BY: Zohaib Qizilbash
Inconsistent. Unstable. Mediocre.
These are a few words to sum up the Detroit Tigers offense thus far in the early parts of the 2011 baseball season. First basemen Miguel Cabrera is performing at a Hall of Fame level yet again, but one man cannot do it all alone. Inconsistent play from the top and bottom of the order has left the Tigers hovering around .500 after a rough start to the season. The Tigers answer could be down in Toledo and one phone call away from sorting out a lineup that seems to shuffle routinely.
Prospect Scott Sizemore has had a large amount of hype for years and the Tigers organization was looking for him to be an everyday piece of the lineup in 2010. Sizemore dealt with an injury early on in 2010 and was never able to maximize on his talent. 2011 is a completely different picture as General Manager Dave Dombrowski optioned Sizemore to AAA Toledo and gave the job to Will Rhymes. Rhymes has responded by hitting .185 in the second spot in the lineup which is tailored for someone to get one base and advance the lead-off man Austin Jackson (who is in a sophomore slump, hitting .184 with 2 stolen bases.)
Scott Sizemore has put up some impressive numbers thus far at AAA Toledo. In 56 at-bats, he is hitting .411 with an OPS of 1.054. Sizemore looks primed to take over the #2 spot in the lineup, between Austin Jackson and setting the table for the heart of the lineup that includes names like Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Ryan Raburn, etc.
The Detroit Tigers faithful came into the 2011 season with postseason expectations and thus far the team has underperformed. It's still early on in the 162 game season but the Tigers would be doing themselves a disservice to keep plugging Will Rhymes at second base when the future at that position could be down at Toledo waiting for a phone call.