Carlos Guillen back from disabled list and moving to second base

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Carlos Guillen is back from the disabled list after going 6-for-18 (.333) with one homer and three doubles during a five-game rehab assignment at Triple-A.
Guillen hit .311 with an .834 OPS before landing on the DL with a strained hamstring on April 23, so the Tigers’ lineup will get a nice boost from his bat. His impact defensively could be another story, as Guillen is slated to be the primary second baseman despite not playing the position regularly since way back in … well, actually he’s never been a regular second baseman, starting just 12 games there during his 13-year career.
In fact, Guillen hasn’t played a single inning at second base since he was a 23-year-old rookie in 1999. Guillen does have tons of experience at shortstop and third base, but hasn’t played either position since 2008 and is now a 34-year-old with leg problems.
However, with Brennan Boesch playing too well to bench in left field and Opening Day second baseman Scott Sizemore demoted to Triple-A, the Tigers are willing to take a chance on his defense being palatable enough to live with in the short term.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.