By NOAH TRISTER/AP Baseball Writer
DETROIT (AP) – The Detroit Tigers still haven’t solved their dilemma at shortstop, which came about because of an injury to Jose Iglesias.
On Wednesday, general manager Dave Dombrowski ruled out Iglesias for the season – and the Tigers called up one of their better prospects, hoping he can provide some immediate help.
Detroit recalled Eugenio Suarez from Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday and designated infielder Danny Worth for assignment. The 22-year-old Suarez has hit .302 since being promoted to Toledo. Dombrowski announced the move before Wednesday night’s game against Toronto, at the same time he confirmed the Tigers don’t expect Iglesias back.
Iglesias has not played in 2014. He was initially expected to miss several months when the severity of his injuries became clear during spring training.
“He continues to make progress, the doctor’s happy with the progress he made, but at this point, he basically has been ruled out for the season,” Dombrowski said. “We had always thought that, but we had maintained maybe a little bit of hope there.”
Detroit acquired Iglesias from Boston in a trade in the middle of last season, and he ended up finishing second in the American League rookie of the year vote.
The Tigers lead the AL Central, but they had lost 11 of 15 entering Wednesday’s game, with the bottom of their batting order struggling to produce. Shortstop Andrew Romine was hitting .200 through 39 games.
Romine remained in the starting lineup Wednesday, but the Tigers want to see what they have in Suarez, who was ranked by Baseball America as Detroit’s eighth-best prospect before the season.
“He’s got some good hands, he’s swung the bat well in the minors,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “But I’d be very careful as to heap too much pressure on this young kid.”
The Tigers acquired Romine and Alex Gonzalez shortly before the start of the season to play shortstop, and Gonzalez did not even last until the end of April. Now that free agent shortstop Stephen Drew has re-signed with Boston, the Tigers may need to try to trade for someone at that position if their internal candidates continue to flounder.
Worth hit .167 in 20 games, and his most notable contribution was probably as an emergency relief pitcher. At the end of two blowout losses last month, he took the mound and showed off a startlingly good knuckleball.
“He’s done everything we asked, to an extreme, really,” Ausmus said. “No one wants to hear bad news. He was very professional about it.”