During a stop in Toledo before the Tigers officially set out on their caravans, manager Jim Leyland confirmed what many of us expected. Carlos Guillen will probably not be ready to start the season with the Tigers.
MLB.com's Jason Beck jotted down a few notes from the stop on his blog:
That doesn't mean he doubts Guillen is going to be healthy. But Leyland doesn't expect Guillen far enough long in Spring Training to open the season at second base. "We're hoping he's going to be part of the mix at second. He could be a big key for us. He won't be until he's ready to play, obviously. But out of all the positions, that's one where we're pretty comfortable because we're pretty solid. I mean, we've got some choices -- Rhymes, Worth, Sizemore, Santiago. Raburn could play second if he had to. We're pretty deep there, really."
I followed up with some folks after Leyland's remarks, and the impression I get is that nothing has changed in Guillen's status since last month, when Tigers people sounded more optimistic.
I know some have wanted to debate on the topic, but it actually is a good thing to have Guillen in the lineup when he's healthy. Whether he should be in the lineup as the second baseman -- maybe, maybe not. Guillen didn't forget how to hit the ball. He's just an injury risk. So giving him the time to recover fully and contribute his best effort is a pretty obvious decision by the Tigers.
By the way, if you're keeping track of such things, the Twins re-signed Carl Pavano to a two-year deal worth about $16.5 million.