The Tigers purchased the contract of second baseman Danny Worth from the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens late Saturday night, which came as rather a surprise. Recalling Armando Galarraga, of course, was a move the team said it would make a few days ago.
To make room for the two players, starting pitcher Max Scherzer and second baseman Scott Sizemore were optioned to Toledo.
And yes, that means the plan to send Casper Wells back to the minors after a weekend in the big leagues appears to have been scratched. As always, you can never quite be sure the Tigers are going to do what they say they are going to do.
OK, so all those roster moves said, what's it mean?
The Tigers say it means this:
- Galarraga will be replacing Max Scherzer in the rotation for now. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said he hopes Scherzer's stay in the minors is a short one.
- Worth -- more on him in a moment -- will play second base. And then Carlos Guillen will take over there as soon as he is able to come off the disabled list. He hasn't even started his minor-league rehab appearances, so it should be a few weeks still. Until then, the position is Worth's, Donnie Kelly's and Ramon Santiago's.
Yes, that means Guillen will be playing in yet another position. From shortstop in 2007 to first baseman and third baseman in 2008 to left fielder in 2009 and now back to the infield in 2010, Guillen sure gets around a lot.
The Tigers really seem like they have no plan for Guillen. Just get his bat in the lineup and hope he stays healthy for more than 21 days in a row.
In the meantime, the Tigers want to let Sizemore get back on track. His defense wasn't supposed to be good, but it was a mixed effort. His batting was supposed to be good, but he has been in an extended 0-for-14 slump.
Not that Worth is going to fix the hole in the offense. He has an OPS of .666 (.310 OBP, .356 slugging) in 142 plate appearances with Toledo this season. In 2009, his OPS was actually .517. So this isn't a fluke year. He just plain struggles with the bat. The 24-year-old is leading the Hens in stolen bases with 10, at least. And he doesn't have nearly as many strikeouts as fellow infielder Brent Dlugach. At least Worth should be capable with the glove.
So the real question: is this a good idea?
The answer? We'll see. They wanted to get Sizemore back on track, so putting him in Toledo to do so makes some sense.
As for Guillen? Well, second base isn't the most taxing position in the infield, anyway. Don't assume he can automatically step in and play it well, though. Every position in the infield has its own set of challenges and a guy who hasn't spent any time there in professional ball since 1999 will have to get used to it on the fly.
If he can hit the ball, stay healthy and play about the same as Sizemore did there, great. Heck, if he can hit the ball and stay healthy, great. Neither of those questions has been all that debatable with Guillen, fortunately and unfortunately. Fortunately, he can hit. Unfortunately, it's not an exaggeration to say it's only a matter of time before he gets hurt again. It happens time after time.
So again, is it a good idea? We'll see.
As for Galarraga, well ... we'll see there, too. The last time we saw him in the majors, it was ugly. He had a luck-driven season in 2008 that turned out wonderfully. And he had an awful 2009 all around. This season in Toledo, he's got 38 strikeouts and 13 walks in 41-1/3 innings. His ERA is 3.92 and his FIP is 3.82.
He has obviously earned his call-up. But he'll have to pitch like he belongs when he puts on the Tigers' uniform. He lacked that aggression last season, much to the chagrin of Leyland.
Will he have it against the Red Sox and beyond? We'll see.
Clearly, the Tigers had to make some adjustments, and that's what they did Saturday.
Whether they work out remains to be seen.