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The Quentin thermometer starting to run hot

DETROIT -- The Carlos Quentin roller-coaster ride is on its way up again, as one of the streakiest players in baseball is starting to get it going in the second half.

Look at Quentin’s numbers at the end of each season and solid production is evident. Watch him through the year and you realize how much of that production is delivered in short bursts randomly sprinkled throughout the season.

“This guy can go out there and carry a ballclub,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “And all of a sudden for some reason, he gets lost.”

There were the seven RBIs Quentin recorded in the first two games of the season and the 10 over the first five games. Then came no RBIs over the next eight games and just one over the next 11. Twice in May, Quentin had a five RBI game to give him three of those on the season.

When he’s working through a hot streak, hitting coach Greg Walker has called Quentin one of the best hitters in the game.

It’s starting to look like Quentin is in the midst of one of those runs now after a cooling trend at the end of the first half and an appearance in the All-Star Game. He has three hits in each of the first two games of the first half as he looks selective at the plate.

“I’ve been around Carlos a few years ago and the problem he has is when he starts chasing bad pitches,” Guillen said. “He starts swinging at the first thing he sees around the plate or chasing bad pitches. That comes around for like a week. He tries to figure it out and then go back to what he is.”

As private as they come, Quentin has turned down enough interview requests that they hardly even come any more. Known to be miserable during his struggles to the point that it doesn’t appear as if he even enjoys the game, Quentin might never be able to shake that personality trait.

The entire package makes him hard for fans to embrace, but when he’s rolling he’s as beloved as anybody.

“Carlos is Carlos; he’s not going to change anything and I don’t expect him to change,” Guillen said. “Like I say, watch Carlos play. He reminds me of Paul Molitor and Robin Yount. Those guys go there and they are all business, kind of old school guys in the new baseball era. You see this guy slide into second base or go after balls, it’s fun to watch. I love it.”