Way back in Spring Training of this season, Detroit Tigers infield prospect Hernan Perez was thought to be one of several internal candidates to fill the team’s shortstop vacancy that was created when Jose Iglesias was lost for the season due to stress fractures in his shins. The Tigers went in a different direction, however, giving the first crack to the 37-year-old Alex Gonzalez, then going with a platoon of Andrew Romine and Danny Worth before ultimately calling up Eugenio Suarez and giving him the majority of the reps at that position.
Perez, who saw action with the Tigers in both 2012 and 2013, has been stuck in Triple-A Toledo for the entire season up to this point. The 23-year-old Perez has been having a nice season in Triple-A, though, entering play on Sunday with a slash line of .287/.331/.404 with 32 doubles, seven triples, six home runs, 21 stolen bases and 53 RBIs.
One could certainly be tempted to make the argument that he has played well enough to warrant a September call-up, and now with September just one day away, Tigers fans should know very shortly whether or not Perez will be getting the call.
Considering the fact that the Tigers are currently in the thick of a pennant race and fighting for a playoff spot, it should be interesting to see how Perez is used if and when he is called up. Perez, who has played 118 games at shortstop and 14 games at second base this season, would likely see limited action at both middle infield spots, perhaps cutting back the playing time of Romine even further. The 23-year-old Suarez has continued to hold his own as the Tigers’ starting shortstop, hitting .252 with four home runs and 18 RBIs, and Ian Kinsler can be expected to start most every game at second base while the Tigers are still trying to clinch a playoff berth. Manager Brad Ausmus should still be able to find spots for Perez, though, assuming he does get called up.
When Perez was last with the big league club in 2013, he struggled a bit, hitting just .197 in 66 at-bats. It should be interesting to see how he fares against MLB pitching after spending another year in the minors.