Whatever the timetable, Tigers preparing for potentially long spell without Iglesias

The Tigers had no medical update Saturday on Jose Iglesias, which seemed somewhat significant after he spent Friday trying out a device for pain management. Now that reports cite peers and ex-teammates saying Iglesias expects to miss a half-season or more, the Tigers aren’t commenting on those reports, either.

“At this time, I do not have anything to discuss on Iglesias’ situation,” Dave Dombrowski wrote in an email. “Will have more in a few days.”

Coincidentally, Iglesias’ agent, Scott Boras, said late Saturday night that Iglesias will visit two specialists in the coming days to determine the best course of treatment.

Whether it’s a half-season (Jon Heyman’s report), most of the season (Jim Bowden’s tweet), or something else, however, the Tigers are preparing for the increasing possibility they’ll be without their gifted young shortstop for a significant amount of time. The fact that all this comes after Iglesias saw another specialist in Florida earlier this week for additional opinion on his injury point to a more significant injury to his shins.

Saturday was the first time manager Brad Ausmus talked about filling in for Iglesias on more on a short-term basis. He had no new medical info to share, but he had thoughts on what they might face.

“Depending on how long he’s going to be out, we may or may not need two shortstops,” Ausmus said.

Roster math suggests the Tigers shouldn’t need two shortstops if Iglesias faces a minimal stint on the disabled list.

When asked whether they’re waiting on medical results or a timetable, Ausmus didn’t give a specific answer.

“We want him to be healthy is the primary goal,” Ausmus said, “but we’re kind of at that point where with every passing day, it’s becoming extremely more difficult for him to get the number of at-bats ready to prepare for a season. In relatively short order, we’ll be past that tipping point, where we’d essentially have to open up the season without Jose.”

Whether that points free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew to Tigers camp remains to be seen. Nothing is believed to be imminent, and it’s unclear just how serious the Tigers’ interest would be. Drew is represented by Boras, who also picked up Iglesias as a client last summer. But the Tigers are about to face the tough decision between long-term and short-term outlooks.

If the Tigers make a serious run at Drew, they’ll do so knowing they’d have to give up a first-round draft pick (23rd overall) for a short-term fix. If they pass, they’re going to have to be confident in their alternatives, either an in-house mix of youngsters and utility infielders, or somebody off a trade market one AL scout said “stinks.”

The Diamondbacks could have an extra shortstop in their battle between Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings, but both are young talents in their early 20s, not veterans, and likely wouldn’t come cheap. Other clubs are likely to have serviceable utility infielders become available as rosters whittle down, but not necessarily deserving of regular playing time.

Drew has served as a shortstop for a World Championship team, having held down the job for Boston last season over Iglesias and Xander Bogaerts. He hit .253 last year with 13 home runs, 67 RBIs and a .777 OPS. He finished strong with an .837 OPS after the All-Star break, but he also hit just .222 with a .687 OPS away from Fenway Park.

The Tigers were believed to have interest in him for at least a brief flirtation last offseason before they recommitted to Jhonny Peralta. They know what they’d be getting. The debate will be what they’d give up.

18 Comments

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the official word is from the organization before we can begin speculating. I believe that DD and Illitch will do whatever is necessary, and spend the money, to help the Tigers win this season. Detroit has some good gloves up the middle in the system, but none that have proven they can hit at the major league level.
-Mike

http://minoringinbaseball.com/

It may not make any difference, but I’d like to see Iggy under the care of someone with a track record of treating this condition. I doubt you’ll find one around Lakeland or Winter Haven, and that’s what the club appears to have done. How about going national on this issue? If it’s treatable at all, that is.

I find it hard to believe that they would really on doctors from there either…let’s hope it isn’t what it appears.

@Rich&Gk … Tampa/St.Pete are within an hour of Lakeland … believe me when I tell you they are not looking just locally … and I believe 100% that they are talking to the most qualified physicians within this malady …

I’ve been worried about this since the injury was a week old. The recurrence so soon after all the time off bothered me and the fact that very little was said about Jose for another week after that.
The problem has tentacles. If they go for Drew they had batter do it fast. Because he won’t be ready and he will have had zero time working with Kinsler.
This will cause fans to start offering solutions. Radical ones are imminent. How long before we hear that Casty used to be a shortstop!!!
I feel lousy about this whole thing but I can only imagine how tough this is on Jose.
This guy may have had MVP written on the back his baseball card in the not too distant future.

‘This guy may have had MVP written on the back his baseball card in the not too distant future.’
.
i am not quite so optimistic on Iglesias’ future, but he is an outrageous defender.

He’s a thoroughbred, maybe a little more high-maintenance, but look at the results you get with him. I’d rather wait until we know for sure how long. I would have sent him to a specialist last fall as soon as the season ended to get a handle on it and employ preventive measures or needed surgery, if necessary. But, that’s just me, I guess. A triple crown shortstop run ragged,

I’m heartbroken. Fro what I’ve read, there’s different degrees of muscle damage: grade 1, 2 and 3 With grade 3, a person should stay off their feet for at least a month. Getting a few days or even a week wasn’t nearly enough and probably exacerbated the problem. I don’t want Stephen Drew. There’s only one Jose Iglesias! Take this guy to an expert and stop horsing around.

i’m not gonna offer any advice to Iglesias or the Tigers…they’ll figure it out one way or another. if the Tigers’ stay within the organization for the solution to Iglesias’ absence, it’s unclear to me who is the favored option right now. Perez, Worth, Suarez, Lombardozzi?

Worth is pretty steady. They’d have to add him to the 40 man roster.

If he is anticipated to be out until the All Star game, I think you need Stephen Drew. He is a plus defender and a good hitter (especially when you consider other SS in the league). yes, we lose a #1 pick but so what. Never stopped us before. And with each passing day with Max, it looks like he is going to finish this contract and hit the market. Tigers would obviously give him a QO and have 2 #1 picks in 2015. Give Drew 2 years and $25 million.

port, if you give him 2 years who is your starting IF when IGGY gets back and/or 2015?
.
on a side note, Drew gives the tigers some pop against RHP, no?

Who cares? I think at this point you have to assume that Iggy may not come back at 100% any time in the near future. So why worry about how you are going to deal with him being healthy until he is healthy? For now, he is gone indefinitely, so we need another starting SS.

well paying drew 12M next year when we have Iggy and Cast…..seems to be an issue. 12M is almost how much the tigers spent on the bullpen in 2013, no?

Castellanos/Drew/Kinsler for the next 2 years. Love iggy’s glove and potential, but if he is out most of the year, I am not sure going with Suarez and/or Worth is the way to go. I do not think Perez is a SS, he is a 2B.

Washington announcers say they’re hearing the inflammation may be in the bone itself. The covering of the bone, the periosteum, can get inflamed. Optimistic outlook is he’d be out a couple of months.

This is sounding to me like one of those chronic problems that no one understands and never really fully goes away. I have a really bad feeling about this.

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