Romine may play all nine positions in Tigers-Twins game (Sep 30, 2017)

MINNEAPOLIS — With no playoff implications on the line Saturday and rain threatening Sunday’s regular-season finale, the Detroit Tigers could go through with their plan for utility man Andrew Romine’s quest to play all nine positions in a game.

The Minnesota Twins are doing their own shuffling as they keep their team fresh with the playoffs ahead next week.

Romine has played every position this season, minus catcher. Detroit manager Brad Ausmus has told reporters he has his plan in place to get Romine a spot at every position in one of the final two games.

“I’m not going to announce it, though,” Ausmus told the Detroit News. “Romine doesn’t want to know ahead of time, so I can’t tell you guys.”

Ausmus is already planning ahead in case of run on Sunday.

“If there is an overwhelming chance Sunday could get rained out, we could do it tomorrow,” Ausmus told the Detroit News.

A lost season for Detroit could have one final moment to remember with Romine completing the task. The Tigers will send right-hander Buck Farmer (4-5, 7.33 ERA) to start on the mound Saturday against Minnesota’s rookie right-hander Aaron Slegers (0-0, 7.36).

But Romine could eventually see his time on the same mound.

“I’m excited,” Romine told MLB.com. “I mean, I’d be part of history. Only four people have done it; I’d be the fifth one. That would be pretty cool.”

Detroit’s Shane Halter was the last player to play all nine positions in a game, according to MLB.com, doing so in Minnesota in the final game of the 2000 season. Ausmus was a Tigers’ player at the time.

The other players to play all nine positions in a game are Bert Campaneris (1965), Minnesota’s Cesar Tovar (1968) and Scott Sheldon (Sept. 6, 2000).

The Twins will likely have some different looks as well. With the second wild card in the American League wrapped up, Minnesota is taking the opportunity to rest some players. Starting pitcher Jose Berrios was used in relief in Friday night’s series-opening win since he might be used in relief in the wild-card game next week.

“I still want to win,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said after Friday’s win. “You try to play to win, but you have other considerations too.”

Slegers will make the second start of his first MLB season and first since Sept. 6. He’s allowed seven runs in 10 1/3 innings as a starter and has not faced Detroit. He made one relief appearance on Sept. 17.

The Twins could also see the return of slugger Miguel Sano to the starting lineup after he missed 38 games with a left shin stress reaction. Sano was activated off the disabled list on Friday and pinch-hit in the game.

If he feels good after the appearance, Molitor opened the possibility he could DH on Saturday.

“I’m hoping that he feels no ill effects,” Molitor said. “He was excited. He had a lot of adrenaline. He couldn’t wait to get an at-bat. I thought he looked fairly comfortable in the box. He got out in front a little bit on a changeup there. Got a little nervous when he came out of the box the way he did. I wasn’t expecting that type of acceleration, which I use kind of carefully as far as Miggy’s concerned.”

Sano stumbled a bit out of the box but he said after the game that he was feeling good and ready to play a full game as the DH.

“I felt very good,” Sano said through an interpreter. “I felt very good in the box. I swung at a changeup. I see the pitches well, so tomorrow I hope to be in the lineup and play the whole game, absolutely.”

Farmer will be making his 11th start of the season. He took his third straight loss in his last outing when he gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings against Minnesota. He’s made six career appearances against the Twins, including two starts. He’s 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA in those games.