The Detroit Tigers all utility team spanning from 2000-2021


Welcome to Day 23 (24? I stopped counting) of the MLB lockout. Baseball is sad, and all we can do as fans is reminisce on the best of the Detroit Tigers over the past several years.

Now, what could be better than thinking back on all the great utility players that have both performed well and been fan favorites?

Well, watching Detroit Tigers baseball would be better, but that’s not really on the table right now. In that case, let’s put together the best, most exciting team out of Tigers players well known for their ability to play multiple positions at will.

To make this team, of course, there are criteria. These players must have started at three or more positions during their Tigers tenure in the 2000s (DH does not count; it cannot just be the three outfield positions). These players must have had a meaningful impact on the team, whether that be through their performance, fan interest, or reliability.

The pitchers must have appeared in all manner of pitching situations, whether it be starting, relieving, or finishing games. Overall, this may not be the best team ever played, but it certainly will be versatile.

Building a team out of Detroit Tigers utility players

C: Brandon Inge

Am I slighting Inge by not putting him at his traditional position of 3rd Base? Maybe. However, our utility team has to be adaptable, and he will likely split time with our 1st baseman. Inge was a mainstay of the 2000s Tigers, with a modest .233/.304/.387 slash in his tenure. He brings a little power in a lineup that will be scarce for it (just not in Home Run Derbys)

1B: John Hicks

Hicks was not a spectacular player and barely fits my arbitrary criteria (he mostly just played 1st and Catcher), but sometimes you need to make exceptions for someone exceptional. However, Hicks is not exceptional. He has pop and can play catcher. We take what we can get sometimes.

2B: Andrew Romine

Now, this is a player to get excited about; Romine is the ultimate utility player. In fact, he played all nine positions in a single game, the only bright spot of the 6-23 September of 2017. He’s a fan favorite and a reliable fielder. Good for our double-play tandem.

SS: Niko Goodrum

The other half of the middle infield is one of the most likable human beings to grace the Tigers over the rebuild. Goodrum had some strong performances with the bat early in his tenure but has since petered off significantly. However, his impact in the dark 2018-2019 seasons is not to be understated.

3B: Harold Castro

Hittin’ Harold plays everywhere and can put the bat on the ball. Now, that ball is highly unlikely to leave the park, and he doesn’t really walk all that much, but he sure can hit for contact. The nickname alone is worth a spot.

LF: Don Kelly

Don Kelly. Donnie Kelly Baby. DKB. He’s known by many names, but out of all of them, he is known as THE Tigers utility player. He needs no introduction. He has provided the Tigers’ fanbase with both beautiful baseball moments and memes alike. He is Don Kelly, and we all must bow to his greatness.

CF: Omar Infante

Infante had two tenures with the Tigers. His first is the one on which we will focus, as it’s the one where he was actually a utility player. He was a solid hitter, likely among the better ones on this team. Not a lot of power, but a good amount of speed that will undoubtedly serve the team well in Center.

RF: Ryan Raburn

Raburn is definitely the best hitter on the team. His Tigers’ slash line of .256/.311/.430 meant he had the power to hit in the middle of the order and the ability to walk just enough to be competent.

P: Tyler Alexander

Alexander has started, relieved, and finished up games and has become a Swiss Army knife in the revamped Tigers pitching staff. Further, he has shown significant improvement over his three seasons and looks to continue growing his importance over the coming seasons.

P: Phil Coke

Do you remember Phil Coke started 14 games in 2011? Neither did I. Who cares, though? Phil Coke is the Don Kelly of the pitching staff. Fan-favorite. Team mainstay. We would be incomplete without him. Would he be good? Does it matter? Phil Coke.

P: Drew Smyly

Smyly’s tenure as a Tiger was short, but he performed well as a starter and reliever. He grew out very well beyond the confines of Detroit, but he would serve a critical role in this team as an anchor. His stats from his Detroit era are solid, and he would generally be a good addition.

More. Detroit Tigers prospect Daniel Cabrera has to get back on track to flourish. light

How many games would this team win? I honestly don’t know or care. They would be fun to watch and make for some entertaining stories. Thinking about the Tigers of the past is enjoyable; I just hope the lockout ends soon.