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

Tigers Today: June 7, 2010

Tigers’ Record

29-27, 2nd place; 3.5 GB of Minnesota

Today’s Game

Off Day

Tomorrow’s Game

Tigers @ White Sox | 8:10 p.m. ET – U.S. Cellular Field | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Armando Galarraga (2-1, 2.57 ERA) vs. RHP Gavin Floyd (2-6, 6.64 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Royals 7 – Tigers 2

Tigers History Lesson

Today’s Birthdays

On this Date in Tigers History

  • 1996 — The Tigers acquired LHP Tom Urbani and infielder Miguel Inzunza from the Cardinals for RHP Brian Maxcy and
    OF Micah Franklin.

  • 1961 — The Tigers acquired RHP Jerry Casale from the Angels for RHP Jim Donohue.

  • 1908 — The Tigers turned a triple play against the Red Sox for the second day in a row, but Boston won, 9-5. It marked the only time in major-league history that a team turned two triple plays in two games.

Monday Mankowskis

MondayReport.jpgFive quick items:

  1. In case you were wondering: Another heat warning in the desert.

  2. Really, what are Tigers fans to do when they see that the club will be on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball? Bad enough they play like the 2003 Tigers, but they have to play the White Sox? I didn’t think even this team could erase the glee of taking three of four from Chicago. Wrong-o.

  3. Did you see that former Tigers up-and-comer Virgil Vasquez pitched for the Pirates yesterday against the Diamondbacks? No? Well, you didn’t miss much: 3 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, all earned. His record for the season: 1-5, 6.21 ERA. The D-Backs won 9-0.

  4. Speaking of the Pirates and D-Backs, I attended Friday night’s game and happened to see former Tigers GM Randy Smith sitting in the scouts’ section. He’s an executive with Padres again and I had to wonder why (other than the fact he lives in the Phoenix area) as an exec with an abysmal baseball club, he would be scouting two other bad teams.

  5. Looks like former Tigers slugger/problem child Dmitri Young has reached the end of the line. A leg injury during a Double-A rehab appearance appears to be the final blow.

Have a great week.

Hot Potato Virgil Vasquez On the Move Again

Luggage.jpgRemember when Virgil Vasquez was a rising star in the Tigers farm system? A great showing in the 2006 Arizona Fall League seemed to put him on the fast track.

Not so much. After some unremarkable appearances in 2007 with the big club he seemed to have fallen out of favor. At Toledo in 2008 he went 12-12 with a 4.81 ERA, with 115 strikeouts and 37 walks. You’d have thought those stats would be worthy of a September call up, but they weren’t.

Vasquez was claimed off waivers last fall by the Red Sox only to be claimed shortly thereafter by the Padres — a team that, one would expect, needs all that talent it can find. Today, he’s on the move again and this time back East to the Pirates, another team with a talent shortage.

The guy must have some value. Just wonder where he’ll end up next: Marlins or Mariners?