The Detroit Tigers announced a couple of moves today involving injured players. First, as you’ve probably already heard, right hander Al Alburquerque was shelved with a sore right elbow. This comes a couple days after a 42-pitch outing versus the Mets that was no only his longest (in terms of pitches) but also his least effective of the year.
The injury is considered minor and with the all-star break just around the corner, disabling him now paves the way for a return to the Tigers when second-half action begins. Right hander Lester Oliveros was recalled to take his place on the roster. As for his place as the seventh-inning man, the Tigers will likely look to recently displaced starter Phil Coke to fill that void.
The second move was to transfer the injury rehabilitation assignment of infielder Carlos Guillen from Lakeland to Toledo. In four games with the Advanced-A Flying Tigers, Guillen collected two doubles and two RBI while going 3-for-15.
Moving Guillen up to Toledo is a clear sign that he is progressing well and as much as you never want to put too much faith in a player as seemingly frail as Guillen is, any contribution from him with the big club will be a huge upgrade from the performance of the Tigers second basemen thus far.
Yesterday, Jon Paul Morosi reported that Guillen plans to return to the Tigers after the all-star break and that would fit in nicely with the 20-day limit (for position players) placed on rehab assignments by MLB and the Player’s Union.
I don’t want to allow myself to think too far ahead, especially given that Guillen might suffer some sort of set back (or new injury) at any time, but if the Tigers can slog through the next ten games without Guillen and Alburquerque, they could emerge as a much stronger club in the second half.
Now, to address that starting rotation…