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Jordy Mercer placed on the 10-day injured list

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The Tigers’ shortstop strained his right quad running to first base.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers’ shortstop Jordy Mercer will be placed on the 10-day injured list with a right quad strain sustained in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, according to Tigers public relations Twitter account.

The injury came while running out a one-hop double off the wall to lead off the inning. As he approached first base, he came up lame but managed to still stumble his way to second. He was immediately removed and replaced by Gordon Beckham as a pinch runner, who also remained in the game at shortstop. As a result, the Tigers played the rest of the match without any position players left on the bench, with Niko Goodrum out due to an illness and Nicholas Castellanos still dealing with a nagging toe injury.

The current options the club has available on the 40-man roster to replace Mercer are Brandon Dixon, Dawel Lugo, Ronny Rodriguez and Willi Castro. While Dixon has some experience at second base, that would force Harrison to move over to the other side of the bag. Lugo could slot into either shortstop or second, but would likely take the more familiar role at the latter if called up. Rodriguez is a bit of a Swiss-Army man who can fill in wherever he is needed on the field. Willi Castro is least likely to get the call, as the Tigers probably do not want to interfere with his development or his service time at this point.

Of the four mentioned above, Lugo is swinging the hottest bat, hitting .333 in 29 plate-appearances, with two doubles, a homerun, four bases-on-balls, and three strikeouts. Two others are absolutely ice cold at the plate, with Dixon batting .133 in 30 PA and 13 strikeouts, and Ronny Rodriguez swinging a slightly more respectable .212 batting average but not much else.

With Mikie Mahtook getting designated for assignment, there is an open spot on the 40-man roster that would clear a path for Pete Kozma to make his 2019 debut with the big league squad. While he is not well known for his offensive skills, he does bring a solid defensive glove into play.

The roster moves are expected to occur before the next game against the Twins in Minnesota on Sunday.