Sizemore ready for normal offseason

Sizemore ready for normal offseason

ARLINGTON -- Opening Day second baseman Scott Sizemore was in the starting lineup on Tuesday vs. Texas, his first appearance for the Tigers since July 28. He was recalled on Sept. 7 for his third stint with the team.

"He's done everything we've asked. Why not give him a game?" Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "Let him play. He doesn't want to come up here and sit around for a month. He's not a forgotten guy by any means."

Sizemore batted .298 for Triple-A Toledo, with nine home runs and 37 RBIs in 76 games. That gave Leyland and the Tigers' front office reason to see him again this season.

"He hit .300, he played well," Leyland said. "If I wasn't going to use him at some point, why bring him up? Let him go home for the offseason with his family."

Leyland gave Sizemore some benefit of the doubt for struggling earlier this season with the Tigers, batting .205 with one home run and nine RBIs. Sizemore came back from ankle surgery last October, and never was right in the manager's opinion.

"I knew right away from the beginning of the season that his leg wasn't healthy," Leyland said. "He was playable, but he wasn't healthy. His leg wasn't right, I could tell by the way he was running and moving."

Sizemore wouldn't use the ankle as an excuse Tuesday. But he did say that the surgery last fall cost him his regular offseason routine, so he is looking forward to going to Richmond, Va., after the season to work with his former college strength and conditioning coach.

"One of the first things -- when I did get sent down -- that was one of my main things, I was looking forward to [was the offseason]," Sizemore said. "Getting in the weight room, getting strong again and getting explosive again. It's exciting looking forward to that whole process of getting ready for next year and what might be."