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Carlos Guillen Recalled to Detroit, But For What?

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The question of where in the Tigers' organization Carlos Guillen was seems to have been answered.

He wasn't in Lakeland (where he went 3-for-12 in five games). He wasn't in Toledo last night, though all indications were that he was to join the Mud Hens for the next stage of his rehab assignment. But Guillen may be in Detroit. Freep.com reported this afternoon that the Detroit Tigers recalled him from the minors. Yet he wasn't activated to the major league roster, which only raises more questions. So what's the story?

Guillen's rehab assignment appears to be on hold, and he was likely recalled so that he could get checked out, according to Jason Beck.

Reports over the weekend were that soreness had developed once again in Guillen's shoulder, making it difficult for him to throw and swing (especially from the right side). Between that, and the .250/.438/.333 batting line in Single-A, the Tigers probably weren't going to activate him until he got some at-bats in Triple-A.

As Beck points out, this doesn't mean that Guillen has suffered a serious setback in his recovery. But this isn't exactly encouraging news, either.

The timing of this might be fortuitous for the Tigers, as well. Now, instead of wondering whether or not they should pursue a trade for another hitter because Guillen could be back, they know that it's probably going to be a while before he can rejoin the team. At the very least, his rehab has been pushed closer to the trade deadline.

This also saves Detroit from making a tough roster decision. Who would've gone if and when Guillen was activated? Ryan Raburn is arguably playing well enough to be the full-time left fielder. Marcus Thames gives the lineup some of its only thunder. And though Josh Anderson hasn't played well recently, his speed can be a valuable weapon off the bench in late innings. For now, however, neither player has to get squeezed out.