Detroit Tigers fans will see a new face in the dugout when the team arrives in Pittsburgh on Monday. According to Jason Beck of MLB.com, third baseman Jeimer Candelario will be called up from Triple-A Toledo to join the team. He’ll take the place of shortstop Jose Iglesias, who is on the bereavement list following a death in his family.
Candelario was the Chicago Cubs’ top prospect when he was traded to the Tigers in the deal that sent Justin Wilson and Alex Avila to the defending World Series champs. He slashed .266/.361/.507 for the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate this season. This won’t be his first stint in the major leagues, as he’s been up for 16 games with the Cubs over the past two seasons. Since the trade, Candelario has been slotted in as the Tigers’ third overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, behind Matt Manning and Alex Faedo.
Iglesias can remain on the bereavement list anywhere from three to seven days. So this is liable to be a cup of coffee for Candelario. The real point of interest is whether he’ll start in any of these games. The Tigers will play two in Pittsburgh starting Monday, and then welcome the Pirates into Comerica Park for two games.
Candelario profiles as a defensive upgrade from current third baseman, Nick Castellanos. Indeed, Candelario’s acquisition has led many to speculate that Castellanos will be a likely trade candidate for the Tigers this offseason, or will have to move to the outfield. So it’ll be interesting to see how the Tigers employ their new third baseman in his first major league action with the team.
Considering the fact that the Tigers have no need to replace Iglesias on the roster, with both Dixon Machado and Andrew Romine present, the move is clearly aimed at getting at look at Candelario. Otherwise they could’ve opted to add another reliever. We’ll have to see how Brad Ausmus constructs his lineup over the next few days, but you’d have to think the Tigers would like to get a look at their best position player prospect at his natural position.