Guillen seeing more time in left field
Tigers slugger remains precluded from batting righty
DETROIT -- Carlos Guillen might still be a ways away from becoming a switch-hitter again, but he is back as the Tigers' left fielder. The way Detroit's roster shakes out, he could be there pretty regularly.
After manager Jim Leyland debated whether to put Aubrey Huff in left field and Carlos Guillen back at designated hitter, he stuck with Guillen in the field Wednesday night against the Mariners. It was Guillen's second straight game in left field after he made 19 of his first 21 starts since coming off the disabled list at either DH or first base.
If Huff weren't a Tiger now, Leyland said, he might not have moved Guillen out of the DH slot, at least not yet. But the Huff trade has been a good impetus.
"It's been different," Guillen said after Wednesday's game. "It [had] been a long time since I played left field. I feel pretty good."
Guillen said his arm has been improving, and he had a chance to show it off Wednesday when Michael Saunders rounded third on Josh Wilson's fifth-inning single. Saunders beat the throw home, but it was a relatively strong throw on target to the plate.
"I have to make the best throw I can make," Guillen said.
His best throw so far is better than he has been progressing as far as batting right-handed. He said Tuesday he hadn't been swinging from the right side for the past five days, and he doesn't sound optimistic about batting right-handed soon.
That likely will leave Guillen out of the lineup for the next couple days with back-to-back left-handers coming up -- Seattle's Ryan Rowland-Smith on Thursday, then Gio Gonzalez for Oakland on Friday night. Guillen has batted left-handed against lefty pitchers a couple times since coming back, but that doesn't mean he's comfortable doing it.
"You're never going to be comfortable facing a lefty [and batting lefty]," Guillen said. "Maybe you get confident."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.