MINNEAPOLIS -- The Tigers still have no set timetable on left fielder Carlos Guillen to return from the disabled list, or even start a rehab assignment. Still, the fact that he accompanied the team on this week-long road trip should be taken as a positive sign.
It doesn't mean he'll be back in a Tigers uniform before they return home. He isn't even eligible to come off the DL until next Saturday. But it means that he can get enough productive work done with the Tigers athletic training staff that he was better off traveling than staying back in Detroit and working out with staff there.
Guillen worked out on the field and in the training room Monday afternoon with Tigers strength and conditioning coach Javair Gillett. He also began jogging, something he hasn't been able to do.
"The big thing is the same thing, every day, feeling better," Guillen said Monday night. "I think it's better because I worked out all day."
Guillen went on the 15-day DL a week and a half ago after stumbling and falling while rounding third base April 23 against the Angels. He was originally upbeat about his chances for a quick return, then realized it was going to be a process after his hamstring swelled up.
Rookie Brennan Boesch has hit well in Guillen's absence. His RBI double off the fence in straightaway center field Monday marked his ninth RBI in eight games this season, and his sixth extra-base hit out of nine total hits. However, the Tigers would like to have Guillen and his veteran switch-hitting bat back in the lineup behind cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera as soon as possible.
Cabrera up for Clutch Performer honors
MINNEAPOLIS -- Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera finished second in media voting for American League Player of the Month honors for April, but he has a chance to get some recognition for his early-season tear in fan balloting for the MLB Clutch Performer of the Month Presented by Pepsi.
Cabrera was named Tigers Player of the Month on Sunday. He batted .344 (33-for-96) with 16 runs scored, 11 doubles, five home runs and a Major League-best 25 RBIs over 24 games. All five of his home runs either put the Tigers in front or erased a deficit, including a pair of ninth-inning shots. That helped him win team honors over rookie Austin Jackson.
However, the AL Player of the Month award went to Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, whose .400 average topped the Majors to go with eight home runs, 18 RBIs and 21 runs scored.
Cabrera is among six nominees for the Clutch Performer award, selected by an editorial panel from MLB.com and voted on by fans through online balloting. Other candidates include Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, Florida's Jorge Cantu, Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez, Mets starter Mike Pelfrey and Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols.
Fans can cast their vote at pepsiclutch.mlb.com from now until 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 9. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 11.
Kaline to accept award on Harwell's behalf
MINNEAPOLIS -- Hall of Famer Al Kaline will accept the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting on behalf of play-by-play great Ernie Harwell in a ceremony Wednesday night in New York City.
The award, given by Fordham University's WFUV radio, is presented as part of the station's spring gala. Scully, a Fordham graduate and the longtime voice of the Dodgers, was the award's inaugural recipient in 2008, followed by current Padres broadcaster Dick Enberg last year.
Harwell was named as the award winner over the winter, but was not expected to attend. He was diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the bile duct last year and has been resting at home. Like Harwell, Kaline was a longtime Tigers broadcaster after his playing career before joining the Tigers front office as a special assistant in 2003.
"The players absolutely love him," Kaline said of Harwell in a statement. "When he was broadcasting and would come into the locker room before the game, the guys wouldn't head to the training room. They were hoping that he was coming to talk to them! Ernie was especially helpful to other aspiring broadcasters, whether in college or high school or just starting out. He was kind of like a 'big brother' to everyone."
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.