TAMPA, Fla. -- Every team needs a Danny Worth, a versatile and steady veteran who brings a calm demeanor and can fill a few roles on the infield. He's even pitched in two career big league games with the Tigers in 2014, throwing a knuckleball, but don't expect him on the mound with the Astros.
Worth, signed to a Minor League deal on Jan. 26, likely doesn't fit on the Astros' Opening Day roster without some unforeseen circumstances, but having him at the ready at Triple-A is important. The 30-year-old has split his time between the big leagues and Triple-A over the past five years, mostly with the Tigers, appearing in 133 big league games from 2010-14. He's played second base, third base and shortstop in addition to the two pitching appearances.
"The Tigers teams I was on were great," he said. "I got to see a lot of good players there, and then the Diamondbacks last year, too, were a really young team and you could tell they were going to be good in the near future, which looks like this year. Coming here, I knew they were good, and working out with these guys and seeing the young talent they have -- not even on the big league roster, but below that -- this organization is doing something right. It's exciting to see and exciting to work out with these guys."
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Worth, who's 3-for-5 so far this spring, spent all of last season with the D-backs' Triple-A Reno affiliate, hitting .314 with six homers and 47 RBIs. He waited for a big league opportunity that never happened.
"I was really happy with my year last year," he said. "The big leagues just didn't work out, the timing. None of their guys got hurt and they were going with their guys up top and letting them play through their struggles a little bit. But they're all great players over there. Just wanted to build on it this year and there's a couple of things in my game from last year I wanted to work on and am working on, and I hope to improve and keep on elevating my game."
The Astros were on Worth's radar this offseason, and as January grew to a close, he was getting antsy waiting for his next job.
"I wanted a team that was a winning team at the top that was going for it," he said. "It was just a perfect match. There was a couple of teams I had my eye on, and then the Astros called. It happened fast and now I'm here."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.