November 10th, 2008

Galarraga places fifth in AL rookie balloting

While Evan Longoria was a runaway winner and Alexei Ramirez placed second, Galarraga actually received more third-place vote — nine out of a possible 28 from the BBWAA voters — than anyone else. However, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Aviles received a few second-place votes, enough to place third and fourth respectively.

Still, not bad for Galarraga, who wasn’t expected to get much time in the Majors in the first place.

Guillen hoping to play winter ball?

A story out of the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal quotes Carlos Guillen as hoping to play in the Venezuelan Winter League in order to help him get ready for both his new position in left field with the Tigers and for the World Baseball Classic, wherever he plays for Venezuela. Guillen said it will depend on whether the Tigers give him the go-ahead to play, but that his back feels fine and that he’s physically able to play, which he had also told last week.

If Guillen does play, the report says, it’ll be in mid to late December. He would play for Magallanes, the same club for which his good friend Freddy Garcia is expected to pitch.

Guillen is also helping to put together a charity softball game for next week in his hometown of Maracay. Fellow Tigers Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera are expected to take part, and Placido Polanco and Edgar Renteria could do the same.

UPDATE @ 5:45pm: Team president/GM Dave Dombrowski said they’ve heard the rumor about Guillen and winter ball in the Venezuelan papers this offseason, but that they have not had any discussions with Guillen about it. Dombrowski confirmed that Guillen would need the go-ahead from the Tigers to play. Keep in mind that the Dominican and Venezuelan players receive a lot of pressure back home to play winter ball, and that can prompt some of the stories.