Friday, September 28, 2007

Guillen will be the First Baseman in 2008

According to Danny Knobler, Jim Leyland announced today that Carlos Guillen will be the Tigers first baseman in 2008. Guillen had already been playing quite a bit of first base this year (35 games) especially in the second half but it was not certain whether it was going to turn into a permanent role. He had a lot of problems defensively this year making 24 errors at shortstop and finishing in the bottom third of the majors in range metrics.

However, Guillen had said on a couple of occasions that he wanted to continue playing shortstop unless they got a really good replacement. He is still suggesting that the replacement will be a good one.
``I know they'll bring in a good (shortstop),'' Guillen said. ``I know it's going to be a good one. I don't know who it's going to be, but I know it's going to be a good one.''
Of course, it should be noted that Guillen said in the past that Cesar Izturis would be a good replacement. Who does Leyland think will play shortstop next year?
``I have no idea,'' Leyland said.
I'm torn as to whether or not I like this move. On one hand, Guillen's defense hurt them at an important position this year. On the other hand, he goes from being a great hitting shortstop to a pretty good hitting first basemen. It's generally easier to find a good hitting first baseman than a good hitting shortstop. I think I'll decide whether I think this is a good move after I learn who the new shortstop is going to be.

The move means that Sean Casey no longer has a starting job and likely won't be with the Tigers next year. He's a popular guy on the team and I can certainly see why but wasn't productive enough so it's no surprise that he probably won't be back. Casey is batting .297 but does not hit for any power at a position where you expect a lot of pop.

Along with a shortstop, I imagine that they'll be in the market for a left fielder and probably one who bats left handed. There will be a lot of speculation as to who they might pick up but I'm going to wait until I get a better idea of who might be available.


  1. Giants fan here. Leyland said he thought going after Bonds would be doubtful because he doesn't think the Tigers could count on getting enough outfield starts from Mags, Shef, and Bonds and thus there might not be enough DH PAs for the three. What are your thoughts?

    I am also curious if you think the Tigers have the Dollars to go after A-Rod for SS if he opts out from the Yankees?

  2. First, in regards to Bonds, Sheffield had an injured shoulder in the second half and he really struggled. He may or may not have surgery. He said there is a possibility he will retire. I doubt it but if his shoulder doesn't heal, I still think there is a possibility they might go after Bonds.

    I doubt the Tigers have the money to go after A-Rod but Tigers owner Mike Illitch has surprised me in the past so it's not totally out of the question.




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