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Lunchtime Prowl: Sizemore's Ankle, Guillen for Pierre, the Second Base Dilemma, and Trading Closers

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The Detroit Tigers Weblog talked to Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus, the industry's resident injury expert, about Scott Sizemore's ankle injury. Carroll said Sizemore should be ready for Spring Training. However, he's never seen a second baseman with the sort of tendon injury that Sizemore suffered, so "it's tough to judge."

On his blog, the Detroit News' Tom Gage addresses speculation that the Tigers might pursue outfielder Juan Pierre this winter. But with Pierre owed $18.5 million on the remaining two years of his contract with the Dodgers, Gage thinks the only way Detroit could take on that kind of money is if they shipped a big salary of their own to L.A. For instance, the two years and $26 million they still owe Carlos Guillen.

Pierre batted .308/.365/.392 with 30 stolen bases in 42 attempts this season for the Dodgers.

At Mack Avenue Tigers, Kurt Mensching looks at the choices the Tigers face at second base next season. Do they let Placido Polanco go entirely or do they offer him arbitration? One key point Kurt brings up - and this is worth considering when reading Gage's article, as well - is that we don't know exactly what the Tigers' budget will be.

Speaking of second base, Fire Jim Leyland looks at Polanco's total value to the Tigers this season. How much did Polanco contribute to the Tigers with his bat? How much value did he provide with his glove? And how does Polanco compare with other second basemen in baseball?

Lynn Henning wonders how the Tigers can make their offense more potent next season. Are they mostly relegated to hoping most every batter on the roster just puts up better numbers in 2010? Henning says he expects Dave Dombrowski to add "a bat or two" this winter. But seriously, where would you put them?

How did the Tigers rate defensively this season? Lee Panas looks at each player's Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), and finds that Detroit was above-average in the field. Will that continue next season? Or might the Tigers have to sacrifice some defense for offense? (Lee also rates Detroit's offense in another post.)

If you missed it over the weekend (I posted it to the front page late on Friday), John Kmiecik filed his latest review for the 2009 Tigers. This time out, he takes a look at Carlos Guillen's season.

Over at The Daily Fungo, Mike McClary lists five reasons why he won't be watching the World Series. I think he could be missing out on a good one, though I generally agree with most of the reasons he listed. (Though I find the Phillies an intriguing team.)

Aaron Gleeman wonders if this might be the right time for the Minnesota Twins to consider trading Joe Nathan. (Just to clarify, he's not saying they should.) Nathan, by the way, just had surgery to remove bone chips from his pitching elbow.

This might be a theme. Sam Mellinger thinks the Kansas City Royals should look into trading their closer, Joakim Soria. As he puts it, "What good is that fine scotch if you don't drink it?"

With the news that Tony La Russa might hire Mark McGwire as the St. Louis Cardinals' hitting coach, Lookout Landing imagines how a coaching session with McGwire might go.

The Dugout has a funny take on the story, too. It took me a while to figure out who the "SonOfJorEl" nickname was for. Maybe I need another cup of coffee.

I know some fans aren't thrilled that the World Series is an all-East Coast affair. But regardless of convenience, I think it's pretty cool that the Phillies traveled to New York by train, rolling into Penn Station last night. Maybe not so cool for commuters and Amtrak employees, though.