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The Tigers discussed a possible comeback for 46-year-old Omar Vizquel

Mar 22, 2014, 5:07 PM EST

Omar Vizquel Getty Getty Images

When it was announced that defensive whiz Jose Iglesias would miss most (or all) of the season with stress fractures in both of his legs, the Tigers said they were content with considering internal replacements at shortstop. That search apparently included the coaching staff, as Tigers manager Brad Ausmus acknowledged to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com that the team discussed the possibility of a comeback for 46-year-old first base coach Omar Vizquel:

“We talked about it.”

OK, so they’ve mostly joked about it. Mostly. But in a spring in which the Tigers have suffered injuries that will cost them their shortstop (Jose Iglesias), primary set-up man (Bruce Rondon) and platoon left fielder (Andy Dirks) for all or most of the season, just about nothing is off the table anymore.

Even a comeback by their 46-year-old first-base coach, who last played 85 games in a season at short in 2007.

“He probably could do it part-time,” Ausmus said of Vizquel, who finally retired after the 2012 season, after 24 seasons in the big leagues. “But then I’d have to go find a first-base coach.”

The manager laughed. And you would have thought that was the end of this discussion. Except Ausmus then picked it up again, musing out loud that Vizquel “could probably handle it. I don’t know if he could play 150 games. But he could probably be a platoon shortstop if he got himself in shape. He certainly still has the hands.”

While it’s an interesting tidbit, there’s nothing to indicate that a comeback for the 11-time Gold Glove Award winner is a serious consideration. Still, it puts things in perspective about where the Tigers stand at shortstop without Iglesias. Andrew Romine was acquired from the Angels yesterday, adding him to an underwhelming group which includes Danny Worth, Hernan Perez, and Eugenio Suarez. It’s not an ideal situation for a team with designs on the World Series.

  1. shaggylocks - Mar 22, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    I know for a fact Jose Canseco is available. He’ll play any position, any time, just give him a call. Better yet, he’ll call you.

  2. historiophiliac - Mar 22, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    I take it as an incredibly positive sign that this time, when considering adding a guy who no longer plays professional ball, they looked at a former great instead of Delmon Young or Brandon Inge. Woo!

    • cur'68 - Mar 22, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      I would love to see this. By a factor too high to express in common math. Omar’s more than a year older than me, so I would root for him like I’d root for my dad if he could do this. Put a word in to Handsome Brad, eh? This MUST happen….

      • historiophiliac - Mar 22, 2014 at 5:52 PM

        Too late. Beautiful Brad said today that they picked up Romine at Omar’s suggestion — he scored high on the Omar Eye Test. But, I do think that our first base coach could make a better showing that D-Jeets, so there!

      • cur'68 - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:04 PM

        Romine, eh? Good hands on that guy. Omar’s recommendation is high praise indeed.

  3. js20011041 - Mar 22, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    They could dig up the corpse of Ray Oyler. He sports a robust career OPS of .508.

  4. aimalshah - Mar 22, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    Reblogged this on Fashion.

  5. alexo0 - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    “designs on the world series”?

    Clearly they don’t, if they’d rather plunder their coaching staff and trade for the dregs of other team’s rosters rather than sign a legit SS at the cost of a draft pick.

    • doctorofsmuganomics - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:44 PM

      Boras, is that you

      • alexo0 - Mar 22, 2014 at 7:01 PM

        It’s someone who’d rather see an OPS higher than .600 from the position.

  6. jerze2387 - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    Why does everybody forget about lombardozzi???

    • historiophiliac - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:49 PM

      Because he bad.

      • NatsLady - Mar 22, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        He can barely handle 2B. You DON’T want to see him at SS, trust me.

      • NatsLady - Mar 22, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        He’s gritty, though. Puts in the effort. So there’s that.

    • unclemosesgreen - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      The real question is, why must you remind everyone of him? Then they start missing Dog Fister, get angry at DD and curse out Don Kelly ….

      • NatsLady - Mar 22, 2014 at 7:31 PM

        Fister done good today. Felt so good after three innings, he came out for the 4th to make it up to his pitch count. 3.2 innings: no runs, no walks, 2 hits, 1 HBP, 4 strikeouts.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 22, 2014 at 7:33 PM

        That’s just such good news – although I love cats, I always root for Dog.

      • jerze2387 - Mar 24, 2014 at 10:42 PM

        To be fair don kelly has had it coming for a while.

  7. rbj1 - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    I believe Honus Wagner is available.

  8. 1harrypairatesties - Mar 22, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Besides Omar how about Nomar??

  9. papacrick - Mar 22, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Fister will own the National League. Tigers are too obsessed with power arms that’s why they ditched him. Had nothing to do with a future injury concern. If you don’t throw 95-plus then you are not a valuable pitcher to Dave Dombrowski. Then you factor in he’s under team control relatively cheap and it’s a bad move all the way around

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