Team 1270 is reporting that Chris Shelton and Carlos Pena are trading places. Given Pena’s struggles (181/307/287) this season, this move had to be made. Shelton has been tearing up the International League (331/417/569) and the big question remains his glove. However, in the New York series it appeared that Pena’s offensive struggles may have been getting to him in the field as well.
I’m curious to see if the other Carlos’ – Carlos Guillen – injury situation influenced this move. The Tigers want to keep Guillen’s bat in the lineup so they have been DH’ing him. It only makes sense to have Shelton up here if he will get regular at-bats and the Tigers want to keep Dmitri Young in the lineup as well. If Guillen is DH’ing, that means one of the other two guys is playing first base with one guy on the bench. It seems to me that the Tigers don’t forsee Guillen DH’ing much in the near future which means either (a) with the warm weather his knee will be bothering him less, or (b) he’s in a lot of pain and won’t be playing at all for a week or so.
As for Pena, a minor league stint with regular at-bats should be more beneficial to him than getting spot duty on the major league roster. He’s a better hitter than he’s shown this year and at AAA he’ll get a chance to put things together.