When they chose not to retain Placido Polanco in the offseason, the Detroit Tigers said to everybody, "Okay, dudes, we're goin' with a rookie at second base." Sure thing, guys! What do we have to lose?
As it turned out, Scott Sizemore wasn't ready for the major league grind, statistically becoming the worst second baseman in the American League. Poor hitting. Poor fielding. Ted Nugent as intro music. That's why the Carlos Guillen second base experiment was put into motion — they just needed some help in the horrendous 7-8-9 part of the lineup.
In that whirlwind of weekend transactions, the oh-by-the-way call-up was young Danny Worth. Not a lot is known about him; a shortstop by trade, he's pretty solid in the field and more of a singles hitter. Two things any Tigers fan will take after praying that Sizemore would quickly improve just a skosh.
Worth was going to rotate at second with Ryan Raburn and Don Kelly until Guillen was healthy, but he's usurped so much playing time with a cool .400 average (8-for-20) and two strikeouts, no walks, and no errors in the field. What a nice little palate cleanser.
The 24-year-old rookie might not see a ton of time with the Tigers this year. Then again, he could Boesch his way into the everyday lineup, causing Guillen to transfer departments yet again. I wonder if he feels like becoming the catcher?
But even if Worth isn't the long-term answer (nobody's really expecting him to be; he's just a fun little plus), he's one of a clan of reliable guys they have waiting in Toledo. For one, the Mud Hens finally hung an earned run on Stephen Strasburg's Triple-A campaign. If any regular drops out for a couple weeks, it's refreshing to know that some nameless young go-getter a few miles down I-75 might be able to fill in for a little while. And if someone doesn't produce … no worries, they can always make more.
Of course, to actually compete in the division, getting some consistency out of the healthy players wouldn't hurt either.