Feb 18, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers first base coach Omar Vizquel (left), Jose Iglesias and Brad Ausmus during a team practice at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Having already missed two weeks worth of games without a clear cut date that he’ll get back into games, questions have begun to intensify regarding whether or not Jose Iglesias will be ready to go come Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers. The shortstop has been dealing with a stress reaction in his shins that causes enough discomfort and pain to keep him out of the lineup.
"I guess he could be. It depends on how he feels. We’re really waiting for this pain to subside enough so that he can get in the lineup."
While Ausmus does also acknowledge Iglesias’ “low maintenance approach” to hitting, suggesting he might not need as much time as others to get be game ready at the plate. Iglesias has seen just four plate appearances so far this spring and Ausmus would like to get that number up to around 50. He’d also like to see his shortstop get time to familiarize himself with his new double play partner, as Iglesias and Ian Kinsler have yet to play together.
Should Iglesias be forced to miss time at the beginning of the season it’s unclear how exactly the Tigers will respond. Steve Lombardozzi projects to be the team’s backup infielder, though his time at shortstop has been somewhat limited (just two games in the Major Leagues and another 20 in the minors). Hernan Perez and Eugenio Suarez are the only other middle infielders currently on the team’s 40-man roster. Perez has just 73 PA under his belt with the Tigers over the past two seasons, in which he’s hit a mere .206/.225/.235, while Suarez has yet to appear in any games above Double-A. Detroit’s options are less than ideal.