Detroit — One of those baseball novelties for which September is known appears headed for Comerica Park.
Andrew Romine is about to get a shot at playing all nine positions in one game.
He has worked them all in his big-league years, most of which have been spent with the Tigers. All, that is, except taking a turn behind the plate.
But he could get a one-inning shift there, as well, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday, before the White Sox destroyed the Tigers, 17-7, at Comerica Park
“I haven’t decided if I’ll do it, and I haven’t discussed it yet with him,” Ausmus said, “but he’s got the ability to play all positions.
“In games that don’t particularly matter, it might make the game more interesting.”
Romine has always said the nine-positions, nine-innings trick was a personal dream.
In his years as something of a Tigers one-man band, he has played all outfield and infield spots, and has bailed out the Tigers as a pitcher on a when the scoreboard was crazy and the bullpen was shot.
But he hasn’t yet caught in a big-league game. That could be changing during one of the next two home series, which will see the A’s arrive for three games after the White Sox finish their four-game set Sunday at Comerica Park.
“I would call Rick Renteria or Bob Melvin,” Ausmus said, speaking of the White Sox and A’s managers. “If they thought it would make a mockery of the game, I wouldn’t do it.”
They all took a turn. And most of them were raked by White Sox batters who seemed to regard anything less than a three-hit day a personal disaster.
Eight Tigers pitchers were part of a three-hour, 42-minute testament to long innings and ongoing hits from a team that has had an even tougher year than the Tigers.
Chad Bell started for Detroit and made it into the fourth before he left, having been socked for nine hits and six runs.
Warwick Saupold: four hits, three runs. Jeff Ferrell: three hits, one run. Joe Jimenez: three hits, three runs. Shane Greene: two hits, one run.
The only two Tigers pitchers who sidestepped the carnage were Zac Reininger (two-thirds of an inning, no hits) and Blaine Hardy (one-third, one strikeout).
Of the White Sox’s 25 hits, only four were for extra bases. And of the six Tigers who allowed runs, Ausmus understood Jimenez probably deserved a better pitching line.
A squib single, another ground single — Jimenez was throwing better than the numbers suggested, as his fastball burned at 95-97 mph and his slider behaved.
“Cue ball off the end of the bat,” Ausmus said, “but he threw the ball well.”
Thursday’s weather no doubt helped. And while there obviously were more than a few unused tickets, the paid crowd was 26,743, and most hung on, even in a lopsided game.
“This is a really good baseball town,” Ausmus said. “One of the best baseball towns I’ve ever been in. And it might be the best.”
Ausmus said he could sympathize with Thursday’s no-shows. When a team’s record is 60-86, distractions are many.
“They want winners,” Ausmus said. “I don’t blame ’em.”
But he believes the town’s core followers will stick with a team that’s now busy rebuilding.
And, he said, as the reconstruction of a roster matches the renaissance in downtown Detroit, “This city could be buzzing.”
White Sox at Tigers
First pitch: 7:10 p.m. Friday, Comerica Park, Detroit
RHP Carson Fulmer (2-1, 6.00), White Sox: First-round pick from 2015 auditioning for a regular rotation job in 2018. And looking good. Struck out nine in six innings in his last start.
RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-4, 7.43), Tigers: Too many home runs, too many hits. Sanchez can have his smooth interludes, but too often, batters are belting him.