Winning by a wide margin is less stressful than watching the latest closer attempt a save. But the entertainment value can suffer. The Tigers have won the last three games by a combined score of 24 to 3. How could we spice things up?
Matt Tuiasosopo is back from the disabled list, with Avisail Garcia returned to Toledo for some regular action. Omar Infante is still recovering from Colby Rasmus' thuggery, so Ramon Santiago gets go play second base, and not just on Sundays. But Tuiasosopo was once a middle infielder too. Now I doubt he was great defensively or he would not have been moved to the corners of the infield and outfield. But he did play 140 games at shortstop in the minor leagues, and 48 games at second base. And half of the games at second base were within the last two years.
The Indians' starting pitcher both Saturday and Sunday is right-handed, so Dirks will start in left field and Tuiasosopo will wait to pinch hit. But lefty Scott Kazmir is scheduled for Monday. Wouldn't it be fun to see Tuiasosopo start at second base? Jim Leyland has always believed that Ramon Santiago is too fragile to play every day, so he should be due for a rest then anyway. And Max Scherzer is pitching for Detroit, so there will be few ground balls to field.
When the Tigers put on the defensive shift against a lefty and Miguel Cabrera has the chance to turn the double play from the shortstop position, how can you not like baseball? Tuiasosopo could give us a few of those moments. And the versatility of knowing he could play the middle infield once a month could help rest key players down the stretch. There is still the risk of losing Jhonny Peralta for a while.