The Detroit Tigers have replaced the injured Jose Iglesias by going with a shortstop platoon of new acquisition Andrew Romine and Danny Worth. But while GM Dave Dombrowski was prowling MLB for a stopgap shortstop, manager Brad Ausmus looked toward his own staff. One of the best fielding shortstops of all time, Omar Vizquel, just happens to be his his first base coach.
ESPN's Jayson Stark reports when Ausmus was asked on Saturday if the team had discussed the 47-year-old Vizquel making a comeback, the Tigers' manager admitted the possibility crossed their minds.
"We talked about it."
Vizquel last spent time as a big league shortstop in 2012 at the age of 45, playing ten games at the position for the Blue Jays. His last full season at short was in 2007, when a 40-year-old Vizquel played 143 games at short for the Giants. As late as 2010, Vizquel was still getting a significant amount of playing time at short, 83 games with the White Sox.
Asumus was only half-joking when he said Vizquel could still handle a part-time role.
"He probably could do it part-time. But then I'd have to go find a first-base coach. (Vizquel) could probably handle it. I don't know if he could play 150 games. But he could probably be a platoon shortstop if he got himself in shape. He certainly still has the hands."
Ausmus makes it sound entirely possible the best fielding shortstop on the Tigers is his first base coach. But the Tigers are still ragging on Vizquel about the possibility, Ausmus saying they're "still joking about it."
Regardless, the door has slammed on Vizquel playing short for the Tigers in 2014. For that, you can blame Romine.
"He (Vizquel) was stretching today with the players," the manager reported. "And we told him, 'Relax, we got Romine.' "