July 17th, 2009

Guillen could be Tigers' bat addition

While the Tigers continue to search for a spark to their offense,
including on the trade market, their best option could still be a
healthy Carlos Guillen. He’s going through the process of regaining his
timing at the plate in his rehab assignment at Class A Lakeland,
doubling and walking Thursday, as he nears an end to his nearly
two-month stint on the disabled list with inflammation in his right
shoulder.

A two-week rehab assignment would bring back Guillen
around July 27. Guillen is hoping to return sooner than that, giving
the Tigers the end of next week’s homestand plus a three-game series
against the Rangers to evaluate him and how much he can contribute
before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. If he can regain his
hitting form from 2006-08, he adds quite a bit, possibly more than any
hitter on the trading block. If he simply continues his hitting
struggles from April and May, the Tigers still have problems.

That’s
the risk the Tigers have to weigh. But with the trade market moving
slowly — president/general manager Dave Dombrowski continues to say
there aren’t many sellers right now — Detroit has time to wait and see.

“Guillen
could be our trade,” manager Jim Leyland said last week. “Guillen, if
he comes back, could be the bat we’re looking for. If it’s Carlos
Guillen, to me, that’s a nice bat to have.”

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