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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Tigers' Guillen heading for surgery?

Well, at least we have a pretty good explanation for Carlos Guillen's epic fail this season. As Jon Paul Morosi writes, Guillen's got a shoulder injury that might cost him the rest of this season ... Yesterday I ran across this discussion of players who will most help their teams when they come back from injuries. Well, Carlos Guillen is sort of the opposite; he sort of falls under the heading, "Players who their clubs will least miss if they don't come back" (Eric Chavez is among the others in that group).

That said, the Tigers do have a fairly gaping hole in left field. Thanks to Guillen and (mostly) Josh Anderson, Detroit's left fielders rank 13th in the American League in OPS. Anderson's really this bad, and it's not at all clear why the Tigers haven't already found someone better. Unfortunately, there's really nobody at hand who can help a great deal. They've got a bunch of guys who can play in left field, but somehow none of them can really hit. Anderson can't. Clete Thomas can't. Don Kelly can't. Ryan Raburn and Marcus Thames can both hit some, but both bat right-handed and neither's much good in the field (with Raburn the better fielder and Thames the better hitter).

Hence, the talk about trading for a "power bat" (though really any sort of bat would do). For now, the Tigers just have to 1) hope that right fielder Magglio Ordonez starts hitting, and 2) cobble together some sort of semi-effective platoon situation in left field. The AL Central is ripe for the plucking. The club won't really miss Guillen. But maybe his longterm absence will spur a necessary action.