ARLINGTON -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Saturday that he is energized by a Tigers team that can start as many as four rookies at one time. But he also said he knows he has to be careful with the four players -- second baseman Scott Sizemore, center fielder Austin Jackson, outfielder/designated hitter Brennan Boesch and catcher Alex Avila.
Leyland gave Sizemore the day off Saturday as the rookie deals with the ups and downs of hitting Major League pitching -- he had three strikeouts in Friday's 5-4 loss. Sizemore also reported that his ankle is sore. He had offseason surgery on his left ankle.
Leyland pinch-hit for Sizemore in the eighth inning Friday. "I'm not going to give a young guy four strikeouts," Leyland said. Also Leyland wanted to give Ryan Raburn a start to keep him fresh, so Sizemore's day off worked out.
Leyland said he had a meeting with Sizemore this week after watching him for 15 games. He gave the rookie some constructive advice, telling him to remember whether it's offense, defense or baserunning, everything happens a little faster at the Major League level.
"It wasn't anything negative," Leyland said.