With Jose Iglesias potentially out for the entire season due to a shin injury, the Detroit Tigers find themselves in need of a shortstop. A lot of names have been tossed around as trade possibilities to fill the hole, but the Tigers would be wise to stay in-house to fill the spot.
A big reason for not trading for a replacement is the lack of organizational depth for Detroit. Over the years, the Tigers have traded away their top young talent in order to improve their team at at that moment. For the Tigers to acquire a new shortstop, they would have to give up some of their prospects, and the Tigers don’t have prospects that they can afford to give up.
The Tigers’ best option at shortstop would be to go with a platoon of Hernan Perez and Danny Worth at short.
Perez is one of the Tigers’ better prospects, and although he could use a little more work in the minors, he would get the job done as a replacement. He saw some extended playing time last season after Omar Infante was injured, so he has the experience. The big thing for Perez will be improving his production at the plate. He hit just .197 in 66 at-bats last season. He did hit .301 in 103 games between double-A and triple-A last season, so the potential is there.
Worth has emerged as another option during Spring Training. He is currently hitting 12-for-36, .333, with seven RBIs. Worth also has drawn five walks and has an on-base percentage of .432. Worth has spent the last four seasons bouncing between triple-A and the majors, but he has a chance to stick around for a while this year.
A third option is utility infielder Steve Lombardozzi. Acquired in the Doug Fister trade this offseason, Lombardozzi should see time backing up second, third and short. With Iglesias injured, Lombardozzi could see some time as his replacement. He is a career .264 hitter at the major league level and is hitting .242 this spring.