The Tigers roster has already seen a significant amount of movement from what it looked like on opening day. Injury and performance issues have necessitated these moves in the hopes that a little pain today will lead to big benefits later in the season.
Carlos Guillen hit the DL as a part time outfielder and part time DH and will come out of his rehabilitation assignment as the full time second baseman. The man who was supposed to be the full time second baseman, Scott Sizemore, proved he wasn’t quite ready for the show and Max Scherzer seemed to regress with every start and was sent down to work out his issues.
A quick look at how each of those three players has fared with the Toledo Mud Hens after the jump:
While the Tigers have not commented on exactly when Carlos Guillen will return to the team, it is looking like his bat is about ready. Since beginning his rehabilitation assignment on May 22 Carlos has racked up a .357 batting average with one home run, two driven in and five runs scored.
The transition to second base seems to be going just fine. Guillen has not committed an error in his 11 chances and has been apart of turning three double plays. Not bad for not having played the position in over a decade. Expect Carlos Guillen’s return date to be dependent on two factors: his comfort level defensively and the play of Danny Worth. The Tigers can afford to give Carlos plenty of time to become more comfortable at second base as long as Worth keeps hitting, however Danny’s offensive track record suggests a slow down can be expected relatively soon.
Moving a player like Carlos Guillen to second base is the kind of move that requires commitment to seeing it through long term. The move should dramatically help the lineup but it signals an extended stay in the minors for Scott Sizemore. In 32 at bats since being sent down Sizemore has registered a .281 batting average with 2 runs driven in.
With Carlos Guillen manning second base on his rehab assignment Scott Sizemore has split time between designated hitter and third base. It is also worth noting that Sizemore played 63 games at shortstop during his 2006 season in A ball. Assuming the Carlos Guillen experiment works, Sizemore may be able to find his way back North as a utility infielder provided his bat heats up and the Tigers feel the need to shake up the roster.
The Tigers entered the season with some questions surrounding their starting pitching but those questions were never supposed to be about Max Scherzer. The transition to the American League has been more difficult than anticipated and a stint in the minor leagues became necessary to set him straight. It appears to be working.
Six days after his last start in Detroit, Scherzer took the hill against Durham, the Tampa Bay Rays AAA affiliate. Eight innings later the Bulls had managed just one hit and struck out ten times. Max made another start yesterday and gave up one run on three hits in seven innings while striking out seven. Put it all together and Scherzer is 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA and 17 strike outs while giving up four hits and walking two.
Scherzer has taken the right attitude to the minors and gotten the results everyone wanted to see. The flaw he found on video sure seems to be corrected now so don’t be surprised to see Max back with the big club very soon.