Once again, the Detroit Tigers start the season with
their starting second baseman up in the air. Last season, former Whitecap Scott Sizemore (pictured) was slated to be the starter, but was coming off an ankle injury. He started anyway and stuggled both in the field and at the plate. He batted only .206 before being sent down to Toledo. Carlos Guillen was moved over to second before (big suprise) going onto Injured Reserve. Coming up to take his place was another ‘Caps alumni, Will Rhymes. Rhymes impressed everyone with his work ethic and the fact that he hit .304 in 191 at bats. Dubbed ‘Mighty Mouse’ by the Detroit announcers, he always seemed to add a much needed spark to the Tigers offense. Sizemore was called back up late in the season (finally healthy) and hit .308 in September and October. With Giullen not expected to be in the Tigers lineup until late March after having micro-fracture surgery on his left knee, Sizemore and Rhymes are the two most likely to be battling for the Opening Day spot during Spring Training. However, also in the mix is Danny Worth. Worth is possibly the best defensive option, but we’ll see how he hits this spring. This triad of player aren’t only battling for the same position for the first month or so of the season, but possibly the starting job if Guillen goes down with another injury at some point during the season (yeah, what are the chances of THAT happening?). M.I.B. Pick: Will Rhymes. I like his left handed bat, and his ability to hit behind runners and just get on base. My feeling is that they’ll go with Sizemore, though, which I wouldn’t mind since he was my favorite player from the ‘Caps 2007 Championship team. Dombrowski likes his power, and will be eager to prove he was right by starting him last season. I’m looking forward to watching these players duke it out this spring and thoughout the season.
Photo courtesy of TigsTown.com
For the second time in less than a week, a member of the Detroit Tigers has been donning the Whitecap blues for a rehab start. Second baseman/shortstop/outfielder Carlos Guillen was lucky enough to entertain the fans in West Michigan. Guillen went 0-2 with a walk, but the ‘Caps still beat the Great Lakes Loons 2-1. Rehab starts aren’t only fun for the fans, but a thrill for the current Whitecaps players, too, trying to make it to the top. Having guys like Brandon Inge and Guillen in the lineup help out the young guys with some advice and encouragement. One team member who was more than happy to rub elbows with the big leaguers was catcher Robert Brantley. He told the Grand Rapids Press “They’re in the major leagues for a reason. They’ve found out the difference between being here and and there. I watched them like a hawk to learn what got them to that level.” Brantly also stated that one of the things he learned from the Tigers infielders was the importance of relaxing during a crucial at bat. He hit a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth that gave the ‘Caps their 2-1 lead last night against the Loons. Thanks for stopping by, fellas….
Photos coutresy of the Grand Rapids Press