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Guillen staying healthy key to Tigers' run production

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It's been all downhill for Carlos Guillen the past few years. After a long climb that began last season, maybe he'll be back on top of his game finally.

Guillen (stats) peaked in 2006, when he played in all but nine games. He had a .920 on-base percentage plus slugging average (or .390 weighted on-base average if that's your style) to show for it. In 2007, he made it in 151 more games and continued to hit well (.859 OPS/.361 wOBA)

Since that time, it's been nothing but downhill for Guillen, as he's battled ache after pain after ache, culminating in a .727 OPS (.328 wOBA) across just 81 games last season.

Guillen told MLB.com's Jason Beck the key to his season is staying healthy. Actually, that's a big key for the Tigers' season, as they've had among the worst-hitting designated hitters in the league over the past two seasons. That and they seriously lack for consistent left-handed hitting in the middle of the lineup, and Guillen provides that.

If he's healthy.

"I'm 34 years old," he said. "Maybe I have a different vision of the game, a little more experience, than young guys. But I learned that sometimes you need to learn from those injuries. That's why I think I'm still in the game.

"I learned to play hard, but at the same time, you have to play smart."

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