With Brennan Boesch channeling Roy Hobbs, and fitting in with the Tigers like a 10 year vet, I honestly don't see the rookie getting sent down. He's forced the playing time issue by becoming the batting order protection Miguel Cabrera has needed since he arrived in Detroit.
Just how well is Boesch hitting? His 3 home runs and 17 RBI lead AL rookies...and he's only played in 17 games. Hell, he's even starting to play against left handed pitching, and play effectively.
So what should the Tigers do with the glass-bodied Carlos Guillen when he's healthy enough to return from the DL? Your guess is as good as mine, and the Tigers' brass are likely throwing ideas around like so much confetti, hoping to see what might stick.
Releasing Guilllen isn't an option. With the Tigers already eating almost all of Nate Robertson's deal, I don't see Mike Ilitch eating another. No man deserves that much indigestion.
Former Tigers beat writer and current Fox Sports pundit Jon Paul Morosi says the Tigers have something planned.
Before the Yankees series began, I believed it was possible the Tigers would send Boesch back to the minors when Carlos Guillen returned from the disabled list. Now, that looks doubtful. He has hit too well. One club source said the team will seek a "creative" solution to keep Boesch around once Guillen is back.
Guillen, on the DL with a strained left hamstring, might not be back until close to Memorial Day, anyhow. The team hasn’t made any plans to send him on a rehabilitation assignment.
So the plan is going to be a "creative" solution? If you have any suggestions as to how Jim Leyland can keep Boesch's hot bat in the lineup, yet keep Guillen relatively happy, I'm sure he's willing to listen.
Speaking of creative solutions...
Proving they're totally loopy over at Bleacher Report, a writer creatively suggests the Tigers should play Guillen at...2nd base?
Leave him (Boesch) to a corner outfield/DH tandem with Ordonez and Johnny Damon. Return Guillen from the disabled list and put him at second base.
Ship Sizemore off to the minors. I doubt anyone will miss him.
I'm sure this thought has been kicking around in manager Jim Leyland's head for over a week now.
Well, Sizemore's OBP is an unacceptable.296, and he's slugging an anemic .295, so....WHAT AM I THINKING?
The Tigers defense, to be blunt, sucks. It would be even worse, if that's even possible, with Guillen playing 2nd base. If this thought really is "kicking around" in Leyland's nicotine addled skull, someone needs to slap a little sense into the Tigers' skipper. The last couple of seasons Guillen played short, his defensive play was less than ideal, and I'm being very generous. Defensively, he has morphed from a middle infielder into a corner position player...and not a very good one at that.
6 weeks into the season is too early to call the Scott Sizemore experiment a failure. Even though he's had only 4 hits in May, he was holding his own at the plate till this past hitless week.
OK, Mr. Smarty Pants Blogger, if sending Sizemore down isn't a sensible solution, what should the Tigers do?
Off the top of my head...
- Say goodbye to Don Kelly to open a roster spot.
- Platoon the DH position.
- Rotate the left fielders.
It's pretty much the only solution. Leyland has been platooning fairly successfully this season, doing so regularly at short with Adam Everett and Ramon Santiago and at catcher with Gerald Laird and Alex Avila. Guillen isn't going to stay healthy playing full-time. Hurt feelings be damned, Guillen shouldn't be counted upon as a full time player at this point of his career.
Let's not forget Johnny Damon isn't exactly a youngster in left field. He's 36, with a wet noodle for an arm. It wouldn't hurt to watch his playing time as well. Between Boesch, Damon and Guillen, the Tigers have 3 players they could rotate thru both DH and left field. I really don't see anything else the Tigers could do, unless it involves a trade...which isn't going to happen.
The Boesch Bus isn't going anywhere.
Before we get too carried away riding on the Boesch Bus, John Sickels at SBNation's Minor League Ball harshes our collective mellow.
My feeling is that he will stay hot for awhile, but that pitchers will eventually exploit the holes in his swing detected by scouts.
Long-term, despite the fast start I still see Boesch as a .230-.250 hitter with a weak on-base percentage, albeit with enough power in his bat to be useful if deployed properly in a platoon role. He has a decent throwing arm and can swipe a base occasionally, but isn't going to keep himself employed with his defense alone. Tigers fans should enjoy the hot start while it lasts, but eventually Boesch will come to earth.
I realize Boesch isn't going to continue hitting over .360. (His stats, when projected over an entire season at Baseball-Reference.com, are absolutely insane) But he does give the Tigers a dimension they are sorely lacking this season, and pretty much every season in recent memory, big time power from the left side of the plate. Save for Cabrera, no one on the Tigers was a real threat to go deep...till Boesch arrived on the scene.
The Tigers haven't had a left handed power bat since their days at Tiger Stadium (Save for Bobby Higgenson's 30 homers in in 2000). The fact Boesch may be that long missing bat should, and will, keep him on the big league roster.