LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Steve Lombardozzi joined the Tigers in the Doug Fister trade looking to fill a potential super utility role. That job will apparently include being primary backup shortstop to Jose Iglesias.
It's an adjustment, because Lombardozzi has only two career Major League games at shortstop over his 257-game career in Washington. As a spot fill-in and an occasional starter to rest Iglesias, however, the Tigers believe he can hold his own.
"I think he can go over there and play there," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "I don't think he's a guy you'd pencil in for a month if something happens. That's why you have a guy like Hernan Perez, who probably could do that. We've already talked about it."
Perez is the Tigers' second baseman of the future, but he began last season playing shortstop at Double-A Erie out of necessity. With Ian Kinsler now a Tiger, Perez's route to the big leagues is on hold, and he's expected to open the year at Triple-A Toledo.
A murkier future lies for utility infielder Danny Worth, who has spent the last few seasons waiting for a shot in Detroit while Ramon Santiago held down the utility job. After parts of five seasons in Toledo, the 28-year-old Worth is out of options, so the Tigers would have to get him through waivers to keep him if he doesn't make Detroit's Opening Day roster.
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.