Late Tuesday night, it was reported that the Detroit Tigers had promoted hot-hitting middle infield prospect Eugenio Suarez from Double-A Erie to Triple-A Toledo. Due to the offensive struggles of the Tigers’ two shortstops, Andrew Romine and Danny Worth, some are beginning to wonder if Suarez could perhaps find himself playing in Detroit before too long.
At the time of his promotion, the soon-to-be 23-year-old Suarez was batting a healthy .284 with six home runs, 29 RBIs and a stellar .850 OPS. Thus far, Romine and Worth have combined for a lowly .189 batting average, two extra-base hits, seven RBIs and 34 strikeouts in 111 at-bats. Although there is still a question of whether or not Suarez is ready to tackle MLB pitching as of yet, Tigers’ shortstops have set the bar rather low for offensive production this season, and it is not much of a stretch to think that Suarez could out-hit Romine and Worth.
As a matter of fact, one could easily make the argument that Romine and Worth have been even worse at the plate than the 2009 duo of Adam Everett and Ramon Santiago were. That was, of course, during the club’s pre-Jhonny Peralta days. Romine and Worth have been pretty solid in the field, however. Romine has shown terrific range and is currently sporting a .971 fielding percentage, while Worth has still yet to commit an official error at shortstop although he has misplayed a few balls.
That said, there may come a time where the Tigers simply need to get a bit more production out of the bottom of their lineup, and if Romine and Worth continue to struggle with the bat, their options are severely limited. The Tigers can no longer entertain the thought of signing Stephen Drew now that he has returned to the Boston Red Sox, and prospect Hernan Perez is batting just .244 in Toledo. Therefore, one would have to believe that Suarez is next in line to get a chance to play shortstop for the Tigers if he gets off to a hot start in Toledo and Romine and Worth remain ice cold at the plate.
In 2012, the Tigers finally answered Brennan Boesch‘s season-long struggles by bringing up a 21-year-old top outfield prospect named Avisail Garcia in late August, who eventually made the postseason roster over Boesch. It is not out of the realm of possibility that we could see a similar situation unfold with Suarez this season.