May 5th, 2009
First off, the roster moves: Carlos Guillen is placed on the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation. Lefty Clay Rapada has been optioned back to Triple-A Toledo. Clete Thomas and Jeff Larish are recalled from Toledo.
Then there’s the lineup. With Guillen out and Magglio Ordonez struggling for extra-base hits, manager Jim Leyland shuffled his lineup a lot. Curtis Granderson will bat 5th behind Cabrera, with Ordonez batting 6th. Josh Anderson moves into the leadoff spot for tonight, with Thomas batting 3rd.
- Anderson, LF
- Polanco, 2B
- Thomas, RF
- Cabrera, 1B
- Granderson, CF
- Ordonez, DH
- Inge, 3B
- Laird, C
- Santiago, SS
While the Tigers certainly have plenty of examples of a newly-struggling offense, Carlos Guillen has seemingly been slumping nearly all season. Even after ending an 0-for-12 slump with a second-inning single, he struck out twice on the night for a 1-for-4 outing that merely raised his average to .200.
His sore right Achilles tendon raised questions whether he was hobbled at the plate, but Guillen says it doesn’t bother him when he’s batting. At this point, he said, it’s getting better, including in the field. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t battling injury.
Guillen said after Monday’s game that he’s been fighting a sore
left right shoulder that has lingered for a few weeks. He said he hurt it crashing into the left-field fence at Seattle’s Safeco Field during a game in mid-April. He hasn’t had it examined yet, but said he will “soon” if it continues to trouble him.
“It’s a little sore, tight,” Guillen said.
The problem, looking at the roster, is that the Tigers don’t have much roster flexibility if Leyland or the medical staff eventually need to rest him a few days. Josh Anderson could slot into left field fine, especially now that the Tigers will face some right-handed starters. But with an eight-man bullpen likely to stick for at least the next week, sitting Guillen would leave Detroit with just two available players on the bench, one of them backup catcher Dane Sardinha.
If Guillen did need to rest more than a few games, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Tigers in a roster squeeze, possibly forced to either put Guillen on the disabled list for roster flexibility or to go to seven relievers and call up another position player. It would give the Tigers the extra bat, but it would also allow them to bring up another bat from Triple-A Toledo to plug into the lineup that might give a spark.