Detroit Tigers' Hot Stove: What's On Second?

Dave HamptonCorrespondent INovember 17, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 26:  Ryan Raburn #25 of the Detroit Tigers leads off of second base against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on August 26, 2009 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Tigers 4-2.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The World Series has wrapped up, and it has gotten chilly in the Midwest.

While some of the Tigers are home in the tropics or enjoying 18 holes in Florida, The Hammer Toss will keep you warm with the hot stove.   


Is it just me, or is the Tigers' front office being remarkably short-sighted about who will be playing second base in 2010?

We can automatically rule out Placido Polanco now, as much as it hurts to see his steady glove and production whisk out of town. It is plainly obvious that the Tigers can no longer afford him if they are shopping Edwin Jackson and/or Curtis Granderson as a means of salary relief. 

So far, the only second base solution the front office has left in the window is Scott Sizemore. 

Sizemore did fine in the minors this year, making the jump from AA Erie to AAA Toledo, while hitting a combined .308 with 17 home runs and 21 stolen bases. He was set to try to impress in the Arizona Fall League until he broke his ankle and will now be sidelined until at least January.

Sizemore seems like a fine selection for 2010, but what if he is not ready for the jump to the majors? As always, The Hammer Toss has solutions!


Ryan Raburn

Already the front office has shut the door on using Raburn as the second sacker for 2010. Why? He originally came up as an infielder and has 27 career starts at second base. 

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he is a pretty lousy infielder (remember his three error game at third base?). However, he is a poor outfielder as well. This is the guy who I watched slip and fall in the outfield starting in for a ball that was back over his head.

By the way, he recovered on that play to make a leaping catch, only to walk his face into the wall and drop the ball. 

Management is determined to have his bat in the lineup for 2010. He is going to stink defensively wherever he is placed, so if Sizemore struggles, why not drop Raburn at second?


Carlos Guillen

I think this is actually the best possible second base solution. Guillen is owed a lot of money and is not going anywhere. He was dumped in the outfield last year to try to stash him away somewhere out of the way. 

Yeah, that didn't turn out so well.

Guillen is a natural infielder, having extensively played shortstop and third base, and has 12 career starts at second from his days in Seattle

Place him at second, where he is not a liability, and put someone else in the outfield, preferably someone who has some range. 

The problem, which is actually also a solution, is the fact that Guillen is a tremendous injury risk. That solves the problem on how to break Sizemore in. Sit Guillen down every couple days for a break and have Sizemore be a presence off the bench. 

And inevitably when Guillen gets hurt, Sizemore can get more playing time. 


This and many other burning topics are going to warm up your world as the hot stove lights on fire! Stay tuned to The Hammer Toss.