BOSTON -- The overnight mystery that was Ryan Raburn's replacement on the Tigers' 25-man roster turned out to have an anticlimactic ending. It also brought Omir Santos back to the big leagues for what will likely be a short stay until Austin Jackson returns from the disabled list.
Essentially, Santos is an insurance player that allows manager Jim Leyland to use one catcher at designated hitter and another behind the plate when he needs it. However, Gerald Laird wasn't the DH'ing catcher anybody would've had in mind. He got the start Wednesday as Leyland tried to stack up right-handed hitters against Red Sox lefty Jon Lester.
Raburn, of course, is a right-handed hitter, but Detroit had decided Tuesday that he needed to go to Triple-A Toledo. Finding another right-handed hitter to replace him, Leyland said, was a losing proposition.
"We just didn't have a right-handed hitter [down there]," Leyland said. "We searched and searched throughout to get one, but we just didn't have one. This was a move that made the most sense."
The club has right-handed hitters at Triple-A Toledo, including brief Tigers callup Brad Eldred and onetime prospect Ryan Strieby. When asked about Eldred, however, Leyland said, "We didn't feel that was the answer."
Thus, they'll go with Laird.
"Until we get Jackson back, I'll DH Laird maybe against left-handed pitching," Leyland said. "That way I'll be protected with an extra catcher in case something happened with Alex catching."
While it would seem to make more sense to use Alex Avila at DH and Laird behind the plate, there's an advantage to having it the other way around. With Laird as the DH, the Tigers have an easier time pinch-hitting for him against a right-handed reliever without having to pull Santos into action.
Worth to get plenty of starts at second base
BOSTON -- Danny Worth started at second base Wednesday night in the first game since the Tigers demoted Ryan Raburn to Triple-A Toledo, and Worth might get more starts than expected with Raburn gone.
"I think you're going to see more of Worth," manager Jim Leyland said. "I'm going to give him a shot, see what he can do."
That doesn't mean he's going to become the regular second baseman, Leyland cautioned, but he'll get more than a simple lefty-right platoon situation with Ramon Santiago. He'll start Thursday's series finale here against right-hander Josh Beckett, for instance, Leyland said.
It's the first such chance for Worth, who started just three games in the revolving-door mix at second base last year and eight games at second in 2010. Wednesday marked Worth's ninth start at second this season.