Worth's wait pays off with start vs. White Sox

Worth's wait pays off with start vs. White Sox

DETROIT -- Danny Worth spent Spring Training hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. That included the final couple of weeks of camp, when the Tigers were searching for a replacement for injured shortstop Jose Iglesias.

It's a business, he told himself, not personal. Don't get emotionally involved. Just play. He had enough emotions last year, from being the final cut of that camp to being taken off the 40-man roster last fall.

He didn't have to wait long this year to get a call back to the big leagues, his contract purchased once Detroit released Alex Gonzalez. But as he waited to see how the Tigers divide up the playing time at shortstop, he kept his emotions out of it.

"You just can't worry about it. That's what I've learned," he said. "Guys who worry about it, it just drags them down. It's more mental stress than the game already brings. You just don't think about that."

On his fifth day back, Worth got his first start at shortstop, giving Andrew Romine a day off on Thursday against White Sox southpaw Jose Quintana after six consecutive starts. Though the Tigers were seeing their fifth left-handed starter in six days, a situation that would seemingly favor the right-handed-hitting Worth, the switch-hitting Romine was on a good enough stretch to stick.

At this point, at least, it's not a platoon situation at short. Manager Brad Ausmus all but stopped that speculation Thursday morning.

"I don't know for sure. I'd say right now, the way Romine's playing, both offensively and defensively, he's kind of earned the bulk of the time right now," Ausmus said.

Romine's 0-for-3 performance was his first hitless game since taking over shortstop duties, though he sent a fly ball to the track in left-center field. He still went 6-for-17 with four walks and four strikeouts over that six-game stretch, and made a case for regular playing time.

With three right-handers scheduled to start for the Twins during the Tigers' visit to Minnesota this weekend, Romine is likely to continue getting the bulk of the time. Worth, meanwhile, is keeping out of it.

"You just play," he said. "Whatever happens, happens."

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.