Carlos Guillen makes return from microfracture surgery this afternoon

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As expected, the Tigers have activated Carlos Guillen from the 60-day disabled list. He’ll bat seventh and play second base this afternoon against the White Sox.

Guillen hasn’t played in the major leagues this season following microfracture surgery on his right knee last September. The 35-year-old batted .318 (12-for-38) with one home run and eight RBI over 12 games with Triple-A Toledo during his minor league rehab assignment.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told Chris Iott of MLive.com that he’s hoping Guillen can represent an upgrade offensively.

“We’re expecting him to play well for us and contribute offensively,” Dombrowski said. “It’s up to Jim (Leyland) when he plays him, of course, but we’re bringing him back to play second base the majority of the time.”

Tigers’ second basemen have combined to bat just .241/.301/.334 with six homers and a .635 OPS this season.

Guillen’s return actually works out quite nicely for the Tigers, who have a couple weeks to see whether he can actually handle playing second base on a regular basis. If not, they could eventually move him into a platoon with Brandon Inge at third and pick up a second baseman before the July 31 trade deadline.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.