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Tigers Demote Scherzer, Sizemore

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer was demoted to Triple-A Toledo today, along with second baseman Scott Sizemore.

Scherzer, who was acquired from the D’Backs by the Tigers this offseason as part of the Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson deal, did not impress in his brief time in the AL. Scherzer struck out 9.19 batters per nine innings last year, but is down to a 5.57 K/9 through his eight starts in 2010.

He has seen a touch of bad luck, with a .327 BABIP agaisnt and 58% LOB%. However, Scherzer has had trouble with balls in play for his short MLB career, with a .323 BABIP against in over 268 innings.

While his ERA is 7.29, his xFIP is only 5.04. Our updated ZiPS projections have Scherzer finishing the year with a 5.16 ERA. MLB.com’s Jason Beck says that Scherzer has had problems with his mechanics, so hopefully he can work things out in the minors and return relatively shortly. If you have Scherzer in a keeper league, you might as well hold on to him during this stretch, otherwise it is safe to drop him.

As far as Sizemore goes, his demotion isn’t even the biggest news surrounding the Tigers 2B job. The team says that Carlos Guillen will be the everyday second baseman when he returns from the DL in the next week or two.

Guillen hasn’t played 2B since 1999 (when he was with the Mariners), but he did play 132 games at SS back in 2007, so he isn’t that far removed from the middle infield. In real life, UZR was not kind to Guillen at SS in ’07, or at 3B in ’08, so we’ll see how long Guillen can hold down the job at 2B. For fantasy owners, as long as he plays enough games to gain eligibility, it doesn’t matter how long he sticks. ZiPS has Guillen hitting .280 the rest of the season, and adding in 10 homers and 5 steals. Getting those numbers out of your second baseman is not the worst thing in the world.

Focusing on Sizemore, a .268 BABIP and 3.6% HR/FB rate hurt his value and he ended up with awRC+ of only 60. He should be able to return to AAA and hit very well once again, forcing the Tigers to consider bringing him back up later on in the season. But, if Guillen plays well at 2B, there may not be room from him.