DETROIT — Eugenio Suarez is not in the Tigers lineup at shortstop for Wednesday’s game but he’ll be available on the bench.
Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski announced that the team had recalled the contract of Suarez, 22, from Triple-A Toledo, where he was batting .302 with two home runs and seven RBI in 12 games.
Both Dombrowski and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Suarez was briefly under consideration when Jose Iglesias was diagnosed with shin fractures in both legs.
"We said, ‘Let him go out and play every day for a couple of months, and see how he continues to develop,’" Dombrowski said in Ausmus’ office Wednesday. "He has swung the bat extremely well. I think his strike zone discipline has been a little better – in fact, it’s been a lot better. Now, will it continue to be at the big-league level? Only time will tell, because the pitching is dialed up a big notch at the big-league level."
At Double-A Erie, Suarez earned a promotion after 42 games, batting .284 with six home runs and 29 RBIs with the Erie Seawolves.
"He really has just continued to grow, and to be player who we had hoped he would be," Dombrowski said. "He just keeps getting better. He’s a very confident young individual. He handles himself well on the field, he understands the game. He’s talented, so we figured it was the right time to give him the opportunity, and see how he performs."
The Tigers received word Wednesday that although Iglesias was making progress, he was not going to be able to play this season.
"The doctor is happy with the progress he’s made, but at this point he has basically been ruled out for the season, at this time," Dombrowski said. "We had always thought that, but we had maintained maybe a little bit of hope there. But really not counting on it. But that has been clearly decided."
Yet Dombrowski said that was not the main reason the Tigers recalled Suarez.
"I think it’s more dependent on Suarez has played very well for us at the minor league level," Dombrowski said. "He’s played well at Double-A, he’s only been at Triple-A for a short time period, but he’s played well there.
"We’re in a spot where he’s solid defensively. He’s made some very good plays from a defensive perspective, he’s swung the bat well. We thought at this time, he’s ready for the opportunity. Let’s see how he does."
Ausmus said Suarez and Andrew Romine would not necessarily be splitting time evenly at shortstop.
"It’s going to depend a lot on who our opponent’s starting pitcher is," Ausmus said. "But I would expect (Suarez) would get the bulk of the playing time."
Ausmus cautioned that people should not expect Suarez to be the savior.
"Very few players come to the big leagues and do what Mike Trout does," Ausmus said. "It just doesn’t happen, or rarely happens. There’s going to be a learning curve, there’s going to be mistakes. I think as a coaching staff we have to be patient."
To make room for Suarez on the roster, the Tigers designated Danny Worth for assignment.
Worth, 28, was batting just .167 with five RBI in 18 games but did not have an error in 13 games at shortstop.
Ausmus said giving Worth the news was not a fun thing to have to do.
"Danny’s done everything we’ve asked to an extreme, really," Ausmus said. "I felt awful having to tell him. Being told you’re being sent off a major league roster is not something you want to hear."
Ausmus said he expected that Suarez would be in the starting lineup for Thursday’s game.