Yesterday the Tigers traded second baseman Scott Sizemore to the Athletics for reliever David Purcey. I was surprised, at first, to see the Tigers give up on their second base prospect, but with the removal of Joaquin Benoit from the setup role, it appears they may want to try Purcey in the setup role. Benoit has been inconsistent in the setup role this year as he has given up 2 runs or more in 4 of his last 9 appearances. He has a 1-3 record with 1 save, and a 6.62 ERA AND A 1.53 WHIP. Benoit dominated last year as he had a 75-11 K/BB rate in 60+ innings with a 1.34 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP. He turned his dominating season into a 3 year deal last offseason, but has been a bust to date.
The A's get a young second baseman who could eventually replace incumbent Mark Ellis at second base. Sizemore has proved himself in the minors, as he a career triple slash line of .301-.387-.453 with 39 HRs and 63 SBs in 1,830 at bats. But the 26 year old has not performed in the majors. In 206 career at bats, spread across the last two years, he has hit just .223-.306-.306 with 3 HRs, 18 RBIs and a SB.
Replacing Sizemore at second base is Ryan Raburn who is hitting .200-.244-.338 with 4 HRs and 15 RBIs in 145 at bats this season. Last year he was much more productive, hitting .280-.340-.474 with 15 HRs and 62 RBIs. He has struck out in more than a third of his at bats this season, and had only walked 8 times, so he will need to improve his plate discipline to keep the job.
Raburn should be rostered in mixed leagues until he proves his slow start to the 2011 season is a fluke.