By: Will Burchfield
Andrew Romine could join an exclusive club during the Tigers’ final homestand of the season, which begins Thursday afternoon versus the White Sox.
Brad Ausmus said he’s thought about playing Romine at all nine positions in one game. Only four players have accomplished this feat in MLB history, the last being the Tigers’ Shane Halter in the final game of the 2000 season.
“I’ve discussed it. We haven’t really nailed it down,” Ausmus told the Jamie and Stoney Show on 97.1 The Ticket.
Romine, who’s played every position this season besides catcher, certainly has the athleticism to achieve the feat. In fact, he’s said in the past he’d like to check it off the list before his career is over.
The challenge for Ausmus would be making it work without compromising the rest of his roster.
“You actually have to pre-plan that, how you would move people around on basically an inning-by-inning basis so you don’t run out of players and you still have people playing the positions they’re supposed to be playing,” Ausmus said. “It’s something that’s crossed my mind the last few days, but I haven’t really thought it out or looked into it real deep.”
Ausmus also wants to make sure he doesn’t spoil the competitive integrity of a game that has playoff ramifications.
“If you’re playing a team that’s in the hunt…you still play them straight up because you want to give them a good game until they actually clinch. You wouldn’t mess around with anything that could impact the game from an experimental standpoint,” he said.
In that light, Ausmus said he would only consider the Romine experiment in the Tigers’ two upcoming series versus the White Sox and the Athletics, both of which will be played at Comerica Park.
“We could do something different in these games that we might not do against a team in the pennant race,” Ausmus said.
The Tigers’ final three series of the season, all on the road, come against the Twins, the Royals and the Twins again. Both teams are still vying for a playoff spot.
Ausmus was on the Tigers’ team that saw Halter play all nine positions in the season finale. Ausmus moved to third base after Halter replaced him at catcher.
The other players to play all nine positions in one game are Bert Campaneris (Kansas City Athletics, 1965), Cesar Tover (Twins, 1968), and Scott Sheldon (Rangers, 2000).
Asked if allowing Romine to play every position would open the door for other requests, such as Miguel Cabrera taking the mound, Ausmus laughed and said, “No, most guys don’t want anything to do with the pitcher’s mound unless they’re a pitcher. That’s not something I think most want to do.”