DETROIT — Eugenio Suarez’s first big-league start will have to wait at least one more day.
Detroit’s highly touted infield prospect made his major-league debut Wednesday night, replacing Andrew Romine in the late innings, but injured his knee on an awkward slide into second base. He stayed in the game, and Brad Ausmus announced he would be in Thursday afternoon’s starting lineup. The game airs on Fox Sports Detroit at 1:00 p.m., with Tigers Live starting at noon.
That changed Thursday morning when Suarez limped into the Tigers clubhouse and let the team know that he wasn’t able to play. He wasn’t able to speak to the media because he was undergoing treatment on the knee, but he was visibly limping as he walked to the trainer’s room.
Ausmus ducked a question about Suarez’s short-term status, answering "Aren’t we all?" when he was asked if Suarez was being considered day-to-day. If he is forced to miss more than a game or two, the Tigers could have some significant depth issues at shortstop.
Romine banged up his shoulder in Wednesday night’s game, and although he stayed in, it isn’t clear if he is 100 percent. The only other player on Detroit’s roster that has played shortstop is, of course, Don Kelly, but his only major-league appearances at the position were 20 innings for Pittsburgh in 2007.
During Thursday’s batting practice, third baseman Nick Castellanos was taking grounders at shortstop under the close supervision of infield-defense guru Omar Vizquel, but he and Kelly would only be emergency options.
Suarez had torn through Detroit’s minor-league system as they searched for an answer at shortstop in the wake of Jose Iglesias’ shin splits. After moving from Lakeland to Erie last year, he started this season with the Sea Wolves and moved to Toledo on May 22. After just 12 games in Triple-A, he was called up to the big leagues on Wednesday and got into the game in the seventh.
That night, he was thrilled about the prospect of starting his first big-league game, but now he’s going to save that milestone for another day.