Dontrelle to start Tuesday, Guillen working out in LF

Leyland revealed his bigger changes after the game.

  1. Dontrelle Willis and Armando Galarraga will both pitch on Tuesday, with Willis getting the start and Galarraga relieving him. Essentially, that day’s going to be a piggyback start day, like what some teams do with pitchers in the lower levels of the minors.
  2. Carlos Guillen is taking fly balls in left field. There’s no timetable on giving him playing time out there or whether they’ll actually start him there eventually — Thames is going to keep starting in left for the foreseeable future — but Leyland wants to have that as an option in games so that he can start Inge at third some days and still have Guillen in the lineup somewhere other than DH.

11 Comments

OMG Guillen in LF!!! JL went out of his way to say that he hasn’t lost his mind, but I’m not sure. I think his plan may be to prove that Guillen can make many errors at any position. Seriously, Carlos is a damn good player who has trouble fielding. Um…there’s something called the designated hitter in the AL, Jim. Put him there, pal. Why do you want to play musical chairs all year, Mr. Leyland??? I have had enough of this silliness!!!

One more thing–forgive me. The Tigers key around the other CG–Curtis. When he plays well, they win. When he sits or plays badly they lose. Someone with more energy than me please check it out.

What I mean is the stats will definately show a difference between no Curtis, no-hit Curtis, one-hit Curtis, and multi-hit Curtis. I just don’t have the time and energy to get the data together.

Carlos has soft hands and could play SS! OMG! Isn’t that where we started from? How will running in Left field save his knees. I am sure J Leyland is thinking that frees up the infield to add Ramone, or Ryan .. obviously he is seeing that Brandon can save runs by good Defense…. But isn’t all this something that should have been done in Spring training?
As I recall, they would send half team on bus to one grapefruit game, and other half stayed in Lakeland and played there?
One problem with all these old veterans. Yes they have world series experience, but getting there is a dilemma. Sure they can handle pressure.. but looking at them in rose colored glasses, won’t bring back their shine to a decade ago when they were star athletes. Thats why other clubs let them go to D D!

I’m giving Leyland credit for at least trying something. I agree that moving Carlos to LF is a “weird” decision, but at this point – what the hell are we suppose to do??

I also agree that some of these things should have gotten sorted out in spring training. What a mess!! However, JL does say in the article that “will he play in Left…. I don’t know!” Maybe this is his way of telling guys on the team (including Cabrera who was moved down to the 6th spot) that I’m going to do anything… anything!! to get us rolling again and if that means sitting veterans, shuffling them to different positions and places in the batting order they better be ready for it. I see it as way for Leyland to earn the respect of his players and to vocalize the dire need for them to start winning and winning now or they can kiss any chance at a good season goodbye.

It wouldn’t surprise me if JL is using a veteran like Guillen to send this message. I find it surprising that Carlos is not complaining at all about this (remember how he was moving from SS to 1st)…interesting?! I don’t know.

Before I venture into the ever changing world of Ley-Land, there is something I wanted to do last night but it was too late.
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The comments on Ordonez swinging at the first pitch got me curious, so I did something out of character: I went to baseball-reference.com and looked up stats. I wanted to see if it helps him, hinders him, or what. I had no pre-conceived notions going in.
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Maggs has 227 plate appearances this season and has put the ball into play on the first pitch 43 times, or 19%, and it is indeed his most swung at pitch in this category. His batting average here is .349 and slugging pct is .465. OPS .814. Taking it a step further, he hits .378, .671, 1.135 with a 1-0 count. If he takes a strike and goes 0-1, these number become .256, .423, .756.
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Going back to 2007 for comparison, he put the first pitch into play 17% of the time, again the most, hitting .496, .835, 1.326.
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What does it all mean? I have no idea. I’ve only succeeded in boring my own self with stats. :-) Here’s the link if anyone wants to delve further.
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http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/bsplit.cgi?n1=ordonma01&year=2007#situa-count
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–Rich

Guillen will not be playing shortstop unless it’s a late-game switch after the Tigers have to pinch-hit some guys. Leyland said that after the game, but I didn’t include it in the story. After for why this all wasn’t done in spring training, well, teams don’t do this kind of stuff at 31-23 instead of 23-31. And as I’ve said before, the Tigers were confident — overly so — that they’d be able to trade Inge for a package they liked.

“We need our offense to compensate for other shortcomings,” Leyland said. “You can live with an error here or an error there (that way).”

If this quote, taken out of context, is his take on the issue, he and I have widely different philosophies on baseball. I’m sure that would break his heart to know that. :-)
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Okay, joking aside. In actuality, he is saying, both in words and actions, that he needs more defense available. He’s said he needs more of Inge at third. That would put us on the same page, so I have no problem with trying whatever it takes to obtain that goal. The Guillen to leftfield thing does strike one as a strange move, I agree. Since it’s Carlos yet again, I don’t know if this is more Herb Brooks/Mike Eruzione or not. It seems that the simplest thing would be to make Guillen the permanent DH, but I think JL is going for more flexibility than that. He has to consider the return of Sheffield for one thing. Despite all the dire warnings coming from TigerLand that Sheff is through, there’s no real evidence of that yet, and it’s too early to give up on a guy who may yet help the ballclub. Another consideration is what to do with Larish, if Jeff were to actually pan out this year at this level. I think he’s a year or so away, but that’s just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
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My overall take on this subject is, let’s wait and see if this actually happens. I will say I spent a week in spring training and saw pretty much what we’ve seen in the regular season. Perhaps there could have been a little more pro-active thinking down there, I don’t know. Maybe we expect too much of management, thinking them to be all knowing seers.
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On the other one, everybody has to be somewhere, and Willis is no exception. I assume the piggyback idea is for one start only, but it does come close to what some of us have advocated. The difference is that we chose Nate Robertson to ride the piggy. My opinion is that, within a very few years, no starters will go more than four innings, anywhere.
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I think it’s good that JL is trying to do some things differently. The parts haven’t fit together, and calling up Larish made it even more complicated. Then again, someone has to take that roster spot, and hopefully Jeff will show something. Myself, I’d prefer using the existing roster differently, rather than calling players up. I’m still hoping for Santiago, of course.
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I hope this incessant rambling has made some sense.
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–Rich

Give JL a lot of credit here.. he is doing some of the stuff we wanted.. some other things that are out of this box and some things that sound bush. The point is, HE IS TRYING AND NOT JUST SITTING THERE ANYMORE.

What we have to realize is that it’s easy for us to say stuff.. and it’s a whole diff ballgame if we were actually managing .. we can throw out 15 ideas that we ourselves might not do, if we were JL’s shoes. I didn’t like it that he let the players off the hook .. didn’t prepare in spring .. and cut everyone, esp sheff , too much slack.

Now he is putting on the hit and run.. mixing stuff up during the game, changing lineups .. etc.. and he is right bout willis .. he is an investment and we can’t let him rot….

Anyone notice that since Galaragga started pitching good, our other starters were still shaky .. but once willis was added to the active roster, other starters are pitching better and going longer .. ? They figured that one of them might get the axe :)

He has finally lit a fire under all the players. And it’s easy to be a monday morning quarterback .. All the moves he made last night worked.. Dolsi, Miner .. etc .. and he didn’t leave anyone in there for too long either… So I give him credit for last night’s win .. Pitching and defensive subs ..

This is good news regarding Guillen practicing in LF and Galarraga not being shipped back to the minors. The Tigers contacting other major league teams about a left-hander SP about to become available indicates Armando will be back to starting games shortly.

Guillen may turn out pretty good in LF. I only question his arm strength out there. The rest he should handle pretty well – with enough reps.

Where was it reported that Tigers are shoppingf a LH Pitcher ? … So i guess it’s most likely Nate? .. don’t think they would have given up on willis already .. and Kenny probably wants to stay here … but it’s all guesswork ..

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