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Veteran Gonzalez inconsistent at shortstop

MLB.com

DETROIT -- If there's a fountain of youth for 37-year-old Tigers shortstop Alex Gonzalez, it appears to be up the middle. It's where he has consistently made his better plays on defense, the latest being a rangy stop and toss to start a double play on Jason Kipnis to end Thursday's opening inning.

Gonzalez's miscues or non-plays, by contrast, have mainly come in other directions, either in the hole or charging in. It doesn't seem to be an arm issue, so much as range or positioning.

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DETROIT -- If there's a fountain of youth for 37-year-old Tigers shortstop Alex Gonzalez, it appears to be up the middle. It's where he has consistently made his better plays on defense, the latest being a rangy stop and toss to start a double play on Jason Kipnis to end Thursday's opening inning.

Gonzalez's miscues or non-plays, by contrast, have mainly come in other directions, either in the hole or charging in. It doesn't seem to be an arm issue, so much as range or positioning.

View Full Game Coverage

"Alex has scuffled a little bit at times defensively," manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday, "but I think he's also a much better defender than what we've seen. So I think in that sense, I'm being a little more patient. But Andrew [Romine] needs to play."

Thursday marked Gonzalez's fourth consecutive start at short after he and Romine essentially split the first eight games.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.

Detroit Tigers, Alex Gonzalez