Danny Worth designated for assignment
Danny Worth spent several years waiting in the wings for a utility infield role with the Tigers, blocked by veteran Ramon Santiago. With Santiago’s contract up, 2014 was going to be Worth’s best and last chance. Instead, Worth’s opportunity is likely going to have to come someplace else.
With the Tigers needing a spot on the 40-man roster for Joba Chamberlain, they designated Worth’s contract for assignment on Friday. Detroit has 10 days to outright, trade or release him, and teams will get two days to put in a waiver claim on him.
The move completes a nightmare year for Worth, which began with him making his best case yet for the utility infield role. He was the final cut of camp, losing out to Santiago for the job, then added injury to his troubles when he injured his heel lunging at first base on a ground ball at Triple-A Toledo.
Worth made it back after more than a month out, but never regained his standing. Hernan Perez got the opportunity to fill in at second base when Omar Infante went on the disabled list in early July, and Worth didn’t make it back to Detroit until September. He played in just three games as a fill-in before a separated shoulder ended his season.
Worth might have had a chance to fit into the roster picture for 2014 in a utility role had Perez taken over the starting job at second base. The two big trades, though, brought over two crushing blows to Worth’s standing: Ian Kinsler arrived from Texas to take over at second base, and Steve Lombardozzi came over from Washington with the capability to play second base and some shortstop.
From that point on, Worth’s days were numbered. In some ways, he might be better off having the outright come now instead of at the end of Spring Training.
The 28-year-old Worth is a .242 (53-for-219) lifetime hitter in the Majors with 10 doubles, two home runs and 14 RBIs. His strength is his defense, notably at shortstop but effectively all over the infield thanks to a strong arm and relatively sure glove.