All 9 for Romine? Veteran can play anywhere

All 9 for Romine? Veteran can play anywhere

NEW YORK -- Andrew Romine was the Tigers' starting shortstop Wednesday afternoon in place of the injured Jose Iglesias. He was the starting right fielder Tuesday night, a position where he has been platooning since the J.D. Martinez trade. Romine also remains a late-inning replacement at third and first base, and he finished out a game last week as the pitcher. The only position he hasn't played -- this season or in his career -- is catcher.

Which begs the question: With Detroit out of contention, could Romine play all nine positions in a game as a cap to this season?

"I've thought about it," manager Brad Ausmus said. "I've talked to him about it."

Romine confirmed they've discussed it, though not recently. Now that the Tigers have traded away veteran pieces in a nod that they're out of contention, there's an opportunity for it, and Romine would be open to it.

Ausmus has a background in this. He was Detroit's catcher in 2000, when then manager Phil Garner played Shane Halter at all nine positions in the final game of the season.

It was a game that meant nothing for the Tigers and Twins in the standings, and Garner had his trusted coach, Doug Mansolino, work out the logistics of moving Halter around to every spot and rotating everybody else in turn.

Ausmus caught the first six innings, moved to third base when Halter caught the seventh, moved to second base for the eighth inning when Halter pitched, then ended the inning at first base after Halter pitched to one batter (a leadoff walk) and moved to second.

"Again, it would have to be a situation where the game didn't mean anything," Ausmus said. "Quite frankly, if he's going to catch, the pitcher would have to be OK with it, because he'd have to catch an inning. So there are some issues that have to be dealt with or some boxes that have to be checked off. But it's not out of the realm of possibility."

Halter was the fourth player in Major League history to play all nine positions in the same game, joining Bert Campaneris (Sept. 8, 1965), Cesar Tovar (Sept. 22, 1968) and Scott Sheldon (Sept. 6, 2000). No Major Leaguer has played all nine positions in a game since Halter, though Buster Posey did it in in college at Florida State in 2008.

Detroit closes out the season on the road at Kansas City and Minnesota. The Royals are in the thick of the American League Central and AL Wild Card races, while the Twins are fading in both and traded away veteran starter Jaime Garcia and closer Brandon Kintzler before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Quick hits

• Iglesias remains day to day with a right wrist sprain. Ausmus is hopeful that he'll be able to play Thursday, when the Tigers open a four-game series at Baltimore.

Daniel Norris has been playing catch all week from 120 feet as he restarts his rehab from a left groin sprain. He hopes to throw a bullpen session by the end of Detroit's current road trip, which runs through Tuesday, but the club might be more cautious with him after he reaggravated the injury during a Minor League rehab assignment last week.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.