Leyland: Guillen won't start against lefties
Tigers left fielder Carlos Guillen took more right-handed swings during pregame batting practice Friday at the Metrodome, but manager Jim Leyland indicated it isn’t going to earn him a place in Detroit’s starting lineup against left-handed pitchers.
Guillen, a switch-hitter whose injured right shoulder limited him to swinging left-handed since coming off the disabled list July 24, surprised many when he batted right-handed Thursday afternoon against Royals lefty Bruce Chen, who had just relieved right-handed starter Zack Greinke. Guillen fouled out to first, but said he felt comfortable swinging and could do it every day.
Leyland did not start Guillen Friday against Twins left-hander Brian Duensing, and said he won’t start Guillen against any left-hander.
“That sounds good in the newspaper: ‘I can hit left-handers,’” Leyland said. “Does that mean I’m supposed to play him against left-handers? He’s had one [right-handed] at-bat in three months against a left-hander, and now I’m supposed to play him [against lefties] down the stretch? No, that’s not going to happen. … He will not start against left-handed pitching.”
What might happen, Leyland said, is that he stays in the lineup when a left-handed reliever comes in.