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 Scott Sizemore NEWS

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PostSubject: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:18 pm



Sizemore Tigers' rep at Futures Game
Toledo second baseman likely big part of club's picture

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

06/25/09 12:53 PM ET

DETROIT -- Before Scott Sizemore enters the middle-infield picture for the Detroit Tigers, he'll get a chance to check out a big league infield in St. Louis. The Toledo Mud Hens second baseman has been selected as the Tigers organization's representative in next month's All-Star Futures Game as part of Major League Baseball's All-Star Week festivities.

The 11th annual XM All-Star Futures Game, pitting the best Minor League prospects from the United States against the best from the rest of the World, will be held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on All-Star Sunday, July 12, at 2 p.m. ET. MLB.com will provide complete coverage before, during and after the game, which can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD and followed live on Gameday.

For Sizemore, who will play on the U.S. Team, it's the first national honor for someone who could soon end up a big part of the Tigers' picture. The 24-year-old followed up his first Major League Spring Training by batting .307 with 17 doubles, four triples, nine home runs and 33 RBIs for Double-A Erie. He earned a promotion last week to the Mud Hens, where he entered Wednesday batting 8-for-31 (.258) with two doubles, a triple, a home run and three RBIs.

That follows the pattern Sizemore has established at each stop along the Tigers' farm system: He flat-out hits his way up the developmental ladder, showing a little punch and a little speed along the way. Even so, he's on a fast rise after a broken left wrist cost him the final three months of last season at Class A Lakeland, where he was still a midseason Florida State League All-Star.

That progression could eventually earn him a big league job in Detroit, where Placido Polanco is in the final year of his contract.

The Tigers selected the 6-foot, 185-pound Sizemore in the sixth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Virginia Commonwealth, the same school that produced current Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:18 pm

Sizemore stays hot in Javelinas' win
Tigers prospect has nine RBIs in 15 AFL at-bats

By Danny Wild / MLB.com

10/19/09 6:53 PM ET

Scott Sizemore may not have homered for the third straight day Monday afternoon, yet he still managed his most productive effort of the fledgling AFL season.

Sizemore, who had three long balls in the previous two games, went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs as the Peoria Javelinas beat the Mesa Solar Sox, 8-1, on Monday.

The Tigers prospect, a Futures Game All-Star this summer, hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning, lined an RBI double in the third, a two-run double in the fourth and added an infield hit in the ninth in his fourth Arizona Fall League game.

"Both doubles were pulled, kind of sinkers down and in, I just dropped the head of the bat on both," said Sizemore, Detroit's fifth-round pick in the 2006 Draft. "There just happened to be a couple guys on base, so I got a couple RBIs out of the deal too."

Sizemore, batting .375 so far in the fall season, homered twice and plated three runs Oct. 15 before adding another round-tripper and two RBIs the next day. He's driven in nine runs in 15 at-bats for Peoria.

"It's been awesome," Sizemore said of playing in Arizona. "Luckily I've kinda been getting the taste of it all. I take it the same way I went this season, take every at-bat like it's my last."

The 23-year-old second baseman batted a combined .308 in 130 games between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo in 2009.

"It's been real nice, we started off slow the first couple games, but we've been hitting the ball well lately," Sizemore said of the Peoria lineup, which features Mariners first-round pick Dustin Ackley batting ahead of him. "We've been putting runs up on the board, so it's a lot of fun."

The Virginia Commonwealth product said he hasn't set any goals for himself after putting up solid numbers at two levels during the regular season.

"Just to more or less control what I can control. You just want to hit the ball hard every time," he said. "The numbers will take care of themselves."

A Florida State League All-Star in 2008 with Lakeland, Sizemore said he's keeping his AFL production in perspective.

"It's always good, every RBI you get is great," he said. "It was a good day at the plate, you need to take advantage of every opportunity you can get."

Jordan Danks hit a pinch-hit homer in the eighth and fellow White Sox prospect Dayan Viciedo knocked in two runs for Peoria. Ackley, batting .333, went 0-for-5.

Scot Drucker (Tigers) held the Solar Sox to three hits over three innings, striking out one in the start for his first AFL win.

Red Sox right-hander Randor Bierd started for Mesa and allowed two runs -- one earned -- on two hits and a pair of walks over three frames for the loss. He struck out four and fell to 1-1 this fall.

Ryan Kalish (Red Sox) went 2-for-4 and drove in Mesa's lone run.

Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:19 pm

Sizemore visits team doctor
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on October 26, 2009 at 4:15 PM

Tigers 2B prospect Scott Sizemore visited a team doctor for a follow-up exam on the left ankle he fractured last Thursday in the Arizona Fall League. Should be hearing something out of that on Tuesday.

UPDATE @ 8pm: Sizemore is expected to require surgery, though the team has no comment. Detroit Free Press reports quotes Sizemore saying it'll be Tuesday. Nothing firm on timetable, though Sizemore told the Freep he hopes to be ready for spring training.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:20 pm

Prospect Sizemore undergoes surgery
Second baseman has fractured left ankle repaired

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

10/27/09 4:02 PM ET

DETROIT -- Tigers prospect Scott Sizemore underwent surgery Tuesday to repair his fractured left ankle, throwing another wrinkle into his preparation for a possible ascension to the big leagues.

Sizemore suffered the injury during a game in the Arizona Fall League last Thursday, when a hard slide into second base sent him tumbling on a potential double-play throw. The play fractured his left tibia, immediately ending his AFL season, and the Tigers sent him back to Detroit for an examination to get a better look at the damage.

That exam, on Monday by Dr. Stephen Lemos, revealed the need for an operation. The surgery at Detroit Medical Center addressed the fractured tibia and instability that went with it. Dr. Lemos also inserted screws to stabilize the ankle joint.

According to the Tigers, Sizemore will spend two weeks with a splint on his ankle, then a CAM boot to immobilize the ankle and foot. If all goes well, doctors will remove the screws in January.

While the surgery will obviously alter Sizemore's offseason rehab -- before tendon damage was discovered, the Tigers hoped the simple fracture could be healed with six weeks in a protective boot -- Sizemore is still expected to be ready for baseball activity by the time Spring Training opens next February. He'll begin full weight-bearing activity once the screws are out.

Sizemore, who will turn 25 years old in January, batted .308 with 39 doubles, 17 home runs and 66 RBIs in 130 games between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo this season. Defensively, he committed 21 errors in 118 games at second base at the two levels, along with a .966 fielding percentage and 100 double plays. However, he also posted a 5.05 range factor -- putouts plus assists per game -- a number just under the 5.09 mark Placido Polanco posted in Detroit this year.

Dombrowski said in his end-of-season remarks that the team believes Sizemore is ready for the Major Leagues, and that he'll get the first chance to take over at second base if the Tigers can't re-sign Polanco, which appears to be a likely scenario.

The Tigers sent Sizemore to the Arizona Fall League for his second stint in three years mostly for more defensive work at second base.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:20 pm

Tigers sticking with Sizemore at second
Prospect, not Hudson, remains on track to replace Polanco

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

01/04/10 4:29 PM EST

DETROIT -- The Tigers still see Scott Sizemore as their second baseman for 2010. As such, free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson doesn't appear to be in their near future.

After rumors connected the Tigers with interest in Hudson over the holidays, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski reiterated Detroit's commitment to having Sizemore man second base this upcoming season. He'll still have to win the job in camp, Dombrowski cautioned, but it's his job to win.

"We expect him to be our second baseman," Dombrowski said Monday morning. "We have not changed on Sizemore."

Nothing has changed, either, with Sizemore's expected recovery from a broken ankle he suffered during play in the Arizona Fall League. The Tigers still expect Sizemore to be ready when Spring Training opens, and they expect him to win the job.

That essentially erases the possibility of the Tigers looking to the open market for help, though Dombrowski didn't mention Hudson by name.

Sizemore would succeed Placido Polanco, Detroit's second baseman for the past 4 1/2 seasons before he signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Phillies as a free agent a month ago. The Tigers declined to offer Polanco arbitration just before he signed elsewhere, because they did not want him to accept a lucrative one-year contract to return. That decision seemingly reinforced the Tigers' decision to have Sizemore take over rather than go with a veteran option.

Sizemore was named the Tigers' Minor League Player of the Year for 2009 after batting .308 with 39 doubles, five triples, 17 home runs and 66 RBIs over 130 games combined between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. He was off to a similarly hot start in fall league action when a hard slide from a baserunner took out Sizemore and fractured his left ankle. The Tigers see Sizemore as an example of the young talent they're trying to build within their system to help the club become a year-in, year-out contending team in a different economic reality.

Hudson remains on the open market late in the offseason for the second consecutive winter. The 32-year-old signed a one-year, incentive-laden contract with the Dodgers last Feb. 20 and ended up doubling his salary with performing bonuses based on his playing time. The four-time Gold Glove infielder is regarded as one of the best second basemen in the game, as well as a relatively skilled hitter.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:21 pm

Sizemore presents questions for Leyland
Tigers manager hoping prospect can step up with bat

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

01/20/10 8:10 PM EST

TOLEDO, Ohio -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland doesn't claim to know what to expect from rookie second baseman Scott Sizemore. But he knows what not to expect.

"You have to realize right off the bat that you're not talking about Placido Polanco the first month of the season," Leyland said of Sizemore Wednesday.

For that matter, Leyland isn't expecting anybody to duplicate what Polanco did, not in the second spot in the order. That's part of the challenge Leyland is confronting with his lineup, and it's leaving him with a bad case of writer's block.

Normally, Leyland loves to fill out lineups and batting orders during the offseason. He enjoys tinkering around with ideas on what could work and what could make the offense mesh. But as Leyland talked with reporters at the Mud Hens Fandemonium Wednesday night at Lucas County Arena, he said he hasn't been doing that this winter.

It's obvious why. He needs a leadoff hitter to start out with, and he isn't yet sure who that's going to be. He isn't sure who goes after the leadoff man, either.

"I've not written one [lineup]," Leyland said. "This is probably the first year in my managerial career that I haven't, because I don't know where to start."

If Sizemore can fill one of those slots early, it could help Leyland solve his writer's block.

As far as the Tigers are concerned, Sizemore's health isn't a question. They expect him to be ready for Spring Training and recovered from his October surgery that repaired a fractured left ankle he suffered trying to turn a double play in the Arizona Fall League.

Assuming Sizemore is ready once position players report to camp in February, the learning process will begin not just for him, but for Leyland, whose only experience watching Sizemore came in Lakeland, Fla., last year.

"I haven't seen a lot of him," Leyland admitted. "I saw him a little in Spring Training, and it looks like he's got a lot of offensive potential. Off the cuff, from what I saw in Spring Training, he's going to need some work defensively, but that's what Spring Training is for."

Leyland said he plans to have Sizemore work with shortstop Adam Everett and middle infielder Ramon Santiago in Spring Training to help address the defensive part. Offensively, he has some decisions to make, not just with Sizemore, but also with fellow rookie Austin Jackson.

Leyland has seen the statistics from Sizemore, who batted .308 with 39 doubles, 17 home runs, 66 RBIs and an .889 OPS between Triple-A Toledo and Double-A Erie. He saw him bat last Spring Training in doses when Sizemore came in for Placido Polanco.

Leyland doesn't know what to expect from Sizemore in the transition to the big leagues, but he isn't afraid to find out. He also knows, though, that he doesn't want Sizemore to get wrapped up in expectations.

In that respect, Leyland believes his veteran hitters can take a lot of pressure off youngsters like Sizemore and Jackson.

"Everybody seems to be nervous about that," Leyland said about starting rookies. "I'm not nervous about that at all. The key to that is whether the veteran players are making the transition easier for those players."

Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon agreed.

"A team should be able to integrate young players every year," he said. "These guys should be able to come in and not have to do too much."

The twist is that Sizemore and Jackson could be as good a fit for the top two lineup spots as anybody Leyland has right now -- Sizemore for his extra-base power and ability to hit for average, Jackson for his all-around athleticism and baserunning efficiency. Having one of those guys take one of the two spots would help. Ideally, Leyland said, Jackson would fill the leadoff void opened when the Tigers traded Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.

But he can't expect it. For that matter, he can't expect anybody in those spots to contribute what the Tigers have gotten the past few years.

"Particularly if you're breaking in two young players, the lineup, as we have it today, is going to be an issue -- where we hit guys," Leyland said.

He has a better idea how his lineup fits after Nos. 1-2. Ideally, Leyland said, he can have Magglio Ordonez take back the third spot in the order, followed by Miguel Cabrera at cleanup.

A big cog somewhere could be Ryan Raburn, whom Leyland expects to see more relaxed this spring with his spot on the roster relatively secure.

However it turns out, though, Leyland doesn't expect the top two spots to mesh immediately.

"We're probably not going to have a perfect two hitter, or a perfect leadoff hitter," he said.

Nor do they expect a perfect arrival for Sizemore. But they expect him to eventually fit.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:22 pm

Sizemore pins hopes on earning job
Ankle injury healing, young star pumped for start of camp

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

02/16/10 6:26 PM EST

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Scott Sizemore doesn't have nearly the same reaction to his ankle that friends and others might. This is his life, his career, not just a surgically repaired joint. Still, even he admits it's kind of freaky.

He had two big pins that helped hold the ankle together until they were removed last month. The holes in his ankle where those pins once sat have filled in. He still has six smaller pins in his ankle. Those could be there forever, just like the titanium plate in the same area.

Gross enough for you? Try having it in your own ankle, thanks to a double-play slide in the Arizona Fall League.

The good news, Sizemore joked, is that he hasn't set off any metal detectors going through airports.

"It is a little surreal," Sizemore said Tuesday, "to think that you have something like that in your body. It's easy to forget. And then you just move the wrong way one time, and it's a short, quick reminder that it's still in there and it's still not right."

There was video on YouTube of a news report from one of the local stations in Sizemore's hometown of Virginia Beach, Va. The clip from last month included a shot of Sizemore's ankle and the scar where doctors entered and inserted pins. It wasn't pretty, but it apparently wasn't anything abnormal for that kind of injury.

It doesn't look nearly so noticeable now. Considering the long scars on each of fellow Virginia Commonwealth University ex-player Brandon Inge's knees from his offseason surgery, Sizemore doesn't even have the best scars in the clubhouse.

"Actually, we're competing to see who can be 100 percent [healthy] the fastest," Sizemore said. "I'm always saying, 'Where are you at? Did you run today yet?' We're getting there."

In Sizemore's case, he's getting there at a pretty good pace, good enough that second base in Detroit remains his job to lose. Still, Sizemore isn't taking that for granted. He might have a chance to stick in the Majors, he thinks, but he's far from a hotshot rookie with a job guaranteed.

All the work he has had to put in on his left ankle has prevented overconfidence. Little steps are still big steps for him, getting him one step closer to being ready.

"This year, I have a shot," he said, "and I haven't had this opportunity before. Yeah, it's really exciting. I'm pumped. It's a lifelong goal. It's this close, and I intend to fill it."

When he first suffered the injury, he had to at least wonder what the future held for him. A month earlier, Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski had all but declared him the successor at second base assuming the club couldn't keep free agent Placido Polanco. Once Sizemore suffered his injury and underwent surgery, Detroit still didn't so much as offer Polanco arbitration and the chance to stay in Detroit on a one-year contract. Nor did the Tigers seriously pursue free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson. Polanco was moving on, and Sizemore was still in line for the job.

It has been slow but steady progress ever since, progress that has continued since he arrived in Florida.

"Everybody's kind of working together right now, because camp hasn't officially started," Sizemore said. "I've been taking groundballs. I've been hitting. I ran for the first time [Monday]. So everything's been going well. I'm doing everything I can to get back into the swing of things with everybody else. Obviously, I'm not as quick or as explosive as I want to be taking groundballs, but that's going to come with time, so I'm not really worried about it."

He is worried about quickness early on, he said, so he's planning to spend as much time as he can trying to learn hitters and their tendencies so he can position himself better and leave less room to run. Other than that, there really haven't been many adjustments to make.

"My injury kind of prevents me from getting ahead of myself," he said. "That's really my main focus, to be honest. I mean, obviously it's in the back of my mind. Maybe it's starting to work its way a little more toward the middle, that I might have a chance to start this year. But it's good.

"I feel a little more comfortable just being around the guys. I've had a lot more chance to interact with a lot of them, so that's really good. They're making me feel pretty welcome. I'm pretty excited."

It's a lot better than the feeling of having titanium in his ankle, but he's getting used to that.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:23 pm

Last Updated: February 19. 2010 4:32PM
Scott Sizemore focusing on focus
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. -- Scott Sizemore opened one of the four orange boxes piled in front of him and dumped a pair of Nike cleats onto the clubhouse carpet.

"This is like Christmas morning," said Sizemore, taking note of one more way the major leagues differ from the minors.

What a gift the Tigers would get if Sizemore can handle second base reliably. He is taking over for Placido Polanco, who each day for most of four seasons was pure gold when manager Jim Leyland made out his lineup card.

Polanco fielded so smoothly and steadily. At the plate, he was a steady spark at No. 2, an All-Star capable of 200-hit seasons.

Sizemore has not played an inning in the big leagues. And yet the Tigers never blinked when it became clear last autumn they would wave off salary arbitration and lose Polanco to free agency.

"We think he's ready to play," Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers president and GM, has said.

Primarily, it's because they believe Sizemore will hit.

At five different stops in the Tigers farm system, Sizemore's averages since he signed in 2006 have been: .327, .265, .286, .308, .307 and .308. The back-to-back .307-.308 efforts came last season at Double A and Triple A.

His on-base percentage is at least as impressive: a cumulative .383, headed by the .402 last year in 59 games at Erie, where he also had a .535 slugging percentage.

His glove is not as reassuring. He gets to ground balls, but by his own admission can make "careless" or "stupid" errors that he believes will be eliminated, quickly.

Sizemore's bat, though, always has been regarded as big league lumber waiting to be uncrated. Jim Leyland saw it two years ago when Sizemore, 23 and only a couple years removed from Virginia Commonwealth, convinced the manager "Sizemore is going to be a big league hitter."

Sizemore, 25, will neither argue with his boss nor assume he's in Detroit to stay.

But, yes, he enjoys hitting -- because he has a knack for it.

"Everyone's a good hitter when they're a little kid," said Sizemore, the Tigers' fifth-round pick in 2006. "What separates me, maybe, is that I've always had a feel for what's going wrong.

"I can make a quick adjustment and avoid that 0-for-20 slump that can kill your average."

He has a short stroke with enough power to have slammed 17 home runs in 2009. That newly discovered crunch, he confesses, came mostly by accident -- after a wrist injury in 2008 forced him to use more of his lower body.

Another, less helpful, mishap has made Sizemore's debut dicey heading into spring camp, which sees pitchers and catchers begin drills today at Tigertown with the full squad on hand Tuesday.

Sizemore was braced for a double-play relay in the Arizona Fall League last October when a baserunner slid into his left leg, fracturing the fibula. He had surgery to insert screws, and has a four-inch vertical scar stretching across his ankle as evidence.

Sizemore has been rehabilitating in Lakeland since last month. He is maneuvering nicely, taking a steady stream of ground balls, and bearing down during batting practice. But running the bases and digging for grounders can be tough on a lower leg still healing.

Sizemore realizes his injury could have been worse. There was minor ligament damage, which, if worse, could have put his 2010 season on the shelf.

He understands, as well, his defense must be big league grade. Those 21 errors last season? Unacceptable. Sizemore at least has a thought on how to eliminate them:

"Staying focused on every single pitch. Forgetting a bad at-bat I just had and concentrating 100 percent on every pitch.

"That's one of the things I want to ask Adam Everett," he said, a reference to the Tigers' veteran shortstop. "I want to pick his brain on what his focus is. I want to cut down on those careless errors, say, where there's no play and you hold onto the ball, rather than throwing it away and costing your team a run. Those are errors I'm gonna try to avoid."

Avoiding comparisons with Polanco might be a tougher task. Fans have sharp memories. Sizemore's job is to make them forget the previous guy, the sooner the better.

lynn.henning@detnews.com

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100219/SPORTS0104/2190353/1129/Scott-Sizemore-focusing-on-focus#ixzz0g1zjVQzx


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:24 pm


"I really didn't think about it, which is good," Scott Sizemore said of turning a double play Wednesday. (AP)

Sizemore takes first step back at second
Infielder trying to put surgically repaired ankle out of his mind

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

03/03/10 7:14 PM EST

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Scott Sizemore's first game of 2010 had to feel a little like the way he went out in '09.

As Sizemore awaited the flip from shortstop Ramon Santiago to get the forceout at second base Wednesday afternoon, in came Blue Jays shortstop Alex Gonzalez hoping to beat it out or break it up. It was the same type of play that led to Sizemore's broken left ankle in the Arizona Fall League, the injury that put a hint of uncertainty into his starting job at second base this spring.

Santiago flipped the ball right where Sizemore wanted it. Sizemore wheeled and fired the ball immediately, so quick that Gonzalez didn't have a play on him. The double play ended Toronto's fourth-inning rally, but it also ended any question whether the ankle would be on Sizemore's mind on that play again.

"I really didn't think about it, which is good," he said. "Instincts took over."

It also went a long way toward answering the question of whether Sizemore's recovery from ankle surgery would keep him from handling the job at second this spring. An early-morning downpour Tuesday kept Sizemore out of the Tigers' exhibition game against Florida Southern College as a precaution. Wednesday's windy, chilly weather would not.

"Not as good as I'd like it," Sizemore said of his season debut, "but good enough, I guess. You have to start somewhere. Turned a double play, got a ground ball, got my feet wet a little bit."

Before the game, Sizemore said he received a text message from his fiancee, Brooke, telling him to "think healthy ankle thoughts."

In actuality, Sizemore hoped to be at the point where he wasn't thinking about the ankle. He isn't quite there, but he's heading in that direction. Wednesday was a big step for him.

Sizemore went 1-for-2 with a line-drive single to right in the third inning before he was erased on an inning-ending fielder's choice. He didn't really have a chance to test out his ankle running around the bases, where he has admittedly felt it more than at other times this spring. When he rounds a base is when he feels it.

If that's the one time, he can live with it. He's reminded more often off the field than on it, facing regular questions from reporters on how it feels.

"I can't say that it's totally out of my mind," Sizemore said, "but it's getting better. Every day, I think about it less and less. Until that day comes when I don't think about it anymore, it's going to be one of those things I have to work with and work through."

The double play didn't bring it to mind, but that doesn't mean he's going to turn it exactly the same. Manager Jim Leyland said infield coach Rafael Belliard is working with Sizemore to change how he handles those plays, trying to get him to come across the bag instead of staying in line and moving back to make the throw. It isn't necessarily to get him out of harm's way, but it could be a side benefit.

Sizemore's double-play partner last year wasn't surprised that he didn't flinch.

"One thing about Scott is he's as tough as nails," said Brent Dlugach, who played at shortstop at Triple-A Toledo last year and homered on Wednesday. "I remember last year giving him some feeds, and he'll hang in there until the last second."

That won't change. But Sizemore won't pretend he's completely back to normal.

"I don't necessarily have the same tools to work with at the moment that I had in the past," Sizemore said, "so I'm going to have to really be smart about how I go about things and just get the most out of what I can do at this particular time."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:24 pm



Prospect Chronicles: 10 Detroit Tigers Who Could Make an Impact in 2010

Johnny Lawrence
Featured Columnist
Correspondent - BLEACHER REPORT

1. Scott Sizemore, 2B, Age 25


Highest Level: AAA (Toledo)
Acquired: 2006 (Fifth Round)
40-Man Roster: Yes

General manager Dave Dombrowski believed so strongly in Sizemore's potential, he let Placido Polanco walk — Detroit's two-time Gold Glove winner and No. 2 hitter.

Sizemore is the leading candidate to start at second base in 2010, coming off a spectacular split season at Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. In total, he clubbed 17 homers, swiped 21 bases, and batted .308. After a promising but injury-shortened stop in the Arizona Fall League, club officials expect Sizemore to rebound in Spring Training.

A possible top-of-the-lineup option come midseason, the only knock on Sizemore is his inconsistent defense.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:25 pm

Sizemore scratched from Tigers lineup
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on March 9, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Rookie second baseman Scott Sizemore got an unplanned day off Tuesday when he was a late scratch from the Tigers starting lineup. Manager Jim Leyland said Sizemore had soreness in his surgically repaired left ankle, so Leyland scratched him from the lineup as a precaution. Brent Dlugach started in his place.

Sizemore said a few days ago that his ankle was a little bit sore when he was making the turn on the bases, but that it's very minor.

UPDATE: Sizemore said the ankle just felt a little weak today, but gave no indication Tuesday that it's a serious issue.

"No one wants to come out of the game or take themselves out of the lineup when it comes to stuff like that," he said, "but there are some times when it's better not to play through it. That's what happened with my hand. It was bothering me in 2008. I tried to play through it, and I ended up costing myself the rest of the season. That's one thing I don't ever want to do again. I'm going to try to be as smart as I can with my body and try to get the most."

Sizemore expects to play Wednesday against the Yankees. He said the last time he was rested, which was lasted Friday, he "felt like a million bucks" the next day.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:26 pm

Posted: 3:48 p.m. March 9, 2010
Tigers' Sizemore not worried about ankle soreness

By JOHN LOWE
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

VIERA, Fla. -- Detroit Tigers second baseman Scott Sizemore said he asked out today’s lineup because he felt a bit of weakness in his surgically repaired left ankle.

He didn’t seem concerned. “I’m sure tomorrow will be fine,” Sizemore said. “The last time they gave me a day off (last week), I came back a like million bucks the next day.

“It just felt weak (today) -- it felt a little unstable, a little muscular. Maybe just a little overworked. I’d rather not take a chance at this point -- I’ve still got three weeks of spring training to go. I’m just trying to be smart -- not get hurt again.

“The coaches said that if anything comes up, don’t be scared to say something. That’s how I felt today. No one wants to take themselves out of the lineup. But there are just some times where it’s better not to play through it.”

Today marked the first time that Sizemore has been scratched in the exhibition season because of the ankle, in which he suffered a major fracture while trying to turn a double play in the Arizona Fall League in October. The day off he alluded to last week was a scheduled day off to make sure he didn’t overdo things with the ankle.

Contact JOHN LOWE: 313-223-4053 or jlowe@freepress.com. Check out his Tigers blog at freep.com/section/blog18.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:26 pm



Thursday postgame: Busy day for Sizemore
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on March 11, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Some days, the timing just works out well for a story. Before Thursday's game against the Phillies, manager Jim Leyland said that Scott Sizemore's situation "is really an issue right now," Sizemore got a peppering of ground balls behind Justin Verlander in the game. He got to some of them, including a Placido Polanco-esque sliding stop and throw behind first base to rob Brian Schneider (thanks to Getty Images for the photo at right), and he couldn't get to others. The bigger point is that he didn't really look hobbled, and he came out of it fine.

"Everything went real well today," Sizemore said afterwards. "Tons of balls hit in my direction, had to try to get to all of them. Yeah, it felt pretty good. I had to go both ways. There were a couple hit in the middle, a couple hit in the hole. It felt good. My angles [of approach] weren't quite right for my range, but I'm not far off, maybe just a step off."

It was a good day for Sizemore's ankle, but they won't all be like that. He'll have days when it probably isn't feeling good. He accepts that. It seems to be something that worries Leyland a bit, though.

"I have to watch that thing," Leyland said of Sizemore's ankle.

In that process, he's watching how much Sizemore plays each day. The problem with that is that he's trying to make sure Sizemore gets at-bats.

"If I'm only going to play him five or six innings, I probably should move him up in the lineup so he gets an extra at-bat, which I will do at some point," Leyland said. "But I'm also trying to get an idea what our lineup's going to look like. I'm very careful saying it, because I don't want to put any pressure on him. It's a little bit of a tough situation. I have to keep him healthy, but I've got to get him ready, too."

He's living up to his prediction that he'd be watching Sizemore like a hawk.

Sizemore is trying to make the best of the ups and downs.

"I'm hoping the longer it goes, the better it feels the whole time," Sizemore said. "But I think with any injury like that, you're going to have good days and bad days. Some days, it'll be sore, and some days it'll feel phenomenal. I'm prepared for both, and I know those days when it hurts, it's just going to have to be gut-check time, really bear down and focus and get the job done."

Sizemore also had a bit of a baserunning blunder when he doubled off first base on a foul pop-up behind the bag, but Leyland said, "It was just a freak thing." The wind knocked the ball around, and Sizemore said he thought it was going to fall in fair territory behind the first baseman. Still, both of them said it was probably better to stay on the bag there and give up the force out at second rather than risk the double-play.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:27 pm

Sizemore finally feeling it at the plate
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on March 15, 2010 at 10:37 PM

We've rambled on and on all spring about Scott Sizemore's ankle and whether it would allow him to be ready for the regular season. We've done very little to ask the same question about Sizemore's bat.

Monday was a big day in that respect.

What had been a slow spring for Sizemore with a .150 average entering Monday got a jump start against the Jays. It wasn't just about the leadoff home run his first at-bat, but the two other balls he hit hard in two other at-bats. One went for a base hit, the other for a line out.

"Good to finally get a few knocks and feel somewhat confident in there," Sizemore said afterward.

Sizemore said he has worked some with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, but not a whole lot yet. He's going by feel with his swing at this point rather than getting too much into mechanics. Monday was a big day for him on that.

"Today was the first day I really felt like I had an idea of what everything was going on in there: Contact point, hands, feet, legs," Sizemore said. "I could kind of feel what I was doing in the box today. So yeah, it felt good. Today was a big step in the right direction, for sure."

Leyland could sense that step.

"He's getting his feet wet," Leyland said. "If you make a mistake in there, he's got some power."

As for the ankle, Sizemore said it felt good today with the exception of the end, when it felt a little sore. He thinks that had a little bit to do with sitting around between innings and letting it cool down too much. He's going to have to find ways to keep it loose during long innings in the dugout, especially back in Detroit in April with the weather cool. He has some little tricks he has done on his own, such as calf raises, but the point is to keep it moving. So if you see Sizemore constantly standing and moving around in the dugout, that'll be why.

Still, it's sounding like the ankle is becoming less and less of a question. Jim Leyland said today he was told by the medical staff that Sizemore is about to be removed from the daily list of injuries Leyland receives each day.

...


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:28 pm

Detroit duo pulls off remarkable feat
Boesch, Sizemore both hit first big league homers in fourth


By Jason Beck / MLB.com

04/30/10 8:00 PM ET


  • Detroit's Damon tallies his 1,500th run
  • Torii already admiresTigers' Jackson
  • Tigers offense is on a torrid pace early


DETROIT -- Tigers rookies Scott Sizemore and Brennan Boesch not only hit their first Major League home runs in the same game, they got them in the same inning. Sizemore's solo shot and Boesch's grand slam were part of an eight-run, three-homer fourth inning off Angels starter Joel Pineiro to power Detroit ahead Friday night at Comerica Park.

Sizemore was the back half of back-to-back homers. Two pitches after Gerald Laird hit his first home run of the season, Sizemore pounced on a high fastball from Pineiro and pulled it into the left-field seats, an estimated 375-foot drive.

An Austin Jackson single, Johnny Damon double, Erick Aybar error and Miguel Cabrera single later, the bases were loaded for Boesch, who turned on the first pitch he saw from Pineiro and sent a line drive towards the deepest part of the ballpark. The ball cleared the fence in left-center field near the flagpole as Boesch raised his hands running around the bases. The drive was estimated at 417 feet, and it put the Tigers into double digits for the game with a 10-4 lead.

It was shaping up to be a good night all around for Tigers rookies. Jackson singled in each of his first four at-bats for his first career four-hit game and his 12th multi-hit game in 23 Major League contests.

According to STATS, it marks the first time since Sept. 29, 2002 that two teammates hit their first Major League home runs in the same inning. Cleveland's Victor Martinez and Earl Snyder both went deep in that game against the Royals in the fifth inning off Darrell May.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:28 pm

OFFICIAL_TIGERS FROM TWITTER:

CORRECTION:
Sizemore & Boesch first Tigers to hit first ML HR in same inning of
game since Pop Dillon & Kid Elberfeld on 4/29/1901 (Elias).


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 12:29 pm

FROM THE TIGERS' 5/16/2010 PRESS PASS

TIGERS ANNOUNCE ROSTER MOVES:
Following the game last night, the Tigers optioned the contracts of righthanded pitcher Max Scherzer and second baseman Scott Sizemore to Triple A Toledo. The club today recalled the contract of righthanded pitcher Armando Galarraga from Toledo and purchased the contract of infielder Danny Worth from Toledo. Galarraga made seven starts with the Mud Hens, compiling a 4-2 record and 3.92 ERA (41.1IP/18ER). Worth hit .274 (37x135) with 15 runs scored, five doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI in 36 games.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun May 16, 2010 7:17 pm

Tigers saw that Sizemore was struggling

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/16/10 1:47 PM ET

DETROIT -- When the Tigers committed to having two rookies in their everyday lineup going into the season, manager Jim Leyland talked about having to ride through the ups and downs that first-year players have. He talked about having to be patient.

There are times, however, that rookies battle themselves so much that it becomes counterproductive. To Leyland and other Tigers officials, Scott Sizemore had fallen into that trap in recent days.

"You want to say it respectfully, but it's almost like he was starting to get a little lost, fighting himself," Leyland said. "And you could kind of see it."

At that point, the club's priority became less about waiting for Carlos Guillen to be ready to take over at second base, and more about getting Sizemore out of a bad situation. So Detroit sent out Sizemore on Saturday night, with Guillen still having not started a rehab assignment, and turned over second base to a platoon situation for now.

Better to have that, the Tigers decided, than to let Sizemore continue to languish, lose confidence and possibly regress further.

"I give Dave [Dombrowski] a lot of credit," Leyland said. "A lot of people say, 'Well, keep Sizemore until Guillen's ready.' But that's not the smart thing to do. It doesn't matter if Guillen's ready or not. Sizemore needed to go down. I give Dave a lot of credit for that."

By no means, Leyland said, was the move designed to send a message to other players on the team. It was geared, he said, toward Sizemore's development, which they believe will be helped in a lower-pressure setting in Toledo for a while.

"I think Sizemore will be fine," Leyland said. "I think he was a little shocked at the speed of the game up here, but other than that, he was fine. We still really like him."


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:58 am

Since being sent down: .352 1 HR 6 RBI
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:02 pm

he will be back or Worth will be at some time.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:55 pm

I don't like Worth as much.
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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:59 am

06/22/2010Status ChangeToledo Mud HensScott SizemoreToledo Mud Hens placed 2B Scott Sizemore on the 7-Day disabled list. Strained hip.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:08 pm

Tigers recall Sizemore from Triple-A
Opening Day second baseman likely to see time at third

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

07/21/10 3:36 PM ET

DETROIT -- Scott Sizemore's second chance in the big leagues is going to come at third base, at least for now. The Tigers recalled their Opening Day second baseman from Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday, setting in motion their makeshift plan to replace injured Brandon Inge.

Sizemore takes the roster spot of right-handed reliever Casey Fien, who was optioned back to Toledo a day after he was called up to provide some bullpen depth. But Sizemore essentially takes the spot of Inge, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday after fracturing a bone in his left hand that is expected to keep him out for 4-6 weeks.

How exactly the Tigers will handle third base, whether through one designated starter or a platoon, still isn't clear. But to some degree, it's likely going to include some work from Sizemore, who started at third base for Toledo on Tuesday night after playing just three games there all season. It could well end up a case of opportunity being the mother of redemption.

Sizemore is primarily a second baseman, and opened the season there for Detroit before his struggles at the plate led to a demotion to Toledo in mid-May. He batted .206 (20-for-97) with five doubles, a home run and eight RBIs with the Tigers, but the offensive versatility that drew Detroit to start him returned a good bit with the Mud Hens.

While Sizemore owned a .329 average with six homers and 19 RBIs in Toledo, it was his more recent numbers that caught the Tigers' attention. He was hitting .375 (15-for-40) with three doubles, three homers and RBIs in nine games since being activated from the disabled list July 6. The hip injury that led him to the DL last month might still be a little bit of concern, but it clearly wasn't impairing him at the plate.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland quashed any idea of returning Sizemore to second and moving Carlos Guillen to third when he said "you can rule that out" Tuesday night. Guillen shifted to second once he returned from the DL in May as a way to fit him into the same starting lineup with rookie slugger Brennan Boesch. Guillen, who started at third for half of the 2008 season, is batting .264 with 10 doubles, four homers and 22 RBIs in 43 games since coming back, and Leyland is set on giving him one position to handle.

That leaves Sizemore either looking at primary duty at third or in some sort of mix with utilitymen Don Kelly and Ryan Raburn. Kelly made two diving stops at the hot corner Tuesday night against Texas, but Leyland has been noncommittal about Kelly's playing time there.

"He did a good job," Leyland said Tuesday night. "I thought he made a couple nice defensive plays. We will see what unfolds here in the next few days."

It might have just unfolded Wednesday.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:40 pm

Peralta here, Frazier up, Larish and Sizemore down
BECK'S BLOG

Posted on July 29, 2010 at 4:05 PM

By now you already know Jhonny Peralta was in uniform soon after first pitch at Tropicana Field, and Scott Sizemore was optioned to Triple-A Toledo to make room. After the game came word that the Tigers swapped bench bats, designating Jeff Larish for assignment and purchasing the contract of Jeff Frazier from the Mud Hens.

Frazier is batting .273 in Toledo with 32 doubles, 23 home runs and 68 RBIs in 104 games. Eight of those home runs have come in July, including a two-homer game Wednesday against Pawtucket. It's a good story for Frazier, a former Tigers draft pick who left and came back via trade a few years ago and was hoping his numbers to get him a call-up this season, as John Wagner chronicled in The Blade this morning.

The big plus for Frazier that helped get him the call is the fact that he's a right-handed power bat. With Damon and Boesch and Kelly, the Tigers had enough left-handed bats available in the outfield, but kind of a shortage from the right side now that Raburn is pretty much playing close to every day. Detroit will face left-hander Jon Lester Friday night and then is on track to fellow lefties John Danks and Mark Buehrle next week.

Larish was out of minor league options, so they had to designate him. If he passes through waivers, the Tigers will be able to outright him to Toledo.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:33 pm

Sizemore to rejoin Tigers on Tuesday

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

09/06/10 2:35 PM ET

DETROIT -- Tigers infielder Scott Sizemore is hoping his difficult rookie season has a happy ending. At least it'll end in the big leagues.

By no means does Sizemore's impending callup mean that he'll be returning to his old job at second base, or getting regular playing time. But it at least gives him a chance to close out his campaign with a good impression.

"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 when he learned of the move 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 will rejoin the Tigers on Tuesday. He received the news after his game for Triple-A Toledo on Sunday night, when he fell a triple shy of the cycle. The three-hit, three-run effort raised his average to .298 with 23 doubles, nine home runs and 37 RBIs in 76 games. He returns to Detroit with a .205 average (24-for-117), six doubles, one homer and nine RBIs.

He went from the Tigers' Opening Day second baseman to Toledo in May, then became Detroit's third baseman briefly in July after Brandon Inge broke a bone in his left hand. Sizemore's present and future role isn't clear.

"He's not going to play over [Brandon] Inge or [Will] Rhymes," manager Jim Leyland said. "How much playing time is he going to get? I don't know. I think he's healthy now. We will use him to pinch-run or play a game maybe now and then or pinch-hit for someone. But I'm not going to play him over Rhymes right now or over Inge. If I was going to do that, I should have had him here before."


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:48 pm

Sizemore to serve as final planned callup

By Jason Beck and Alex DiFilippo / MLB.com

09/07/10 8:12 PM ET

DETROIT -- As it turned out, Scott Sizemore was the only Tigers farmhand to get the call to Detroit once the Minor League seasons ended Monday. Detroit will get through the home stretch this season with a 28-man roster.

It's not as if the Tigers had a lot of candidates. Between so many injuries with the Major League club and disabled list stints at the Minor League level, they had just a few options left on the 40-man roster. With lefty reliever Fu-Te Ni having just come back from injury late last week, the realistic options were whittled to left-handed starter Andy Oliver, infielders Audy Ciriaco and Sizemore, and outfielder Jeff Frazier.

Ultimately, the Tigers decided 152 1/3 innings between Toledo, Detroit and Double-A Erie were enough for Oliver in his first full pro season. He's scheduled to go to the Florida instructional league along with fellow Mud Hens starter Charlie Furbush to work on some specific items and throw a few innings before wrapping it up.

Sizemore was officially activated Tuesday. He'll serve as an extra infielder, pinch-runner and right-handed bat off the bench for the final 3 1/2 weeks.


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:42 am

Sizemore ready for normal offseason
By Todd Wills / Special to MLB.com | 09/14/10 8:41 PM ET

ARLINGTON -- Opening Day second baseman Scott Sizemore was in the starting lineup on Tuesday vs. Texas, his first appearance for the Tigers since July 28. He was recalled on Sept. 7 for his third stint with the team.

"He's done everything we've asked. Why not give him a game?" Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Let him play. He doesn't want to come up here and sit around for a month. He's not a forgotten guy by any means."

Sizemore batted .298 for Triple-A Toledo, with nine home runs and 37 RBIs in 76 games. That gave Leyland and the Tigers' front office reason to see him again this season.

"He hit .300, he played well," Leyland said. "If I wasn't going to use him at some point, why bring him up? Let him go home for the offseason with his family."

Leyland gave Sizemore some benefit of the doubt for struggling earlier this season with the Tigers, batting .205 with one home run and nine RBIs. Sizemore came back from ankle surgery last October, and never was right in the manager's opinion.

"I knew right away from the beginning of the season that his leg wasn't healthy," Leyland said. "He was playable, but he wasn't healthy. His leg wasn't right, I could tell by the way he was running and moving."

Sizemore wouldn't use the ankle as an excuse Tuesday. But he did say that the surgery last fall cost him his regular offseason routine, so he is looking forward to going to Richmond, Va., after the season to work with his former college strength and conditioning coach.

"One of the first things -- when I did get sent down -- that was one of my main things, I was looking forward to [was the offseason]," Sizemore said. "Getting in the weight room, getting strong again and getting explosive again. It's exciting looking forward to that whole process of getting ready for next year and what might be."


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:10 am

Sizemore ready for healthy offseason
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/17/10 9:05 PM ET

CHICAGO -- For the first time in four years, Tigers infielder Scott Sizemore has neither winter ball nor fall ball nor injury rehab in his offseason. He has a full, regular offseason workout routine in his plans, and in this case, that's a good thing.

The ankle is healthy, the spirit is willing and the mind is clear.

"I'm approaching the offseason like it's a midseason mentality," Sizemore said. "In offseasons in the past, if I was sore or I didn't feel right, I'd take a few days off or a week off, and I don't want to have to worry about that, whether it's my hip or ankle or anything. I just want to make sure that I'm continuous with my plan and getting in the best shape I can be."

That would be signficant going into next spring, when Sizemore may or may not have a chance to try to reclaim his old job at second base depending on Detroit's offseason dealings and their plans with Will Rhymes.

Sizemore's plans to come into this past spring strong were foiled when a hard slide into him in the Arizona Fall League fractured his left ankle, forcing him to undergo surgery. Sizemore was ready for the start of camp but admits that the ankle continued to bother him at times well into the season. He shouldn't have to do anything special with it this winter.

Sizemore tries not to think about what this season might have been without the injury, but sometimes he can't help it.

"You always kind of think, 'What if?'" Sizemore said. "But it could've been the same result. I don't know. It would've been a totally different situation. You wish the injury never would've happened."


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:17 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


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PostSubject: Re: Scott Sizemore NEWS   Sun 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.


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