouraging April starts, however, he fell into a deep four-start struggle that saw him battle his mechanics moreso than hitters.

Scherzer gave up 27 runs on 33 hits over 18 innings in his last four starts, the last three of them losses. The capper came Friday night, when he surrendered three home runs — including a 450-foot drive from David Ortiz — tagged him with six runs on six hits over five innings.

Scherzer has given up nine home runs this season, tying him for second in the American League entering Saturday.

Scherzer would’ve been on track to start next Thursday at Oakland. Instead, the Tigers will likely slot Dontrelle Willis into that outing, pitching him in his hometown. Galarraga can then start Friday against the Dodgers on his regular turn after starting Sunday.

Galarraga has boasted impressive numbers in Toledo, owning a 4-2 record with a 3.92 ERA. With a strike-to-ball ratio of better than 2-to-1, his command seems to have improved since last season with the Tigers, where he posted a 6-10 record in 25 starts before being relegated to bullpen duties.

The 25-year-old Sizemore has struggled for the vast majority of this season to date, but has fallen on particularly tough times lately. His two strikeouts against Red Sox lefty Jon Lester Saturday night extended his current slump to 0-for-14 and dropped his average to .206. He hit one home run and added eight RBIs, part of the struggles at the bottom of the Tigers order.

The telling sign came Saturday night, when manager Jim Leyland used Ramon Santiago to pinch-hit for Sizemore in the eighth inning of a tie game with Red Sox left-hander Hideki Okajima and the potential go-ahead run on third with one out. Santiago lined out to third and stayed in the game at second base before drawing the walkoff walk to drive in the winning run in the 12th.

The 24-year-old Worth was once among the Tigers’ shortstop prospects, having been drafted in the second round of the 2007 Draft out of Pepperdine. He largely struggled as a hitter in his first three seasons, but has proven valuable around the infield this year at Toledo, where he entered Saturday batting .274 with five doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs.  He has played at shortstop, second and third.

Wednesday: Tigers vs. Twins

The big change in the lineup is on the Twins, who are without Justin Morneau tonight and most likely Thursday after he left Tuesday’s game with back issues. The shuffle essentially means both Delmon Young and Jim Thome are in the lineup at left field and DH, respectively.

On the Tigers side, Jim Leyland is giving Ryan Raburn another start at second in place of Scott Sizemore. It isn’t a matter of his miscue last night, but just part of Leyland being wary of Sizemore’s surgically repaired ankle. He still thinks the ankle is bothering Sizemore, though not nearly enough to be a major factor.

TIGERS

  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Damon, DH
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Boesch, LF
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Raburn, 2B
  8. Avila, C
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Max Scherzer

TWINS

  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, C
  4. Jim Thome, DH
  5. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
  6. Jason Kubel, RF
  7. Delmon Young, LF
  8. J.J. Hardy, SS
  9. Luke Hughes, 3B (Major League debut)

P: Scott Baker

Tigers set Opening Day lineup

Kauffman Stadium.jpgThe lineup for Monday is now set. Gerald Laird will bat seventh, with rookie Scott Sizemore batting eighth, resolving the one remaining question. So the lineup against Zack Greinke will look like this:

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Johnny Damon, LF
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Carlos Guillen, DH
  6. Brandon Inge, 3B
  7. Gerald Laird, C
  8. Scott Sizemore, 2B
  9. Adam Everett, SS

Jim Leyland also said that he’ll make at least one adjustment for the second game of the season: Ramon Santiago will start at shortstop for that game Wednesday night against Luke Hochevar.

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