If you peruse the Tigers spring training stats, you’ll see a roster full of guys with some pretty impressive numbers. Sure, Carlos Guillen is slumping a little but his 8:6 K:BB ratio is still favorable. But if you look at Omar Infante this spring, there isn’t much to like.
Infante has a 172/179/250 line thus far. He’s fanned 12 times in 64 at-bats and only picked up one walk. He has no stolen bases. He has more errors (4) than extra base hits (3).
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t been following Infante everyday, so I don’t know if this has been a March-long slump or a nosedive the last 2 weeks. I do know that a third of his strikeouts came the last 2 games. Either way he’s not building towards the regular season at this point.
Now you never want to make too much out of spring training stats, but you hope to see something encouraging. Since Infante is slated to be the first guy off the bench to spell Inge, Polanco, and Granderson he will get a reasonable amount of playing time.
In Infante’s limited career, he’s been an every-other-year kind of guy. He struggled a ton in 2003, rebounded in 2004, struggled enough in 2005 to warrant trading for Polanco (I know Urbina helped negotiate that deal as well), and did okay as the super sub last year.
At 25 years old anything can still happen with his career. But avoiding a down year could be a big step for Infante – at least if he wants to be more than a career back-up.