Leyland: Guillen in mix at second base

The Tigers haven’t quite come up with a set definition of Carlos Guillen’s role so far this offseason, partly because of the injury concerns coming off knee surgery. It becomes a bigger issue now that Victor Martinez will be getting the bulk of the at-bats at DH.
On Tuesday, however, manager Jim Leyland confirmed what many have suspected for a while: If Guillen is healthy, he’s going to be in the mix at second base.
“Nobody’s talking about Carlos Guillen,” Leyland said on the Tiger Talk radio show Tuesday night. “I think that’s a big key. I said that last year. If you get Carlos Guillen close to what he was, particularly offensive, he can be a big key at that position. He’s going to be involved in that mix for sure.
Leyland was the guest on the season premiere of the Tiger Talk show Tuesday night. You can grab the link to the show archive here or listen live to the weekly program. 
Leyland talked with Tigers radio voice Dan Dickerson and Pat Caputo about the Tigers offseason so far, but some of his best remarks were about current players and where they fit in. That includes Guillen, whose season-ending knee injury from a Brett Gardner slide in August put his role in question, mainly with the question of whether he’ll be ready for the start of next season. That’s looking a little more likely now.
At season’s end, Leyland and team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski raised the idea of Guillen rotating positions next season, getting at-bats around the infield and maybe one of the corner outfield spots. But it was clear that as long as Guillen’s health was a question mark, the Tigers had to look at their options at second base.
They still have those options — Scott Sizemore and Will Rhymes are heading into their sophomore seasons, while Danny Worth is expected back from his foot issues — but they also have Guillen.
“Danny Worth is the best defender of that group,” Leyland said. “Rhymes showed us a spark. Sizemore looked much better when he came back. and like I said, Carlos Guillen is still a wild card.”

11 Comments

I love carlos guillen, and in particular i think he is one of the more clutch bats we have. HOWEVER, i think wishing him to play 100 games at 2nd is like wishing inge to hit 30hrs this year or zumaya to pitch 80 innings this year. So….yeah, of course we hope that….thanks jim! But I think Scotty and Will are great young kids and 1 or both of them will perform well this year at the MLB level.

Sounds like the club is taking the right approach re Guillen. Whenever he’s healthy, great addition. Leyland terms him a wild card and I think of him as a bonus we could receive. Same thing. The important thing is that we have three guys who got their feet wet last year and the loss of Carlos wouldn’t be a major disaster. That said, here’s hoping for health and prosperity for Guillen. If he’s in the lineup and doing what he can do, we become downright scary. This is a legitimate “hope and dream” being handled the right way.
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I read rumors that Crawford wants eight years and Werth wants six. There’s no way I do either one of those contracts. The Tulowitzski contract was for a 26-year old and it was still kind of crazy. I’d rather trade for someone than to get locked into long term deals with guys in their 30s. But again, just rumors.
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I can see Bonderman coming to ST and being next year’s version of Dontrelle Willis, with a bunch of people rooting him on all through March. Bondo might gain some new fans.
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–Rich

Same here, Rich. Leland said all the right things. Hopefully, Carlos can remain healthy. He’s not the best at 2nd, but he can still hit. Glad to hear him mention Worth’s glove.

I don’t know about giving Crawford 8 years, but I’d definitely give him alot.

Haven’t posted in a while. I have been reading all comments, especially those abut Crawford. My one comment is that when I think of 29 year old Crawford, I see 34 year old knees because of the fake field. Anything above three years will be bad for the team who lands him.
Greg

I can also live with Ryan Raburn (Rugburn).

Unrelated, but anyone notice how much the NL East loves ex-Detroit players?
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The Marlins have dealt with the Tigers several times over the past few years.
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The Phillies have gotten Durbin, Polanco and now Bonine.
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The Braves grabbed Wilkin Ramirez, Brent Clevlen, plus the trade for Jurrjens and Hernandez a few years ago and now they sign Sborz – poor guy will have one of the worst Tiger careers in history…

Hey Greg,
Good to hear from you. I agree with saying no to any long term contract like over 5 years. They are all getting crazy money anyway. Except Kaline :) Guillen is my wife’s Tiger so I hope he can contribute. Forget Weryth and Crawford, I would rather have a starting pitcher. Also, Maggs, we want you back! –Dave

Your so right Dave!!! MAGGS, WE WANT YOU BACK!!!!

Your right, Magg’s, we want you back!!!

I like Guillen, but I dont think he should be playing primarily at 2B. I like him at DH when Martinez is Catching, and then an occasional game at 3B,2B or OF. I think if Guillen gets to play 3 or 4 games a week, that is about right.

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