Andrew Romine

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Andrew James Romine

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Biographical Information[edit]

The son of Kevin Romine and brother of Austin Romine, shortstop Andrew Romine was selected by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the 5th round of the 2007 amateur draft. He was signed by scout John Gracio and made his pro debut that summer with the Orem Owlz, hitting .286 with 5 home runs in 56 games. His year was highlighted by a 16-game hitting streak from July 1st to July 21st, and he hit for the cycle on September 9th against the Ogden Raptors.

On March 21, 2014, Romine was traded to the Detroit Tigers in return for P Jose Alvarez. The Tigers had just learned that SS José Iglesias would likely be out for the season and were looking for some infield help. He played a lot on the early going, but did not hit much, even though the Tigers were playing very well. He was hitting .173 on May 23rd when he connected for his first career home run, coming in his 105th big league game. He hit it off Scott Baker of the Texas Rangers in the 6th inning of a 7-2 win. He made his pitching debut on August 22nd, pitching the 8th inning of a 20-6 loss to the Minnesota Twins; things did not really go well as he gave up 3 runs on 4 hits, including homers by Oswaldo Arcia and Trevor Plouffe. Rookie Eugenio Suarez ended up getting the bulk of the work at shortstop during the regular season, while Andrew hit .227 with 2 homers and 12 RBI in 94 games. However, he got the nod to start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles and went 2 for 4, but his 8th-inning error helped to open the floodgates for Baltimore in a 12-3 loss.

He hit his first career grand slam on April 12, 2017 in a 5-3 win over the Twins. In September of that year, with the Tigers completely out of the postseason picture, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus mused aloud about letting Andrew play all nine positions in a game before the end of the season. The only position he had not played yet was catcher - ironically his brother Austin's principal position. The Tigers announced that they would go on with the plan in their final game of the season, against the Minnesota Twins on October 1st, making him only the fifth player ever to do so at the major league level. They had waited to confirm this until the Twins had clinched a postseason slot, not wanting to affect the final standings with the planned stunt. In preparation, he caught bullpen sessions by Buck Farmer and Anibal Sanchez a couple of days before his big day. In the end the Tigers decided to bring forward his performance by a day, to September 30th. As it was a road game, it wasn't certain he would get to play a full inning at each position. He did play a full inning at LF, CF, RF, 3B, SS and 2B, then started the top of the 7th at catcher, with Bryan Holaday moving from behind the plate to second. Blaine Hardy was the pitcher, trying to hold a 3-1 lead,, and after one out, Ehire Adrianza hit a fly ball to center-right on which CF JaCoby Jones almost made a tremendous leaping catch, but the ball fell out of his glove for a double. Zach Granite followed with a run-scoring single, and before he could attempt to steal second, Romine allowed a passed ball, then Joe Mauer drew a walk. With things getting pretty tight, Ausmus moved him back to second base in place of Holaday and had James McCann move from the DH spot to catch. Hardy managed to get out of the inning without further damage, and Andrew got on the mound to start the 8th. He faced Miguel Sano and managed to get the slugger to ground out to Jeimer Candelario at third base after bouncing a couple of pitches in the dirt. Again, Ausmus did not press his luck further, moving him to first base, where he finished the game, while Daniel Stumpf and Shane Greene got the final five outs to preserve the 3-2 win. Fittingly, Romine recorded the final out unassisted at first, on a ground ball by Granite. At the plate, he went 1 for 3 with a walk. In an aside, while a few position players had been used as pitchers in tie games in extra innings since 1969, Romine was the first to enter a game in a save situation - and to record a hold.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Jason Beck: "Romine may play all 9 positions on Sunday: Tigers will close out 2017 season vs. Twins at Target Field", mlb.com, September 28, 2017. [1]
  • Anthony Fenech: "Andrew Romine plays all 9 defensive positions in Tigers' win over Twins", USA Today Sports, September 30, 2017. [2]
  • George Sipple: "Detroit Tigers may play Andrew Romine all 9 positions in 1 game. Here's why they should", Detroit Free Press, September 14, 2017. [3]

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