Why should the Detroit Tigers take a flyer on infielder Daniel Robertson? The depth chart can provide some clues.
The Tampa Rays made a move, acquiring Edgar Garcia from the Phillies in for cash considerations or a player to be named later. With that move, the Rays designed for assignment infielder Daniel Robertson. The Detroit Tigers currently have down in Toledo Sergio Alcantara among the infielders on the 40-man roster. So why take a chance on a former first-round light-hitting infielder?
Robertson has infield versatility. He can play second, third, and shortstop. As soon as you finish that sentence you say to yourself “Well, so can Harold Castro, he can play everywhere” and he has.
However, Robertson’s career walk rate is 11.6%, which would put among one the highest on the team. With Niko Goodrum having some back issues and Willi Castro coming down to earth a bit after a hot start, the Tigers’ choices in terms of infield depth start to look slim with players with major league experience. He also can play the outfield, which he did in limited duty.
The walk rate helped him to get on base in 2018. That season, he hit .262/.382/.415 with a wRC+ of 128 which gave him an fWAR of 2.8. He got injured in 2018, suffering a thumb injury in an August game against the White Sox that would sideline him the rest of the season.
The negatives, however, are there. He could not stay consistent at the plate, which was a reason why he was not playing on a regular basis and the career .122 ISO does give you pause. However, if you are looking for a true utility player that Detroit could plug in everywhere, why not make room for Robertson?
He does have a minor league option left. If the Tigers want to stay competitive, this is not a bad way to go, and until some of the other infielder prospects are ready, he could be a good backup option to have just in case.