As a result, Romine will go at least a week without getting into a game. His most recent game was last Friday against the Rays. He played in five games down the stretch in Tigers camp after coming over from the Angels, but Detroit's need to see Gonzalez at shortstop tempered his playing time.
Considering Romine was competing for a utility infield job with the Angels before his trade to the Tigers, he knows how to stay game-ready, having learned from Maicer Izturis on his way up before Izturis went to Toronto.
"Being a guy who comes into the game is a lot different preparation than a guy who starts it," Romine said. "My whole life I had been a starter; almost all of us were. So to be switching over to a bench guy, it's a totally different mindset. To watch him and talk to him was really special, because that guy is so calm and collected in the way that he went about things. He never let his emotions take over. Most of what I got from him was mental."
While Romine has not found his role on the Tigers' roster yet -- partly the left-handed hitting complement to Gonzalez, partly a backup to Ian Kinsler at second base -- he has found a comfort level in the clubhouse, which he credits to the atmosphere and team chemistry.
"It's really weird, because I had been with the same organization from Day 1, so when I came here I didn't know what to expect," he said. "Basically they just kind of accepted me from Day 1 and let me into their clubhouse and into their team. It's fun, man. I didn't expect it. Torii [Hunter] was basically the only guy that I knew before I came here."
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.