Huh. Wow. Huh.
That was pretty much my reaction when I heard the news on my drive home from the game that Miguel Cabrera is the new first baseman and Carlos Guillen will be moving to third. Color me surprised.
According to Beck Guillen saw it coming and Cabrera is okay with switching positions.
Granted, Guillen had a bad first week of the season manning first base as his foot work kept brining him into the baseline. But since going to Boston it had appeared that the situation had been resolved for the most part. While Guillen was being taken out of games late it was usually for a pinch runner which I attributed to the hamstring problem, not as a defensive switch (though it certainly had that benefit when Inge came into play third).
What makes the move surprising is that
1. Guillen had all kinds of trouble fielding, transferring, and throwing the ball to first base last year. A move to third would seem to present many of the same issues.
2. The Tigers had to know that Miguel Cabrera wasn’t a good fielding third baseman both when they traded for him and when they signed him long term so they can’t have been surprised by what they saw this first month.
3. I’m not really sure that this solves any problems.
Since the Tigers are comfortable enough to rock the boat with Cabrera and Guillen, why not a platoon based on the handedness of the pitcher? Guillen gets third with a lefty on the mound and Cabrera gets it with a righty? At this point would it be that far fetched?