SEATTLE -- The way Omar Infante has handled second base this year, it seems like years ago that Tigers infield coach Rafael Belliard was putting in extra work with him to improve his throws on double plays. In reality, it was only last September.
Two highlight double plays on Wednesday night show the difference. The second one, in which Infante went deep into the hole to field Raul Ibanez's ninth-inning grounder and fired a strike to Jhonny Peralta, was the highlight of the two.
"Terrific double play," manager Jim Leyland said.
Yet the other one, in which Infante sprinted across the bag to take Miguel Cabrera's throw on Justin Smoak's grounder in the seventh inning, might have been the more impressive. Those were the plays that troubled him last summer. His throw to first not only went across his body but against his momentum, and he still had plenty of it to reach Prince Fielder.
Plays like that put a smile on Belliard's face. They also enhance the perception that Infante makes throws on the move with ease compared with standing still.
Infante helped turn six double plays in 12 starts this season entering Thursday. Just as important, he's errorless so far after making nine errors in 61 games at second down the stretch in Detroit last season.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.