Santiago proving reliable in Tigers' infield

Santiago proving reliable in Tigers' infield

DETROIT -- The long-held belief on Ramon Santiago is that he physically wears down if he plays as a regular for too long of a stretch. Sometimes necessity defies belief.

With the Tigers having gone through two other second basemen -- three if you count Danny Worth's brief stint starting there -- Santiago's previous timeshare role has all but become an everyday job. If he isn't starting at second, he seems to be starting at short, which he was doing Tuesday night.

Tuesday marked Santiago's 15th start in the Tigers' last 17 games, many of them in typical summer heat. He entered Tuesday batting 12-for-47 (.255) over that stretch with three doubles and four RBIs -- not great numbers, but better than the pace he was on as a platoon player for the first couple months.

Until Tuesday, when he committed two errors -- one of them with two outs in a costly five-run third inning -- he had maintained his defense.

"I feel good," Santiago said. "I do my routine, get my ground balls, get in here and do my work."

He could easily go back to platoon work in the coming weeks if the Tigers trade for a regular second baseman. But for now, Santiago is the guy. Ryan Raburn isn't close to regaining regular playing time at second, and Worth went nearly three weeks without a start before the Tigers optioned him to Toledo on Monday night.