The Detroit Tigers placed Jose Iglesias on the 10-day disabled list for a lower abdominal strain, the team announced on Thursday afternoon. Iglesias suffered the injury in Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Kansas City Royals. The club recalled infielder Dawel Lugo from Triple-A Toledo to take Iglesias’ place on the active roster.
Iglesias has produced something of a bounce-back 2018 season, his last before free agency. He is hitting .269/.310/.389 on the year, good enough for an 89 OPS+ in 464 plate appearances. This is a far cry from what he produced in 2016 and 2017, but still a ways off from the above-average offensive numbers he had in 2013 and 2015. Thanks to this uptick in offensive production and his typical excellent defense, he has already amassed a career-high 2.5 fWAR in 125 games.
While the injury comes at a bad time for Iglesias, it likely will not impact his future much. The market for a glove-first shortstop is relatively tepid in this age, especially considering the bumper crop of talented young shortstops to enter the game recently. Iglesias and the Tigers could ultimately reunite this offseason, or Iglesias could sign a short-term deal with another club; either way, his injury shouldn’t affect his market very much.
Lugo was the centerpiece of the trade that sent J.D. Martinez to Arizona last summer. The 23-year-old infielder produced a solid .753 OPS in 88 games for Arizona’s Double-A affiliate last summer, and hit six home runs in a 43-game cameo for Double-A Erie after the trade. The jump to Triple-A didn’t go so well, though; Lugo has hit a solid .269 through 523 plate appearances, but an awful walk rate and lack of power have otherwise sapped his offensive production. He has a 74 wRC+ in 123 games for the Mud Hens.
Unfortunately, these are well-known deficits in Lugo’s game. He has excellent bat-to-ball skills — he has only struck out in 12.6 percent of plate appearances this season — but his hyper-aggressive approach has resulted in a minuscule 1.7 percent walk rate. He has plus raw power, according to FanGraphs, but his tendency to swing at everything doesn’t allow to reach that potential in games.
Lugo was called up for a brief cameo this year, but he still has yet to make his major league debut. He has played both second and third base this season, and has over 250 professional starts at shortstop under his belt.