BOSTON -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland knew he wasn't going to need extra pitchers in his bullpen for Game 5 of the American League Championship Series. So he had one ready to help on the basepaths.
If the Tigers and A's were locked in a close game in the late innings, Doug Fister was available as a pinch-runner. Leyland said he told Fister before the game to be ready just in case.
It would have taken quite a situation to put Fister on the bases. For one, the Tigers are carrying a pinch-running specialist on their bench in rookie infielder Hernan Perez. For another, most of the players the Tigers would pinch-run for are the same players they would keep in the game in extra innings for their bats.
Still, it's an idea worth stowing away for future reference, especially if the Tigers advance to the World Series and lose the designated hitter under National League rules.
Fister has never appeared in a game as a pinch-runner, but he's 4-for-15 as a hitter, so he knows his way around the bases.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.