The "Dear Jim Leyland" Chronicles, Pt. 1: Carlos Guillen

Dave HamptonCorrespondent IAugust 22, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 01:  Manager Jim Leyland of the Detroit Tigers looks on from the dugout before the Major League Baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum on July 1, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The "Dear Jim Leyland" Chronicles will be a recurring segment in which I question some of the decisions made by the skipper of the Detroit Tigers, Jim Leyland. After all, some of his choices leave us all scratching our heads, wondering just what was going through his nicotine-starved mind. Installment No. 1: Carlos Guillen.

As a sports writer and prognosticator, I have my moments when I make predictions that I wish would not come to fruition. 

This spring was a great example of that. During spring training, in one of my articles, I predicted that Carlos Guillen would not play 100 games this year. 

Boy, I hate it when I am right.

Dear Jim Leyland, get Carlos Guillen out of the outfield.

Guillen is frail. He has spent too much time the past few seasons on the disabled list. Do we really want or need to tempt fate by playing him in the field on a daily basis?

Really, is Carlos Guillen on the team for his defense? Not anymore, but if he currently was, it would be a fairly poor and pathetic excuse for defense. 

Since his return from the disabled list on July 24, Guillen is hitting .299 with five home runs and 15 runs batted in. He is providing for a sagging offense that is struggling to score runs.

Can the Tigers really afford to risk that production by playing him in the outfield? No, they need the production, and his defense stinks anyway. 

One of my fellow contributors, Matt Wallace, wrote a great article about the Tigers' outfield defense; you really should check it out. In it, he illustrates my point about how poor and porous the Tigers' outfield defense really is.

Solutions? Aubrey Huff. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Huff. While he has not played the outfield since 2006, he is still more than capable. Is he very good in the outfield? No, but he is about on par with Guillen.

How, then, is this a solution? Easy, he has one bright spot shining for him: He is able to stay on the field every year.

Have another cigarette, Jim. I'm sure we will be back next week.