We kicked this off with 22 likely "locks" on the Tigers' playoff roster yesterday. (Honestly, I think you could go with 23, but that would cut down on the number of posts I could milk this for so I won't.)This series will continue throughout the week. Next up: the guy who can back up the entire infield.
Danny Worth seems like the perfect role-player for the playoffs. He can play second base. He can play shortstop. He can play third base. Best of all, he's an above-average defender. What's not to like?
But is he really necessary? That is the question.
Picture this: Ramon Santiago starts at second base, Jhonny Peralta at shortstop and Wilson Betemit at third. The Tigers have a 3-run lead in the final couple of innings. What's Leyland going to do?
If anything, Brandon Inge will replace Betemit at third. And ... well ... that's probably it. Peralta will remain at short, and Santiago will remain at second.
Now let's say Ryan Raburn starts, and Jim Leyland wants to put Santiago into the game as either a defensive replacement or pinch hitter. Well, Santiago is a switch hitter. So again, no room for Worth.
Even the argument that there's no backup for Peralta isn't really true. Again, you slide Santiago over there and put one of the myriad second basemen into the game.
So it's just hard to figure out how to get Worth into the game. Pinch runner for Magglio Ordonez when Ryan Raburn is playing second? I mean, I suppose. But again why not Santiago?
Why he could make the postseason roster
- Plays all over the infield, good glove
Why he might not
- Unspectacular batter (.270 average, .308 on-base, .324 slugging in the majors this year, .256 / .338 / .421 in the minors this year).
So not just a poll today. How do you think the Tigers would actually use Worth, given what you know about them?
Backup catcher Omir Santos might just have a spot after all.