Andrew Romine had himself a solid 2016 season playing the role of the ultimate utility man for the Detroit Tigers. Romine looks to be the top utility option off the bench for the foreseeable future.
One of the most unheralded roles in baseball is that of the utility man. It’s not a glamour position, but it is vital that every team in the Major Leagues, including the Detroit Tigers, has someone that can play multiple positions off the bench.
Since 2014, Andrew Romine has been that man for the Tigers. While Romine doesn’t do anything spectacularly well, he can step in and play every position in the infield and even some outfield.
Article continues below ...
When manager Brad Ausmus needs to make a late defensive switch to protect a lead, Romine is the man he turns to.
Romine played 44 games at third base this year. With Nick Castellanos on the shelf, he was called upon a lot at that spot over the season’s vital final two months.
He also played 25 games in the outfield, with 22 of those appearances coming in center field while Cameron Maybin was dealing with nagging injuries.
Romine even made an appearance on the mound in mid-June when the Tigers were shellacked in Kansas City. In that game, he tossed two-thirds of an inning, walking two but not giving up any runs.
Same As It Ever Was
Romine had nine less plate appearances in 2016 than he did in 2015, registering six less hits on the season as he saw his batting average drop from .255 in 2015 to .236.
All things considered, that’s not much of difference when a guy steps to the plate just 200 times per season. He had two home runs in both seasons and one more RBI (16) this past season than he did in 2015.
Basically, the Tigers know what they are going to get out of Romine. The biggest difference this season was Romine’s knack for delivering his best play in bunches.
During a game in late August in Minneapolis, Romine (playing second base) showed his value, turning a double play to get pitcher Matt Boyd out of trouble in the first inning and using a two-out, two-RBI base hit to break open a 6-3 game in the eighth inning.
Romine is up for arbitration during the offseason, something he and the Tigers avoided last year after agreeing to a one-year, $900,000 deal. He’ll be due for a slight bump this year that (according to MLBTradeRumors) will likely take him over the million-dollar mark.
The Detroit Tigers’ utility man isn’t set to become a free agent until 2019, meaning that he’ll likely be around for a while barring a trade.