Guillen could be in LF by week's end
Carlos Guillen still isn’t close to switch-hitting again, but he’s getting pretty close to switching from designated hitter to the Tigers’ left fielder.
A day after Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Guillen felt like he was “about ready to go out in left field,” Guillen said he thinks he can be out there by the end of the week, a move that would give the Tigers a chance at more flexibility.
The encouragement for Guillen comes from feeling a lot more flexibility in his throwing shoulder, which had kept him out with inflammation since early May until he come off the disabled list little more than a week ago.
Throwing drills, Guillen said, are going well.
“I feel a lot better throwing,” he said.
As for switch-hitting, he can swing a bat right-handed and feel fine, but he hasn’t yet progressed to hitting pitches from the right side.
It’s a twist compared with the expectation from a week ago that Guillen would switch-hit before he plays in the field, but the Tigers will take it. They lost a left-handed hitter in Josh Anderson when they made room for Guillen on the roster July 24, leaving Clete Thomas as the only left-handed bat as a corner outfielder. For the most part, Marcus Thames and Ryan Raburn have been platooning in left.
Whether that might prompt the Tigers to resume their pursuit another hitter on the trade market could be an interesting side effect. President/general manager Dave Dombrowski said they primarily focused on corner outfielders as far as bats go leading up to the trade deadline because they weren’t sure when Guillen could come back.
Players have to clear waivers before they’re traded now, but by freeing up the DH slot on more days, that opens up the field of hitters from which the Tigers could look.