Since 2010, Detroit Tigers infielder Danny Worth has been bouncing up and down between the minor leagues and the big-league club more times than a yo-yo. Now, at the age of 28, he has a chance to stick around the MLB for perhaps his longest stint ever.
Worth was called up on April 20 after Alex Gonzalez was released and Andrew Romine became the de facto starting shortstop. Worth was batting a very impressive .308 with a .749 OPS at the time of his call-up, which was a significant improvement over the .220 he batted in the minor leagues last season, as well as his .250 lifetime average in the minors.
Worth has only played in four games thus far and he is currently batting only .182 (2-for-11), but he hit a big RBI double in last night’s 9-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals, which must have felt good for him. It marked the first time since 2012 that Worth recorded an extra-base hit, or even an RBI for that matter, at the major-league level.
Worth has also played flawless defense in the first three games he has started at shortstop, committing no errors in 11 chances at that position.
Worth will most likely be playing behind Romine for the time being. He also finds himself in the unenviable position of being another right-handed hitter on a team that is loaded with quality right-handed bats.
That said, if Worth continues to play solid defense and can continue coming up with the occasional big hit, as he did in last night’s game, there is a pretty good chance that he will be sticking around for the time being, and he deserves to.
Worth is a great story. He is living proof that hard work and perseverance pays off. There are many who would have been discouraged by the fact that they batted a mere .220 in the minor leagues at the age of 27, as Worth did last year. But he obviously did not let it get to him. Instead of hanging his head and going home, Worth came to Spring Training with a great attitude and put up great numbers. When he did not make the Opening Day roster, he went down to Triple-A Toledo and continued putting up impressive numbers.
For every player such as Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera, who come up to the big leagues and immediately make an impact, there are countless players such as Worth who struggle for years to get their opportunity. It is truly an inspiring story that Worth has been given this chance, and hopefully he will continue to make the most of it.