With the Detroit Tigers’ lineup struggling to score runs, it was only a matter of time before some changes were made. The first of what could be a handful of moves took place after Detroit’s 5-3 loss to the Yankees on Monday night.
As first reported by Bless You Boys, second baseman Scott Sizemore has been called up from Triple-A Toledo. To make room for him on the active roster, Will Rhymes is headed to the Mud Hens.
Rhymes won the second base job in spring training, but couldn’t find his batting stroke once the regular season began. He was hitting .221/.321/.235 with two RBIs from the No. 2 spot in the order, one of many reasons the Tigers had difficulty scoring runs.
Sizemore, meanwhile, was hitting .408/.495/.605 in Toledo, leading the International League in batting average by 24 points. That certainly warranted a promotion, in addition to the Tigers’ need for more offense. But there’s never been a question as to whether Sizemore could hit in the minors. For whatever reason, that talent hasn’t translated to major league production. Sizemore now gets another chance to prove he belongs in the big leagues.
Manager Jim Leyland said that Sizemore will be installed as the No. 2 hitter in the lineup, at least for now. Given the lack of production at the top of the order (and throughout the lineup), he’ll probably get plenty of opportunities to succeed.
This may not be the only move the Tigers make within the next day or two. Victor Martinez is set to return from the disabled list on Wednesday, which could mean Omir Santos gets sent back to Toledo. But Magglio Ordonez continues to struggle with a foot injury that’s contributed greatly to a .151/.215/.164 average and one RBI thus far. That could compel the Tigers to keep Santos to play catcher and make Martinez a full-time DH.
Or the Tigers could opt to call up another outfielder, if they put Ordonez on the DL. Andy Dirks made an excellent impression during the spring and is off to an excellent start in Triple-A. He’s batting .340/.398/.608 with six homers, 17 RBIs, 10 stolen bases and 10 walks in 109 plate appearances. Dirks has also played half of his games in center field, which might make him a candidate to replace Austin Jackson, if the Tigers decide to demote him.