Results tagged ‘ Carlos Guillen ’

Dombrowski: Ordonez, Guillen likely gone, iffy on Santiago

Lot of updates from president/GM Dave Dombrowski today in his talk with reporters. More in-depth stuff coming, but here’s the rundown …

  • Dombrowski said there won’t be a “real strong push” to bring a lot of their free agents back. Most likely, he said, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen are done as Tigers. “I would say in their case it’s highly unlikely they’re going to be back. In both cases,” said Dombrowski, who said he let both of them know that in the last month of the season.
  • Brad Penny also won’t be back. “With the young pitching we have coming, I would doubt we would re-sign him,” Dombrowski said.
  • Dombrowski wasn’t completely clear on the fifth starter situation. Ideally, he said, they’ll have a veteran as “protection” in case Jacob Turner or one of their other young guys aren’t ready. At another point, though, he said that if they sign a veteran for the job, Turner would start the season at Triple-A Toledo.
  • Here’s the main quote on the rotation: “The most likely scenario would be that those young guys come to camp with the four guys that are set and  compete for the fifth spot, and we have protection of a veteran type pitcher that can fill that if they’re not ready. But I also would say that, hey, if there’s some great starting pitcher that we really liked and was available for us, and we thought it was the type of move that made the most sense to get us better, would we be open to it? Yes. We like them all. We like every one of those pitchers. But can I tell you 100 percent that they’re ready? No. Now, can they be ready? Yes.”
  • Ramon Santiago is basically in a bad situation, at least as far as returning to Detroit goes. There’s mutual interest,  but Santiago wants a more regular role, and the Tigers don’t see him that way. “I think our feeling has been that we just don’t see him as the guy going out there and playing – we may be wrong – 150 games a year,” Dombrowski said. “We just don’t happen to see him as that guy, and we may be wrong. He’s done a very fine job for us and we like him a lot, but that’s not the role we see him in. If we thought he was our everyday second baseman, we’d go out and we’d make that move.”
  • This quote from Dombrowski on the market for free agents at second and third base is pretty telling: “I don’t think they’re real strong. And that’s why, too, not only free agents, you’d also have to talk about the possibility of trades, too.”
  • His evaluation on how slow this market will move compared with the way they took care of business quickly last year was also telling: “I don’t think we’re going to be rushing out like we did last year. We’re in a different situation than we were last year, where we identified a couple guys right off the bat in [Victor] Martinez and [Joaquin] Benoit. We’re still prepared; I don’t mean to say that we couldn’t make a move if the right move came about. But I wouldn’t think we would make a real quick move. I think we’ll take more time to go through it and let it work itself out.”
  • The Tigers are open to re-signing Joel Zumaya, but it would have to be a minor-league contract with a Spring Training invite. At this point, it sounds like the Tigers expect Zumaya to wait and see if another team offers him a Major League deal. “He’d like to come back, and we would like to have him back,” Dombrowski said.
  • While Dombrowski didn’t anoint Delmon Young as the starting left fielder, he said he looks at his outfield being Young alongside Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch. But he left open the possibility they could try to upgrade in left, and he acknowledged they have time before they have to decide whether to tender a contract to the arbitration-eligible Young.
  • Tigers will look at both free agents and trades to upgrade at second. They will look at possibilities at third as well. That said, Dombrowski left open the possibility they upgrade at one spot and platoon at the other. They could also go with grinders there. “You can never have enough good players,” Dombrowski said, “but you don’t want all star players. You want some of those gritty role-type players. Jim likes those on his club and is very successful at fitting them into his club.”
  • Dombrowski confirmed that the Tigers will look for a backup hitting catcher, preferably a right-handed hitter, to back up Alex Avila. The challenge, Dombrowski acknowledged, is convincing a good catcher to sign with a team where he isn’t likely to play very often. Even with a drop in playing time, Dombrowski said Avila could catch 120-125 games next year. He is an All-Star, after all.
  • The Tigers are open to possibly beefing up their bullpen with one more veteran, Dombrowski said, but he probably wouldn’t be a seventh- or eighth-inning setup guy. They like the core they have with Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque and Daniel Schlereth.
  • No chance of Phil Coke returning to the rotation.
  • Dombrowski basically threw down the challenge to Ryan Perry. ” He’s at the point where he needs to step it up for us,” Dombrowski said.
  • The door is open for the Tigers to add a leadoff hitter, but that isn’t a sure thing. “We need to get better offensive production out of Austin [Jackson],” Dombrowski said. “We think he’s capable of doing that. Will he be our leadoff hitter next season? We really can’t answer that question.”
  •  Chances of the Tigers shifting Jhonny Peralta to third base and pursuing Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins? Not likely. Peralta is sounding very likely to stick at short. “I would think so,” Dombrowski said. “Would I say 100 percent? No. Would I say most likely? Yes.”
  • Another factor seemingly working against a Reyes pursuit: The Tigers have their quota of $20 million players for the foreseeable future. “I would think so,” Dombrowski said.
  • The entire coaching staff will be back for next season, Dombrowski announced, unless somebody gets hired for a managerial job elsewhere. Dombrowski said he has not received any calls so far asking permission to talk with McClendon for such a job, but he would have no problem granting permission.

Updating the potential roster picture: Friday

What ended up being a regrettable finale for Jacob Turner ended up being a good day for helping the Tigers sort out their bullpen. Al Alburquerque got the inning he needed, and while he wasn’t as sharp as he’ll need to be come postseason play in a week, he was healthy. He’ll sit on Friday, then Jim Leyland hopes to test him with an inning each on Saturday and Sunday.

Assuming Alburquerque gets through that, I’d say he’s pretty much a lock for the postseason roster, leaving Leyland and the Tigers with one less bullpen decision. If you count the guys who are good to go (Valverde, Benoit, Schlereth, Coke, Alburquerque if he’s healthy), it could leave with maybe only one or two.

“I don’t think there’s any secret we’re looking,” Leyland said. “That’s as simple as it is. There’s no sense in trying to hide that from the players. There’s no sense in trying to hide that from the media, the fans. At some point, we’re going to have to decide on a roster.”

Some of that could depend on who the Tigers face. A meeting with the Yankees or Red Sox could place a premium on lefty relievers for a pitching staff that doesn’t have a lefty starter. Granted, the Tigers like some of their righties against left-handed hitters, especially Benoit and Alburquerque, but that doesn’t mean they’ll try to leverage that strength rather than play an opponent’s weakness.

Duane Below isn’t a lefty reliever by the stereotype, but he’s a lefty. And while lefties have hit him a little bit harder, his strikeout-to-walk ratio against them in his limited time is much stronger. It’s that skill that would be a stronger ticket onto the postseason roster than long relief, which becomes less of a necessity in a short series but still potentially useful for damage control later in the series. If the Tigers have to reliever Justin Verlander or Doug Fister early in one of the first two games, they have much deeper trouble than long relief.

That same issue seemingly doesn’t play in Pauley’s favor, being right-hander. But while he took the loss, Leyland said he looked better.

“In fairness to him, he really hasn’t gotten to pitch a whole lot since he’s been here,” Leyland said. “So we’re trying to get him some work as well.”

Perry, Leyland said, looked better as well. He’s had more good outings lately, Leyland said, than subpar ones.

“But he still needs a little more consistency,” Leyland said.

For a postseason pitching staff, if the decision’s on talent, there’s a spot for Perry, the former first-round pick with a penchant for quick, solid innings. But he might help his case just as much of he can avoid breakdowns like he had in Oakland, though that one admittedly came the afternoon after the Tigers’ division celebration.

The Tigers still need to know more on Wilson Betemit and Carlos Guillen before they can make decisions on the positional roster. If Betemit’s fine, their decisions whittle down tremendously. Guillen said he isn’t sure about his readiness for the postseason in a week. He can neither run nor swing a bat yet, and his Thursday work was limited to therapy.

Betemit, meanwhile, has hopes of playing Friday. Assuming he’s ready for the postseason, he slots in well as part of a third-base mix with Brandon Inge. Right field could be a three-man mix with Magglio Ordonez, Don Kelly and Andy Dirks. Yes, Dirks and Kelly both bat left-handed, but if the Tigers choose to keep Dirks, that could free up Kelly for a late-inning role in the outfield or third base. Dirks also brings some speed to him.

Add the Santiago/Raburn mix at second, and if the Tigers keep Dirks, they’re left with one more position spot, and a few different ways they can go.

- They could protect themselves at catcher by keeping Omir Santos. Yes, they have the option of making a roster move mid-series if Alex Avila were to be injured. But if they did that, by rule, he would have to miss the next round. That’s a huge conundrum if Avila were to have a day-to-day injury. Leyland said Thursday he can catch Martinez if he wanted, surprising all of us. But the fact remains that he hasn’t, not even for an inning in a blowout.

- They could go with another runner with Will Rhymes, and a batter who can lay down a bunt in a key situation. That might make better sense in the later rounds than it does now, but it’s still possible.

- They could add Guillen if he’s healthy. That’s sounding like a big if right now.

- They could add Danny Worth, but that would seemingly make more sense if Betemit or another infielder isn’t able to go.

Postseason roster, rotation getting a few hints

Jim Leyland isn’t close to determining his postseason roster or rotation, he said Tuesday. But he laid a few hints towards the formation of it.

  • Jacob Turner will start Thursday’s series opener against Baltimore. Doug Fister will be pushed up tomorrow night to piggyback Max Scherzer’s start here in Kansas City. Leyland didn’t explain it, but he didn’t have to: Five days from Wednesday is next Monday, and five days from that is Saturday, the date for Game 2 of the AL Division Series. By moving up Fister, Leyland gives himself the option of starting Fister in Game 2 on regular rest.
  • Leyland said he’s “95 percent sure we will have an extra player, because we will have 11 pitchers.” The Tigers need just four starters for the postseason, not five. That spot that would normally go to a starter can go to either a reliever or a position player. Leyland all but confirmed it’s a position player.
  • Leyland said he doesn’t think Victor Martinez will catch a game again this regular season. Combine this bullet point with the one above, and Omir Santos’ chances of making the postseason roster as a backup catcher look better than they did last week.
  • No idea yet whether Carlos Guillen will be ready for the postseason. Guillen said today he’s feeling a little better, but it’s still very sore, and he still can’t so much as hit. He’s believed to be another candidate for that final spot, but Leyland confirmed that if Guillen can’t play in a regular season game the rest of the way, he won’t be on the Division Series roster.
  • Al Alburquerque is slated to pitch in relief tonight. If that goes all right, he should be good to go for the playoffs.
  • Leyland confirmed what he had already strongly suggested: Justin Verlander will be set up to pitch Game 1 and Game 5 in the Division Series.

First round of September call-ups arrives

With rosters now expanded, the Tigers made their first batch of September call-ups on Thursday. Most were already unexpected, some were not.

  • Carlos Guillen was activated from the 15-day disabled list. He wasn’t really a September call-up, but by waiting until Sept. 1 to activate him, the Tigers didn’t have to send down anyone. He isn’t in the starting lineup Thursday, but he likely will be on Friday. How second base goes from there is anyone’s guess.
  • Will Rhymes was recalled from Triple-A Toledo. Though the Tigers’ abundance of second baseman would seemingly make it hard for him to crack the starting lineup, Jim Leyland said he might play some at second.
  • Andy Dirks was recalled, as expected. His left-handed bat in the outfield becomes potentially big with Brennan Boesch still working his way back. Even after Boesch comes back, he’ll probably have a significant role.
  • Jacob Turner was recalled for his scheduled start this afternoon. After that, he’ll stay with team and keep his arm ready as a potential spot starter in case of a rainout or a scratch. Would not be a surprise at all to see him get another start this month, maybe even in the final week.
  • As the SeaWolves announced a couple days ago, Luis Marte’s contract was purchased from Double-A Erie. He adds some depth to the bullpen. By all reports, he has a nasty breaking ball, so it’ll be interesting to see if he gets called into some strikeout situations.

Guillen leaves rehab game with soreness

Tons of stuff going on tonight, including me flying out to LA for the upcoming series against the Angels. Catching up now while on wifi on the flight.

First, courtesy of John Wagner and his Coop Scoop blog for the Toledo Blade, comes an update on Carlos Guillen, who left Sunday night’s game for Triple-A Toledo after one at-bat. Doesn’t sound like a setback, but does sound like caution.

“He felt a little soreness, so we decided to take him out and nip it in the bud before anything worse happened,” Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said. “He’s going to go with us to Indianapolis, and I expect he will be in the lineup [Monday].”

Keep in mind that, barring some craziness (and haven’t we seen enough of that this week), Guillen will probably be rehabbing with the Hens up until the All-Star break in a week. So missing a game doesn’t exactly set him a back much, if it all. If he misses multiple games, it’s something else.

Guillen rehab transferred to Toledo

The Tigers officially announced Al Alburquerque’s DL assignment Friday afternoon, also with Lester Oliveros’ promotion from Triple-A Toledo, while also announcing the next step in Carlos Guillen’s rehab assignment. After four games at Class A Lakeland, Guillen is headed to Triple-A Toledo for what should be the final step in his road back.

Guillen batted 3-for-15 with two doubles and two RBIs with the Flying Tigers, splitting his time between second base and DH. Now that he’s back up to speed defensively, he’s expected to get the bulk of his time at second.

How much time Guillen will spend at Toledo is another question. His agent suggested to FOXSports.com that he could be ready coming out of the All-Star break. Considering both the Majors and Triple-A have their break at the same time, it would make sense.

Guillen to start rehab assignment at Lakeland

Just when you lose track of Carlos Guillen’s road back, he progresses to the point that he’s now headed out on rehab. He’ll start Monday at Class A Lakeland at designated hitter, then start progressing at second base by innings — five starting out, then increasing from there. The goal is to have him playing nine innings every time out by the end of the week.

“It’s very similar to what we’d be doing in spring training,” head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said. “Basically, you’re looking at a guy who hasn’t had a spring training.”

The reports on Guillen are more encouraging now then they were earlier. The back issues have cleared up, and the work he put in to strengthen his knee while he was sidelined with back issues have paid off.

“The next step is, he’s got to play,” Rand said.

Most likely, he’ll spend at least this week down at Lakeland, maybe longer, and progress to another level up the ladder to continue rehab. It will not be a short rehab stint, but I’m not sure how long they can make it. The fact that the All-Star break comes up in two weeks — not just in the Majors, but also the minor leagues — could serve as a big dividing point.

Guillen slowly progressing

Out of popular demand (in no small part on this blog), I checked around for an update on Carlos Guillen. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said today that Guillen is now back to running sprints and began hitting again this week. Unless something changes, he’ll resume more baseball-specific activities next week, including running bases.

Long story short: He still has some way to go before we can start talking about a rehab assignment, but he’s making progress in that direction.

Zumaya, Guillen formally ruled out for opener

Not breaking news by any stretch, long suspected, but now pretty much official: Joel Zumaya and Carlos Guillen will not be ready for Opening Day. Manager Jim Leyland made that announcement this morning.

Earlier Tuesday morning, Guillen confirmed his left knee has been sore for the past few days. It was better today, but still not completely clear. There was something going on in the back of his leg, he said, but it wasn’t the knee injury.

Zumaya said Tuesday morning that he’s feeling improvement in his elbow. Still, they’re most likely going to give him to full the full two weeks before trying to get him throwing again.

Both Zumaya and Guillen will stay back here after the Tigers head north. They’ll be part of extended Spring Training and open the season on the disabled list.

By stating the expected now rather than later, the Tigers not only end the speculation, they head off any risk of one of them trying to rush back to action and re-injuring himself. Neither of them sounded likely to rush, having been through enough injuries and re-injuries the last few years to know better.

Guillen has sore knee, comeback on hold

If it sounds like nothing new has come out on Carlos
Guillen’s comeback the last few days, there’s a reason: His surgically repaired
left knee is sore, which has put his work on hold. The knee has been sore the
last few days, according to manager Jim Leyland, and head athletic trainer
Kevin Rand said he’s getting treatment today.

You might remember Guillen saying Friday he’ll know by the
end of this week if he has a chance at making Opening Day. Leyland wasn’t
outright ruling it out yet, but he’s choosing his words carefully.

“I would say the clock’s ticking,” Leyland said
Monday morning.

First reaction would probably not be surprise, given his
injury history the last few days and the microfracture surgery he had last
September. But considering how well he was progressing for the first half of
camp, there were serious hopes he could be ready.

“There was one point where I thought he had a good
chance to be the Opening Day second baseman,” Leyland said.

Now, the second base competition pretty much has full
clearance to be a fight for the Opening Day spot. Will Rhymes starts against the
Nationals today; Scott Sizemore was on the trip to Sarasota to face the Orioles
yesterday. Danny Worth is also solidly in the mix.

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