I don't know if Carlos Guillen is in the best shape of his life, but I do know the reports out of Lakeland sound pretty positive so far. Jim Leyland is so tickled he's pinching himself, Lynn Henning wrote in the Detroit News.
I don't want to get crazy, but he has really looked good. ...
"I don't want to get too carried away, but I've got my fingers crossed.
"He looks good — really good."
Guillen, by the way, will bat sixth Leyland told the media. That means batting behind Miguel Cabrera would be a pair of switch-hitters.Some nice flexibility there, and the added bonus of pushing Jhonny Peralta, Brandon Inge and Alex Avila to the final three spots in the batting order.
I view the latest Guillen news as a cautious positive. As much as I like what Will Rhymes and Scott Sizemore have the potential to bring to the team, Guillen adds a bit more as the starting second baseman than either of those players. As a second baseman, he's a fairly good hitter. Over the past two years, his on-base percentage was .333 and slugging average was .419. However, you always worry that he might try to come back too soon, and that he's always a misstep away from hitting the disabled list. Nothing you can do about those worries, I guess.
The important thing to remember is that the Tigers do have a good competition with the jack-of-all-trades Scott Sizemore, the left-handed hitting Will Rhymes and the slick-fielding Danny Worth. If Guillen gets back to playing second base, that's lovely. If he doesn't, Detroit will plug in the player whose skill set best fits their needs.