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 Tigers weighing options at third base

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PostSubject: Tigers weighing options at third base   Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:24 pm

Tigers weighing options at third base

By Jason Beck and Alex DiFilippo / MLB.com

07/20/10 8:00 PM ET

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Tuesday he doesn't know yet how he'll handle third base for the next few weeks with Brandon Inge out. Still, while Carlos Guillen was ruled out of that equation, Scott Sizemore might have a chance to be ruled back in.

Leyland wasn't really up for discussing his options with reporters Tuesday, the day after Inge fractured a bone in his left hand, but he confirmed that Guillen would not be one of them.

"He's our second baseman," Leyland said of Guillen. "You can rule that out."

That was a vote of confidence for Guillen, who opened the year as an outfielder/DH until he shifted to second to replace the demoted Sizemore.

Sizemore had been handling second base since being sent to Triple-A Toledo in May, but he was in the starting lineup at third base for the Mud Hens on Tuesday night at Pawtucket. He was also leading off.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," Leyland said. "I don't have any idea. I'll have to wait and see. That's kind of on hold."

No move on third base is coming until after the Tigers can straighten out their taxed bullpen, which got a temporary boost Tuesday with the arrival of Casey Fien from Toledo. Fien took Inge's roster spot for the time being. Leyland said he had "no idea" if Detroit would go with an eight-man bullpen, though the Tigers don't have another off-day coming for another 13 days.

Don Kelly, who replaced Inge Monday night soon after the hit-by-pitch that caused his injury, started in Inge's place Tuesday. Asked if Kelly had an opportunity to get some regular playing time with Inge out four to six weeks, Leyland was noncommittal.

"I don't know about that," Leyland said. "He is going to play some. We'll see how things unfold here. He's going to get a chance to play some."


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers weighing options at third base   Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:27 pm

What about Larish. He has been Toledo's 3rd baseman and is playing well. Or let Kelly continue at 3rd and bring Larish or Sizemore up as utility.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers weighing options at third base   Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:50 pm

Posted: 12:25 p.m. July 20, 2010 | Updated: 5:31 p.m. today
Brandon Inge on DL; Tigers recall relief pitcher Casey Fien

BY PERRY A. FARRELL
Free Press Sports Writer

The Detroit Tigers' third-base situation without Brandon Inge has yet to be determined, according to manager Jim Leyland.

Even though Inge is expected to miss four to six weeks with a fracture in the fifth metacarpal in his left hand, the Tigers called up pitcher Casey Fien from Triple-A Toledo instead of infielders Scott Sizemore or Jeff Larish, who has 15 home runs for the Mud Hens.

Leyland said part of the reason Fien was called up was because of the depleted bullpen after Monday’s 14-inning loss to Texas. Leyland said the only available arms in the bullpen tonight are right-handers Fien and Jose Valverde, and left-handers Phil Coke and Brad Thomas.

“We’re strapped; we don’t have hardly anybody for the bullpen tonight," Leyland said. “I don’t have any idea what I’m going to do at third. We’re going to have to wait and see. That’s kind of on hold. I don’t know if the extra reliever is a short-term thing or not."

Leyland did put to rest rumors that Carlos Guillen will move to third while Danny Worth or Sizemore take over at second base.

“Carlos is our second baseman," Leyland said. “So, yes, you can rule that out."

Don Kelly is starting at third base today. He has the arm strength to play the position but entered the game batting .219. Ryan Raburn, another candidate, played second base against the Rangers and was hitting .213. Kelly and Raburn have combined for three home runs this season.

Fien said he got the word from Toledo manager Larry Parrish while the team was in Rhode Island, playing Pawtucket.

“I found out last night; some of the guys thought it would be Sizemore or Larish," he said. “They thought maybe (Brent) Dlugach, but they called me up. I’m here to give some bullpen help. I know they haven’t been struggling, but just the wear and tear on their arms."

Fien was 1-1 at Toledo with a 2.33 ERA and four saves in 46 1/3 innings.

Fien has been the property of Toronto, Boston and Detroit this season.

Inge was injured in the third inning Monday night when struck by pitch from Texas right-hander Scott Feldman. He stayed in the game after being examined by Detroit’s training staff but was replaced in the field by Kelly for the top of the fifth.

Join Free Press special writer Jon Machota for a live blog of the Tigers-Blue Jays game Thursday afternoon at freep.com/sports!


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers weighing options at third base   Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:14 pm



07/21/2010 3:31 PM ET
Sizemore Recalled; Fien Optioned

The Tigers today announced the club has recalled the contract of infielder Scott Sizemore from Triple A Toledo.

Additionally, the club today optioned the contract of righthanded pitcher Casey Fien to Toledo.

Sizemore hit .329 (55x167) with 32 runs scored, 13 doubles, six home runs and 19 RBI in 41 games with the Mud Hens.


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PostSubject: Re: Tigers weighing options at third base   Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:39 pm

Leyland sets mix at third base
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on July 21, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Sorry so late on this. Scott Sizemore arrived at Comerica Park just before batting practice, but Don Kelly is getting the start nonetheless. Sizemore will start Thursday at third base against Blue Jays left-hander Brett Cecil, then again Saturday agaisnt Ricky Romero before settling into more regular time at third base as soon as next week.

What happens from there might well depend on the trade market and whether the Tigers find a deal for a third baseman or utility infielder at a reasonable cost. Yahoo's Jeff Passan tweeted Wednesday that Detroit inquired about Blue Jays slugger and AL home run leader Jose Bautista, who can play third and the outfield.

There's potentially an interesting dynamic at play with the fact that Brandon Inge is not only out for the next few weeks, but he's a free agent at season's end at a position where Detroit has no obvious successors. If Sizemore holds his own there and hits, does third base become a potential home for him in 2011? If the Tigers swing a deal, do they look beyond this season with it?

One more thing on the third-base situation: There's a misconception that Carlos Guillen didn't want to move to third base and forced the Sizemore shift. Guillen was willing to move to third if the Tigers asked, but it never got to that point. The Tigers made the decision themselves and left Guillen out of it.


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