Whew. After yet another come-from-behind victory (this time in extra innings on the ever-so-fun walkoff walk) on Saturday night, the evening simply got weirder. The Detroit Tigers uprooted their struggling spare parts and sent them 50 miles down the interstate to Triple-A Toledo.
At the end of the night, second baseman Scott Sizemore, utilityman Ryan Raburn, and starting pitcher Max Scherzer were all sent down. Raburn (who was optioned Tuesday) was Sizemore's primary backup at second, leaving shortstop Ramon Santiago, utilityman Don Kelly, and yet-another-rookie Danny Worth to rotate there. At least until the immobile Carlos Guillen returns from the disabled list, at which time he'll apparently be the full-time second baseman.
Sizemore was hitting only .206/.297/.289 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 97 at bats to go with six errors and a .953 fielding percentage — both marks the worst in baseball. It's probably time for the rookie to brush up on his game in Toledo.
Guillen has become a bit of a statue in the field, but it always wasn't that way. In his long career he's played short, third, first, and the outfield — in that order — gradually going to more senior citizen-friendly positions as those legs have become less forgiving.
On solutions this side of pining for Placido Polanco, placing Guillen there might be crazy enough to work. He will not be a terrific fielder. He may also be a .950 fielder too. Maybe worse. But his bat will be in the lineup (.311/.391/443), and it's the best way to keep the smoking hot Brennan Boesch in Detroit.
The 6'6" rookie got the call up when Guillen pulled his hammy, and all he's done since then is hit .388/.400/.701. He borrowed Vladimir Guerrero's strike zone, evidently, but compare his eight doubles, two triples, and three homers to Alex Rodriguez's eight doubles, two triples, and four home runs — and in half as many at bats. There's no way that bat is coming out of the No. 5 hole anytime soon.
So, alas, the most plausible solution at this minute is to bring back Guillen and help out the dismal 6-7-8-9 batters, which could pass for a decent bottom-of-the-order lineup. In the National League. I can't wait until Gerald Laird is converted to shortstop.