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 Scott Sizemore News

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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore News   Scott Sizemore News - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Feb 12, 2011 2:41 am

Last Updated: February 11. 2011 9:17PM
Healthy Tiger Scott Sizemore motivated for second shot
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. — It will come as a surprise to fans, but the Tigers have a new player this year.

Scott Sizemore.

The old Sizemore has been replaced by the new version — one who can move on his left ankle without it looking as if he just got back from a bad day of battling at Vicksburg.

Sizemore was on a Tigertown practice field this week, taking an extended infield session with a mixture of veterans and prospects: Don Kelly, Cale Iorg, Audy Ciriaco, and Brandon Douglas.

With each ground ball Kevin Bradshaw, the Tigers' roving minor league infield instructor, batted his way, Sizemore moved breezily and with lateral ease that no one saw in 2010, when Sizemore was still healing from an ankle he fractured in the 2009 Arizona Fall League.

"No comparison," Bradshaw said. "I don't know if I could put a percentage on it, but people will see the real Scott Sizemore this season.

"It's fun to watch him work. He looks like he's in the best shape I've ever seen him."

Sizemore doesn't disagree. He appreciates that most people panned his 2010 debut, when he was anointed as the Tigers' second-base replacement for Placido Polanco. He never got going at the plate or in the field, and by May was back in the minors.

He batted .298 at Toledo, which was about right for a 26-year-old, right-handed hitter whose career batting average in the minors is .296. The Tigers' theory is Sizemore should look more like a starting second baseman in 2011, even as he tussles for a job against Will Rhymes — and if he comes around from his own injury problems, Carlos Guillen — during a spring camp where second base will be the team's most interesting position fight.

Why the Tigers allowed him last spring to practice and play with such regularity is understood even by Sizemore.

"I was definitely healthy enough," he said of his five-month recovery from an ankle damaged when a baserunner slid into him at second base, "but 100 percent? Definitely not.

"You don't want to make excuses, but to come back from an injury like that takes time. I've never been a five-tool player, so I needed as much time in the weight room, and on the field, as possible. But I couldn't get as much as would have been ideal. And, unfortunately, I couldn't bring as much to the plate."

Sizemore's basic problem is he could not put sufficient weight on his front side. It left him, in his words, "spinning out" on pitches. It also was the probable cause for some hip and groin problems he had after he was optioned to Triple A Toledo.

But by the season's second half, his ankle, his bat, and his defense, had all moved northward.

He had a 10-game hitting streak in August, batting .342 for the Mud Hens with four doubles, a home run and eight RBIs. The Tigers recalled him in September (they had also brought him aboard for a six-game stretch in July) and Sizemore looked far more comfortable. He even hit a three-run, pinch-hit home run on Sept. 18 that beat the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.

Better times had begun during his July call-up, when Sizemore decided to experiment during a series against Tampa Bay. He made himself relax, to feel as comfortable at the plate as if he were playing a sandlot game.

"It felt good," he said. "The ball kind of slowed down coming out of the pitcher's hand, and that, I think, was a turning point."

Another difference, one he notices this spring, is how much better life is on defense.

"I feel 10 times better than I did last year," he said. "With my ankle last season, it was tough to get down low on a ball. And when you can't get low, your hands can't get into position.

"I couldn't cut. I just was not as good on ground balls as I should have been."

Sizemore was a fifth-round draft pick by the Tigers in 2006, out of Virginia Commonwealth, the same school that produced Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge. He has been regarded by Tigers scouts as a player with adequate defense and with serious offensive upside.

And it's not only because of that .296 batting average spanning five minor league seasons. It has also to do with his .382 on-base percentage in that same time. Sizemore is a picky hitter, which makes him potentially an answer at the No. 2 spot in the lineup — if he wins the job.

"You've got to get it done between the lines," Sizemore said, with a shrug, an indication that ankles and scouting reports are all in the past.

It's up to him now — to become the new player a healed ankle might very well have produced.

Split second

Tigers second base candidates, listed with their 2010 statistics:

PlayerGHHRBA
Carlos Guillen68696.273
Will Rhymes54581.304
S. Sizemore48323.224
Danny Worth39272.255

lynn.henning@detnews.com


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110211/SPORTS0104/102110336/Healthy-Tiger-Scott-Sizemore-motivated-for-second-shot#ixzz1Dixnphq0


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore News   Scott Sizemore News - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun Feb 20, 2011 1:21 am

Sizemore out to show he's 'the guy' at second
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 02/19/11 7:45 PM EST

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Scott Sizemore came to Spring Training last year as a rookie with a starting job at second base, but he didn't have his health coming off ankle surgery. He didn't hold onto his job past mid-May.

A year later, Sizemore reported to camp with his health, finally, but no job. He wants his job back, but that has more to do with Carlos Guillen's health than his own.

Confused yet? That might explain why Sizemore is trying to keep his outlook simple.

"It's just one of those things where I'm working as hard as I can to try to get ready and be the best player that I can going into the season," Sizemore said. "That's just the way I'm handling it."

For now, all he can control is how he plays. It's early in camp, with full-squad workouts just beginning Saturday, but Sizemore is already showing signs of holding up his end. The ankle problems that limited him last year appear to be behind him.

That's already an upshot over what manager Jim Leyland saw last spring.

"I would say Scott Sizemore is 100 percent, watching him move around," Leyland said Saturday. "I felt that way when I saw his face at the [winter] caravan."

The look at the caravan was a little more open, a little more healthy. He had color in his face, according to Leyland, and he was moving around better. To Leyland, he was "totally different" from last year.

In fairness, Detroit's plans to go with Sizemore at second base last year were set well before Spring Training. They were also set well before Sizemore took a rough slide trying to complete a double-play throw from second base in the Arizona Fall League. The resulting fractured ankle was surgically repaired with enough time to get ready for camp, but he was still limited.

Some signs were subtle, others more obvious.

"I don't really put it as a percentage thing," Leyland said. "I just know that last year when I watched him, I could see it wasn't right. He ran to first and ran hard, but at some point you could tell. He'd start to limp a little bit."

Sizemore would say that he felt fine in general, but that it would bother him at certain points -- cold weather, long actions.

"He was a tough kid, trying to get through, and he wanted to play," Leyland said. "He probably wasn't really quite ready."

He survived the opening month, batting .254 in April, but he didn't hit for his usual power. Once May rolled around, he fell into a 4-for-34 slump that included an 0-for-14 streak before he was optioned to Triple-A Toledo.

Detroit didn't see him again until late July, and only as a depth callup once Brandon Inge fractured a bone in his left hand and went on the disabled list. Once the Tigers traded for Jhonny Peralta, Sizemore was a Mud Hen again.

By the time he made it back, he was a September callup, and he didn't play for a week after he arrived. But he was in better shape than he was in on Opening Day. A 10-game hitting streak in late August brought him to the brink of a .300 season at Toledo before he finished at .298. More impressive, Sizemore had 23 doubles and nine home runs in just 76 games.

The power and movement was back. And with a full offseason to focus on workouts instead of rehab, he was set to get stronger.

"It feels good so far," Sizemore said last week. "Better than last year, that's for sure."

What Sizemore can do with that is largely out of his control. Detroit's Plan B at second base last year -- once it sent Sizemore out -- was Guillen, once he came back from the disabled list. It was an improvised move to enable the Tigers to fit Guillen and Brennan Boesch in the lineup once Boesch was on a hitting tear, but it stuck well after Boesch's season turned for the worse. After Guillen went down to injury, second base went to Will Rhymes, who hit his way into the club's attention.

Now, the injury question at second base is on Guillen, whose recovery timetable from microfracture knee surgery has him on track to play games in mid-March. Any setback from that would make it far more difficult to be ready for Opening Day. If Guillen is healthy, he'll have some of the same uncertainty Sizemore faced a year ago.

Meanwhile, Sizemore has a chance to show that the potential of old hasn't been lost at age 26. But his only realistic chance to reclaim his job for Opening Day is if Guillen isn't ready. If that's the case, second base becomes a scrum between Sizemore, Rhymes and Danny Worth, all of whom were Mud Hens for some stretches last year.

"It's going to be interesting," Sizemore said. "I was thinking about that the other day, because [prospect] Brandon Douglas is in camp, too, and he's pretty much strictly a second baseman as well. There's going to be a lot of bodies over there working in, and [Ramon Santiago] plays second, too.

"It's going to be hectic. You just hope to get some ABs. You just want your opportunity to try to show the coaches and front-office guys that you're the guy."

If he can, it'll be quite a comeback. If he can't, he'll wait his turn.

"If I don't make the big league team," he said, "then I'll just go to Triple-A and do what I did last year. Work on my game and just wait for the time when they need me."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore News   Scott Sizemore News - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Mar 22, 2011 12:34 pm

Sizemore, Weinhardt cut as Tigers trim roster
Second baseman, righty among five players sent to Minors
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 03/22/11 9:43 AM ET

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Scott Sizemore, viewed for a good stretch as seemingly the favorite to win the Tigers' second-base position, is headed back to Triple-A Toledo. So is Robbie Weinhardt, whose bid for one of Detroit's last bullpen openings appeared the strongest of anyone in camp.

Those were the two main surprises out of the Tigers' Spring Training cuts Tuesday morning. Outfielder Clete Thomas joined Sizemore and Weinhardt in being optioned to Toledo, while lefty reliever Fu-Te Ni and catcher Max St. Pierre were assigned to Minor League camp. The moves put the Tigers' roster at 28 players -- not counting injured Joel Zumaya and Carlos Guillen -- with one more round of cuts to go next week before the club breaks camp in a week.

Sizemore opened last season at second base for the Tigers before his hitting struggles and limitations with a surgically repaired left ankle prompted a move back to Toledo in May. This spring, however, he looked much improved physically with another year of health and a full offseason to condition himself. A strong start to camp had him in a strong position to take the logjam at second base.

Sizemore has alternated starts with Will Rhymes for much of camp, but had started just two of Detroit's last seven Spring Training games. More recently, he had only one plate appearance over the Tigers' last three contests, a single on Sunday that marked his first hit in six days.

Meanwhile, fellow infield prospect Danny Worth has made a strong bid for the spot. Both Sizemore and Worth bat right-handed. While Worth and Rhymes remain in competition at second, Sizemore will be a Mud Hen for a third straight year.

Weinhardt, meanwhile, had re-established himself in camp as a ground-ball specialist, mixing his sinker with an improved slider to get some key ground balls. He inherited a bases-loaded jam last Wednesday against the Blue Jays and retired all five batters he faced. Before that, though, he had three outings in which he allowed a run on two hits in an inning of work.

While Weinhardt returns to Toledo, Brayan Villarreal's bid for a spot remains very much alive. He and Enrique Gonzalez are the two right-handers left in camp without a spot assured. The left-handed relief competition, meanwhile, has been whittled down as well to Daniel Schlereth and rookie Adam Wilk, with Brad Thomas seemingly having a job sealed.

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.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore News   Scott Sizemore News - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue May 03, 2011 1:11 am

Tigers recall Sizemore, option Rhymes
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 05/02/11 8:50 PM ET

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

With the Tigers' offense sputtering and Rhymes' playing time diminishing, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski flipped the switch on 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 blow a 3-2 loss to the Yankees on 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 on Monday at Pawtucket once the Tigers made the decision. He joins the Tigers after hitting .408 (31-for-76) with seven doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs for the Hens. In his past 10 games, Sizemore hit .452 (14-for-31) with seven walks, four doubles, a home run and nine RBIs.

Sizemore's return to Detroit comes almost a year after he lost the starting job at second base last year, having struggled early while working his way back from ankle surgery during the previous offseason. Sizemore's improved health was evident during Spring Training in the way he moved around the infield defensively. It was not as obvious 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 Rhymes 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 the 10 walks he drew.

The Tigers' other offensive struggles didn't help Rhymes, either. Part of his strength is the ability to move runners in the No. 2 spot, and Austin Jackson's struggles atop the batting order didn't give Rhymes many opportunities. Likewise, Magglio Ordonez's slow start behind Rhymes impacted the way opponents pitched to the infielder.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore News   Scott Sizemore News - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed May 04, 2011 12:11 am

Sharp focus led Sizemore back to Tigers
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 05/03/11 8:45 PM ET

DETROIT -- Scott Sizemore was struggling to stay in the big leagues at this point a year ago before getting optioned to Triple-A Toledo in mid-May. It doesn't feel like a year ago to Sizemore, not that he has been counting the months.

"To be honest, I didn't really even think about it," said Sizemore, who returned to the Majors with a statement on Tuesday, recording a hit off Yankees starter CC Sabathia in each of his first three at-bats. "I didn't let the stuff that I couldn't control affect me. I was really just focused on the field. It seemed to have paid off thus far."

To hear Sizemore explain it, he didn't go to Toledo feeling like somebody wronged in the Spring Training competition at second base. By keeping his focus on where he was, rather than where he wanted to be, he was able to hit his way back.

"I have to say physically, obviously, it's good to be healthy and feeling good about the way I can play the game," Sizemore said. "But the mental side of it has probably been the biggest thing, just really staying focused and not giving at-bats away, not taking pitches off, just looking to stay as mentally focused as I can every pitch."

That said, Sizemore didn't expect to hit that well, not .408 through the first month of the season. A three-week stretch at Class A West Michigan is the only time Sizemore can remember hitting that well for an extended stretch.

"I can't really expect to ever hit like that going into a season," Sizemore said. "Of course, I know that I'm capable of doing that. It's really just being mentally focused every at-bat, and it's not really necessarily looking at my results, but just what I do with the at-bat, how I go about the approach and all of that. And it seems to go well for me."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore News   Scott Sizemore News - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu May 05, 2011 3:24 am

Scott Sizemore News - Page 2 5689081167_b5b5b89d89

Last Updated: May 03. 2011 1:00AM
Tigers notebook
Tigers' Scott Sizemore arrives with confidence
Tom Gage / / The Detroit News

Detroit— It's not the first time Scott Sizemore has been back with the Tigers.

But it's the first time he has brought a .408 average with him.

Sizemore walked into the Tigers clubhouse about 4 p.m. Tuesday, knowing ahead of time he would be in manager Jim Leyland's lineup against the Yankees as their second baseman and would be batting second.

It's the chance Sizemore didn't do much with last season — he wasn't quite ready for it.

But this sounds like a new, genuinely confident Sizemore, a player who's been able to shake all health problems and didn't get bogged down with non-productive wondering about when the call back to the major leagues would come.

And a player who was hitting every kind of pitch thrown to him in 23 games for Triple-A Toledo. He hit a lot of CC Sabathia's pitches too, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the Tigers' 4-1 victory.

"I seem to have a pretty good knowledge of my strike zone right now," Sizemore said after unpacking his gear.

Not every hitter with knowledge of his own strike zone hits the way Sizemore was hitting, however.

"You can't ever expect to hit like that going into a season," he said. "It's just a matter of being mentally focused on every at-bat and not looking at my results.

"I didn't let the stuff I couldn't control affect me. Any time you worry about what you don't control, it takes some control away from you."

The trick, however, will be for success to make the leap with him from Toledo to the majors.

Last season, Sizemore began the season as the Tigers second baseman, struggled, and was optioned to Toledo on May 15. He was back up for a week in July, then spent the final month with the Tigers.

In 48 games, he hit .224 with three home runs and 14 RBIs.

Sizemore contended for a roster spot during spring training, but didn't hit enough to take the job away from Will Rhymes.

Eventually, however, he did.

"That's the nature of the business," Leyland said. "We broke one heart last night, and made another guy happy. A month ago, it was the other way around."

Going to Toledo with the right attitude helped Sizemore.

"You're not going to get handed a job," Sizemore said. "You have to force the issue. That was my mentality. Just go down there and do all I could to get another shot."

Which he did.

But that's not the reason for his added confidence.

"This year, my body feels healthy and my mind is in the right place," he said.

Said Leyland: "He knows he's a good player, a big league player and he believes that."

There was still a lingering injury issue last season after the fibula Sizemore broke — and the ensuing surgery — during the Arizona Fall League the previous October.

"I feel good about everything I've been doing on the field," Sizemore said. "I'm just hoping to carry it over and put it into practice here."

Defensively, Sizemore said his range "for sure" is better than it was last season because he's entirely over the injury, even though he made an error that led to the Yankees' only run.

"My flexibility also is better," he said.

So, have we not seen the real Sizemore because of all he was trying to cope with last season?

"I'd like to think so," he said. "I know I have a lot more in the tank."

Than the .224 he hit last year?

The Tigers certainly hope so.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20110503/SPORTS0104/105030430/Tigers’-Scott-Sizemore-arrives-with-confidence#ixzz1LSLhSfxs


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore News   Scott Sizemore News - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri May 27, 2011 8:06 pm

Tigers trade Sizemore to Oakland for Purcey
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on May 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Just got back from the Tigers clubhouse, where the team announced a relative stunner of a trade by sending Scott Sizemore to Oakland for lefty David Purcey. Dombrowski said the Tigers have coveted Purcey for a while and tried to get him from Toronto last winter, and then later before the Blue Jays dealt him to Oakland. He becomes a middle-inning piece of what is now a lefty-heavy bullpen. Sizemore joins the A’s Triple-A team and becomes a potentially nice piece to their infield if they can get him to translate what he did at Toledo into big league numbers.


"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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