Detroit Tigers News

Andrew Romine Playing First Base this Spring

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February and March is the time of the baseball season for teams to experiment different players at different positions. Managers never know when they might need an emergency player at a particular spot.

Even at a position that looks as easy as first base.

Actually, first base is really not as easy as it looks. I know this from personal experience, both playing and witnessing professional All-Stars try and man the position.

Last season, I was lucky enough to see with my own two eyes Carlos Beltran play first base. He’s an eight-time All-Star outfield; what could possibly go wrong?

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Let’s just say there’s a reason Beltran has played just five innings at first in his 17-year career. He stunk.

Same goes for Gary Sheffield, who the Yankees started at first base for nine games in 2006. Teams cannot just stick any Joe Schmo at first base.

For that reason, the Tigers are having Andrew RomineHernan Perez, who doubled Monday, and Alex Avila practice at first base. Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reported the three players took ground balls at the “easier” corner infield spot before Monday’s spring training game against Florida Southern.

The Tigers are still hopeful the two-time MVP first baseman Miguel Cabrera will be ready on Opening Day, but manager Brad Ausmus is wisely preparing for a contingency plan in case he isn’t.

Romine played both first and second base on Monday, and he will start at first base on Tuesday versus the Orioles. Romine is expected to start in left field on Wednesday.

His best chance of making the Tigers is as a super-utlity infielder.

The good news for Detroit is the best two options for first base, Cabrera and Victor Martinez, are progressing along in their recovery from offseason surgery. Cabrera took batting practice for the first time, and Martinez hit off a tee on Monday according to Chris Iott of MLive.com.

Next: Detroit Tigers Defeat FSC Mocs 12-2 In Opener

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