DETROIT--Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski addressed two moves the team made Wednesday afternoon while confirming an update on the Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias. The Tigers had announced earlier in the day that shortstop Eugenio Suarez had been called up from Triple-A Toledo while shortstop Danny Worth had been designated for assignment.
Dombrowski confirmed that while there had been a slight glimmer of hope for Iglesias to return to the lineup later in the season, Wednesday's check-up firmly benched any possibility for the 2014 season.
While the timing of the news that Iglesias would not return to the Tigers lineup this season seemed to be a coincidence with Suarez being called up, it's only a part of the reason. "Even if Iglesias was OK, it would have been another six weeks to two months before he played in a game. So we would not have continued to just move along in that direction," Dombrowski said. (h/t Noah Trister, Associated Press)
"At this point, by the time (Iglesias) would have gone back and seen (Dr. Clanton) at that time which would be the middle of August, if he was cleared at that time he wouldn't have time to be ready for the season." However, Dombrowski did say that he has been reassured by Dr. Clanton that Iglesias will be ready for the 2015 season and the goal is to get him to a point where he has healed completely.
In Suarez's case, the reason he hadn't made the team initially was because the Tigers felt he needed to develop into a more well-rounded player. Dombrowski said by bringing Suarez up now when he's doing well both defensively and at the plate it gives Suarez a chance to prove he can handle the next level.
"He's a very confident individual, he handles himself well on the field, he understands the game and he's talented," Dombrowski said. "So we figured it's the right time to give him the opportunity to see how he performs. He's solid defensively, he's made some very good plays from a defensive perspective and he's swung the bat well."
But Ausmus cautioned against expecting too much from the young shortstop because while he has been a hot commodity at the minor league level, there is going to be an adjustment period. "He's got some good hands, he's swung the bat well in the minors," Ausmus said. "But I'd be very careful as to heap too much pressure on this young kid. He has the ability to play here, but there's going to be a learning curve."
The decision to keep Romine with the team was made mainly because he is a switch hitter and Suarez doesn't hit well against right-handed pitchers. For Danny Worth, his best efforts just weren't enough yet again. "He's been in a situation where he's helped us in many regards," Dombrowski said.
"He's helped us defensively, he helps on the field, he even helped us pitch this time. From an offensively situation, unfortunately Danny (Worth) scuffled when he had the opportunity and we just figure Suarez will be an upgrade for us in that regard."
Dombrowski also said that adding Suarez to the team should help give the bottom of the lineup some better at-bats but he's not to be seen as an all-in-one package solution and the rest of the lineup is going to need to contribute. "We're struggling right now and we know we're struggling. We go through those stages through the season and the bottom part of our order has really struggled from an offensive perspective."
Suarez was on the road with the Toledo Mud Hens when the call came in that he was being promoted to the Tigers. He was promptly put on a plane and arrived in time for Tuesday's game which was a good thing considering there was an injury scare in the fourth when Andrew Romine made a diving catch to prevent extra bases but landed on his shoulder the wrong way.
Brad Ausmus and Kevin Rand paid a visit to the infield and Romine remained in the game, but Suarez was getting loose in the dugout just in case things went south. Romine followed with a 4-6-3 double play immediately afterward and Suarez remained in the dugout.