When Tigers shortstop Eugenio Suarez stole second base on a slide Tuesday night, it didn't look good. Upon standing up, it was obvious he was in pain and Suarez motioned to the dugout immediately afterward. Suarez was removed from the game and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was not optimistic about a rapid return at the time.
That has now changed and while the Tigers are still waiting for the MRI results to come in, Tuesday Ausmus told MLive's Chris Iott the level of his trepidation regarding Suarez's status about being benched for an extended amount of time has been reduced.
"We don't have the results yet," Ausmus said, "but he's moving around extremely well, so we are cautiously optimistic that this will be a more short-term issue rather than a long-term issue."
Rather than the typical day-to-day status that generally puts minds at ease, the Tigers had announced Monday night that Suarez's sprained left knee would be re-evaluated Tuesday.
What made it worse was the way Suarez injured himself was identical to the first injury that benched him in early June during his first game with the Tigers. Because the injury looked so identical, it gave Ausmus additional cause for concern.
"When it happened, I was thinking the same thing as the first time he got injured, that this is going to be a possible major injury," Ausmus said. "The way he hopped up last night and was calling us out, I was concerned."
Backup shortstop Andrew Romine replaced Suarez Monday night and he was listed in the lineup on Tuesday. As it stands, Romine will handle shortstop duties until Suarez is fully recovered, which means in the meantime Don Kelly will serve as the backup shortstop.
If Suarez's recovery stalls, then it's likely the Tigers would need to call up Triple-A Toledo shortstop Hernan Perez, as he's on the 40-man roster and it would be easy to call him to New York.
However, the Tigers don't feel that will be necessary at this point and Ausmus is hoping to keep it that way because that would mean Suarez would avoid a trip to the disabled list.