The Detroit Tigers‘ shortstop situation this season looks a bit like it did back in 2009, with Andrew Romine and Danny Worth serving as the modern-day version of the Ramon Santiago–Adam Everett duo. Both are more than competent defensively, but neither will be drawing comparisons to a young Nomar Garciaparra at the plate anytime soon.
That said, the 28-year-old Worth has shown that he can in fact help the Tigers win a few games with his bat since being recalled from Triple-A Toledo on Apr. 20. In nine games, Worth is batting a very respectable .286 (6-for-21) with a double and five RBIs. He was also one of the heroes of yesterday’s 7-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles, when he went 2-for-4 and drove in a key run with a squeeze bunt.
Romine, on the other hand, is batting only .209 with two RBIs at the moment. He has also struck out 18 times in 67 at-bats. Although he is a switch-hitter on a team that has less than a handful of left-handed bats, it is becoming hard to see how that should give him the edge over Worth when he is batting a mere .179 from the left side of the dish. Furthermore, Worth has proven that he can be just as sound as Romine defensively, as he has committed no errors in the 53 innings he has logged as shortstop so far this season.
It should also be noted that Andy Dirks may only be a month or so away from his return, and he could very well give the Tigers the sturdy left-handed bat they have been yearning for. Dirks may have struggled to find his groove in 2013, but hopefully new hitting coach Wally Joyner can have him crashing the ball like he did in 2012 once again.
Lastly, Worth has simply earned the opportunity to prove himself worthy of being an everyday player at the big-league level. He has been sent back down to the minor leagues and passed over more times than anyone can count. After hitting .302 in Spring Training, tearing it up his first two weeks in Toledo and making the most of the opportunities the Tigers have given him since coming up, it is time to see how he will respond to being given the keys to a starting job.