March 18th, 2009

Guillen at 3B tonight for Venezuela

Remember when Carlos Guillen said a few weeks ago that he would only play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic if he was to play in left field? Well, his first game in the field in the Classic is apparently going to be at third base instead. With Melvin Mora injured, manager Luis Sojo talked to Guillen, who agreed to start at his old position.

“I talked to Carlos before the tournament,” Sojo told reporters a little while ago. “I don’t want any distraction. It’s a new position for him. And he said, ‘Luis, we came over here to win. If you want me to be DH, I’ll be happy to do so.’ Today we’ve got this situation with Melvin. He’s not going to start. We needed a third baseman. I talked to Carlos and he said, ‘I’m the guy.’

“That’s what you want to hear from your players, especially Carlos. He’s a very versatile guy. He plays so many different positions. If Melvin was playing today, there’s no doubt in my mind that Carlos would play left and Magglio would be the DH.”

It has been an evolving situation with Tigers players and the Classic. You might remember when Curtis Granderson was named to Team USA that the plan reportedly was to have him be part of an outfield rotation, one that changed as other players came on and off the roster. He has only started twice so far, but will start in center field tonight as an injury to Kevin Youkilis puts the American roster on shuffle again.

USA, Venezuela advance

Team USA's comeback in the bottom of the ninth Tuesday night pushed the Americans past Puerto Rico and into the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic. Venezuela already advanced the previous had advaced a night earlier.