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Tigers make tough decision of cutting Worth

Tigers make tough decision of cutting Worth

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Danny Worth's latest demotion to Triple-A Toledo became official on Tuesday with his reassignment to Minor League camp, but his fate became obvious as soon as the Tigers traded for Alex Gonzalez.

The conundrum Worth faces in the Tigers' organization, meanwhile, is glaring enough for new manager Brad Ausmus to point out.

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"I told Danny it's kind of a catch-22," Ausmus said. "It's a situation where we like the idea of having more experience at shortstop, but the only way he can get experience is by playing shortstop at the big league level."

Gonzalez essentially fills the role Worth was competing to win, and one he seemingly had an inside track to take. While Worth has had solid Spring Training numbers before, he seemed to respond with his best numbers once it became clear the Tigers were going to need a shortstop to fill in for Jose Iglesias for most, if not all, of the season.

"He played well," Ausmus said. "He swung the bat extremely well -- by all accounts, the best that people in the organization have seen him swing the bat."

Ausmus said there's a "very good chance" that Worth could get called up at some point this season. Keeping ready for that, however, could be a challenge if the Tigers have an infield crunch at Toledo. Shortstop prospect Eugenio Suarez was optioned there a couple of days ago, and middle infielder Hernan Perez was optioned Tuesday.

If all three make the Mud Hens roster, Worth could end up playing third base in what would be his sixth season at Toledo. Barring something unforeseen, he will not be seen in another organization. Worth was in camp as a non-roster invitee, so the Tigers didn't have to pass him through waivers in order to send him down.

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.

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