September 22, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrew Romine (7) fields a ground ball during the sixth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Romine, a 28 year-old switch hitter, has accumulated 174 major league plate appearances over the last four years with Los Angeles, batting .250/.303/.270 for his career. He’s had better numbers in the minor leagues — hitting .284/.356/.375 over the last three seasons in AAA — but the Pacific Coast League tends to inflate batting numbers so statistics there are hard to interpret. The Tigers have said all along that they’re looking for a glove-first option, and this appears to be that. He’s only played 189 innings at the shortstop position in the big leagues, so the advanced metrics will only tell us garbage information, but I’d be willing to bet big money that the Detroit scouts really like his glove. I’ve not seen scouting reports (amateur or otherwise) yet, however.
I’m guessing Danny Worth makes the team as the nominal backup — or Romine does, whichever way around that plays out — with Eugenio Suarez and Hernan Perez getting everyday playing time in the minor leagues. That may change mid-season if one of the latter really impresses down there and pushes their way onto the team.
Jose Alvarez would have been good depth to have in the minor leagues — the Tigers now really don’t have anyone as an immediate replacement in the rotation should something happen there — but he didn’t appear to be anything more than a replacement level option. I’m not saying those are bad to have, they’re not, but it should be an expendable part of your organization.
I’m not sure many fans will now consider the shortstop vacancy “solved”, but the Tigers have at least done something to address the situation. Hopefully.