July 8th, 2009

Guillen could start rehab stint this weekend

That long road back for Carlos Guillen and his right shoulder looks a lot shorter now. He’s currently on track to begin a Minor League rehab assignment this weekend, which would give him a good chance to rejoin the Tigers by the end of the month.

Guillen, on the 15-day disabled list for the past two months after lingering inflammation in his shoulder forced him out of action, has been taking batting practice with the team the past few days. Not only has he felt fine doing so, he has taken extra swings.

“He’s felt very strong,” manager Jim Leyland said. “He hit a lot.”

The Tigers haven’t specified yet where Guillen would rehab, mainly because they have to figure out how to manage his stint around the All-Star break in the various minor leagues next week.

Triple-A Toledo is at home through Sunday, including a Saturday doubleheader, but then doesn’t play again until next Thursday. Double-A Erie, by contrast, returns home Friday and plays through Monday before taking a two-day break. Class A West Michigan doesn’t have a break, but is on the road until next Wednesday.

Guillen could conceivably start out with the Mud Hens, then transfer to the SeaWolves for Monday.

Magglio to platoon with Thomas

Now we know where Clete Thomas’ playing time will come: It’ll be from what Magglio Ordonez had been getting. Magglio isn’t in the lineup today, and manager Jim Leyland said this afternoon that he’s going to platoon Thomas and Ordonez, with Thomas batting against right-handed starters and Ordonez facing lefties.

“I would definitely call it a platoon,” Leyland said. “I would not call it benched.”

Ordonez didn’t really want to call it much, saying it’s out of his control.

“I have to produce first,” he said.

TIGERS

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Cabrera, 1B
  4. Thames, DH
  5. Thomas, RF
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Anderson, LF
  8. Laird, C
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Luke French

ROYALS

  1. David DeJesus, LF
  2. Willie Bloomquist, SS
  3. Billy Butler, 1B
  4. Jose Guillen, RF
  5. Brayan Pena, DH
  6. Mark Teahen, 3B
  7. Miguel Olivo, C
  8. Alberto Callaspo, 2B
  9. Ryan Freel, CF

P: Zack Greinke

Inge takes lead in AL Final Vote

Brandon Inge has moved into the lead in the American League All-Star Final Vote. And the Tigers and Phillies have teamed up to help try to ensure he stays there.

With about 24 hours remaining for online balloting at MLB.com and tigers.com, Detroit’s standout third baseman has taken a slim advantage of nine percentage points over Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler, who led for the most of the first two days of balloting, and Angels third baseman Chone Figgins.

About 34.3 million total votes have been cast, pacing ahead of last year’s total.

Vote Bran-torino, say Tigers, Phillies

Ok, so a lot of Tigers fans are hitting the online vote over and over for Brandon Inge, but there’s the NL half of the Final Vote ballot that you have to fill out, too. What exactly do you put over there if you’re mainly trying to vote for Inge?

The Tigers and Phillies are asking you to vote for Shane Victorino, as long as you’re at it. And they’re offering up a bunch of Phillies votes for Inge in return.

In a ballot-sharing deal they’re calling Bran-torino, the two clubs announced today that they’re asking their fan bases on both sides to vote an Inge-Victorino ticket. Like Inge, Victorino is locked in a tight race for the NL vote, trying to overtake Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval for the lead.

To further help push the vote, both clubs are encouraging businesses in Michigan and Pennsylvania to allow their workers time to log into mlb.com and the respective team sites — in this case: tigers.com/vote and phillies.com, and vote for Inge and Victorino.

So if you were wondering who to vote for on the NL side, now you have an answer.

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