Tigers Prospects Dry Up After Arizona Fall League

Note: This article first appeared on ESPN.com’s SweetSpot blog today.

When the Tigers traded Scott Sizemore to the A’s over Memorial Day Weekend, it brought an abrupt and mildly startling end to his tenure as Detroit’s second baseman of the future. The Tigers, after all, anointed him as the heir apparent to Placido Polanco almost immediately after they lost Game 163 to the Twins in 2009.

Polanco was eligible for arbitration, which coincided with the Tigers’ momentary spending freeze, and soon he was back with the Phillies doing everything fans in Detroit had come accustomed to: steadiness in the field, reliability at the plate.

But back to Sizemore. The Tigers sent him to the Arizona Fall League – “a graduate school” for top prospects, according to the AFL Media Guide – in 2007 and again in ‘09 in what they undoubtedly expected to be a final tuneup before handing over the keys to second base to him for the foreseeable future.

Within days of the 2009 AFL season, Sizemore’s ankle was broken as he attempted to turn a double play and his fall league experience went kaput. It didn’t stop the Tigers from hoping that he could recover in time for spring training.

Fast forward to May 27 when he was dealt to Oakland for David Purcey (himself an AFL graduate) and the book was closed on Sizemore’s career in Detroit: 65 games, a .223 average, .605 OPS and a mere three home runs. Not legendary stuff and certainly nowhere close to Polanco’s track record.

Continue reading “Tigers Prospects Dry Up After Arizona Fall League”

Monday Mankowskis: World Series Edition

This edition features flashback photos of Tigers alumni we’ve all heard too much about this postseason, Cody Ross and Andres Torres:

CodyRoss.jpg

  • Tomorrow the Diamondbacks will announce that Alan Trammell will be Kirk Gibson’s bench coach in 2011 — the same role Gibson served under Trammell from 2003-05. This was a no-brainer once Tram was told he wouldn’t be considered for the Cubs managerial job. The only thing that delayed it was, among other things, the matter of Gibson having the interim tag removed from his title.

  • There’s been a lot chatter about Rangers’ catcher Bengie Molina playing for both the Rangers and Giants this season. He’s one of only five players in major-league history to have played on both World Series teams in the same year.

    Did you know that one of the remaining four did so with the Tigers in 1984? Indeed: ye olde Sid Monge. The lefty reliever appeared in 13 games with the Padres (2-1, 4.80 ERA) and 19 for the Tigers (1-0, 4.25 ERA). SI.com has a story on the last player to do so before Molina.

    Oct. 26 Update: As posted on Keith Olbermann‘s baseball blog, Monge doesn’t fall into this category because he wasn’t on the Tigers’ World Series roster. I knew Monge didn’t make the roster, but I didn’t realize the qualifier for this two-team distinction was to appear in the World Series. Live and learn.

    Continue reading “Monday Mankowskis: World Series Edition”

Familiar Faces in Playoffs for Tigers Fans

2010postseasonLogo.jpgNot sure if this makes the postseason more or less interesting to you, but if you watch each league’s division series you’ll likely to see lots of former Tigers:

Yankees

Rays

Rangers

Giants

Braves

Phillies

Tigers Today: April 1, 2010

Apologies for the late post. The benefit is that I have today’s results. BehindHomePlate.jpg

Tigers’ Spring Training Record: 18-10-2

Today’s Games

Tigers 4 – Braves 1

The Tigers dinged Jair Jurrjens for a pair of runs on Don Kelly‘s home run and Eddie Bonine pitched four scoreless, one-hit innings to pace the Tigers in the front end of Grapefruit League finale.

Tigers 4 – Astros 2

The only worthwhile tidbit about this matchup of Tigers minor leaguers versus primetime Astros is former Tiger Chris Shelton appearing in the game for Houston. Oh, Brandon Lyon and Tim Byrdak pitched for the Astros.

Continue reading “Tigers Today: April 1, 2010”

Nate Odds and Ends

In case you were wondering, here’s what Nate Robertson looks like in a Photoshop-driven Marlins get-up. NateMarlins.jpg

Here’s what Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez had to say about his new starter:

“I know that he’s a pretty good pitcher. … “There were a couple of years that he threw right around 200 innings. He’s a workhorse. Coming to the National League, where teams haven’t had a chance to see him much, maybe he can help us out.”

Nate will join former Tigers Cameron Maybin, Burke Badenhop and Cody Ross on Florida’s Opening Day roster. Andrew Miller was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans last week.