By: Will Burchfield
The general consensus on Jeimer Candelario is that he’s close to big-league ready.
He’ll get a chance to prove it this week.
The Tigers are calling up the 23-year-old third baseman in advance of Monday night’s game versus the Pirates. Candelario will take the roster spot of Jose Iglesias, who was placed on the bereavement list on Sunday after the death of a family member.
It is believed he will remain with the Tigers until Iglesias returns. A stint on the bereavement list can last from three to seven days.
Candelario was the prize of the package the Tigers received from the Cubs in exchange for Justin Wilson and Alex Avila. Chicago’s No. 1 prospect at the time of the trade, he was being blocked within the organization by All-Star third baseman Kris Bryant.
His path to playing time is similarly muddled in Detroit. Nicholas Castellanos is the team’s everyday third baseman at the moment. It is believed, however, that Castellanos will soon move to a corner outfield spot or first base — as soon as next season, potentially — opening up the hot corner for Candelario.
The Tigers are in Pittsburgh Monday and Tuesday, where they won’t have a designated hitter. If Candelario plays, he’ll likely come off the bench.He figures to make his Comerica Park debut later this week, when Detroit hosts Pittsburgh for two games and then Minnesota for three.
Candelario made his MLB debut in 2016 and was called up again earlier this season. In 16 career games for the Cubs, he was 6-44 with a home run.
Candelario reported to Triple-A Toledo after last week’s trade. He went 5-26 with one homer in six games.