Sizemore back in Detroit, on visitor's side

Sizemore back in Detroit, on visitor's side

Sizemore back in Detroit, on visitor's side
DETROIT -- The Tigers didn't trade Scott Sizemore to Oakland over Memorial Day weekend thinking he was done as a prospect. Detroit manager Jim Leyland felt like Sizemore could eventually be a Major League hitter, but felt he couldn't get there now.

It's unlikely the Tigers saw Sizemore getting there this soon. Two months and a position shift later, he's back, this time on the visiting side at Comerica Park.

Sizemore's reunion was cut short when he exited the game in the fourth inning after taking a fastball to his left jaw and neck. He was taken for X-rays, which proved negative, and has been deemed day-to-day.

"It's not much different," Sizemore said Tuesday before batting practice. "I still felt like I was confident in everything I was doing here [in Detroit]. I don't know, maybe [it's] the change of scenery, different organization, different mindset, different brand of ball, kind of. It's just different in Oakland than it is here."

Sizemore's position is obviously different. The A's traded for him with the thought of converting him to third, where he played for a stretch as a Tiger last July after Brandon Inge went on the disabled list.

"I always thought, 'He'll hit,'" Leyland said. "But it's different, too, because he's playing third base."

Sizemore also has a different role in the lineup. When the Tigers called him up in early May, they did so with the goal of having him replace Will Rhymes in the second spot. With the A's looking for offense, Sizemore has spent most of his time in the middle or bottom half of the lineup. On Tuesday, Sizemore batted fifth for the ninth time in 32 games, more than anywhere else in the order.

But more than anything, Sizemore just seems to have found a fit. Despite a 2-for-24 slump over his last six games entering Tuesday's series opener, Sizemore carried a .264 (29-for-110) average as an Athletic, with four home runs and 15 RBIs. With three more hits, he'll match his total from 48 games as a Tiger last year. He already has topped his numbers in home runs and RBIs.

"He's fit in great here," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "For a guy that's changed positions and had to go in and play third every day, a lot of times separating your offense and defense can be difficult, but he's been terrific. Each and every day at third he's that much more comfortable, and he's swung the bat consistently for us. Even in times when he hasn't gotten his share of hits, he makes productive outs. To be able to do that and learn a new position at the same time is a credit to his focus and his confidence."

It's arguably a better position for a hitting prospect to find himself. When Sizemore became Detroit's Opening Day starter last year, he was the successor to All-Star Placido Polanco. When he took over the job again this past May, he was tabbed as the potential spark plug for what was then a dormant offense on a team under pressure to win now.

In Oakland, he's another player getting a chance. He isn't necessarily a player looking for revenge the next couple days, but he'd like to make an impression.

"It's sad to leave Detroit, but I'm just glad I'm getting an opportunity elsewhere," Sizemore said. "Yeah, I feel like it's been going pretty well so far."