Danny Worth should be in the big leagues.
That's what Tigers manager Jim Leyland said this spring. That's what Triple-A Toledo manager Phil Nevin repeated last week.

Yet there he was, once again, sitting at his locker at Fifth Third Field, an old stomping ground for Worth, who was preparing Wednesday to play in his 246th game with the Mud Hens.

It's where the 27-year-old utility infielder has spent the majority of his professional career the past five years. And given his situation, he could be there for most, if not all, of his sixth.

"For a guy in his position, I’d imagine it’s pretty tough," Nevin said. "He’s proven that he belongs as a big-league player."

'Scuffling early'

That's not to say Worth hasn't been offered his share of opportunities.

He made his Major League debut in 2010 when the Tigers found themselves in need of an infielder after they had optioned former Tiger Scott Sizemore.

In his first at-bat, Worth hit a bases-loaded single with two outs and went on to hit .333 in eight games before being sent back to Triple-A.

It was the first of many trips Worth would make between Toledo and Detroit. In all, he's hit .244 with a .310 on-base percentage and 14 RBIs in more than a half-dozen different stints with the Tigers.