Casey at the Bench

In the 6th inning of game 1 Sean Casey’s left calf muscle went all broken-rubber-band. He of course had to leave the game with Carlos Guillen assuming first base duties and Ramon Santiago taking shortstop.

It’s moments like this that make one question the decision to take 3 back-up infielders – none of whom play first base. Chris Shelton would be looking like an attractive option right about now.

Now the impact of Casey’s loss could certainly be tempered if Omar Infante were slotted into the starting shortstop role. Infante is capable of providing Casey-type offense and is slick enough defensively to compensate for Guillen. However, like when Polanco was injured, we know how much Jim Leyland is fond of Neifi Perez. Perez of course is a switch-batter (notice I said switch batter instead of hitter) and Leyland loves platoon advantage – even if it isn’t an advantage. I fear that Perez who is inadequate defensively and poor offensively will get the bulk of the playing time.

Now if the Tigers survive the ALCS and make it to the World Series, Chris Shelton could be added at that time. But he wouldn’t be replacing Sean Casey, he’d be replacing Ramon Santiago. Only one of Santiago/Shelton can be on the roster at a time because they are using the Tony Giarratano exemption as neither was on the 25 man roster until after September 1st.