Tigers rule out Iglesias for 2014 season
Shin injuries shut down shortstop; Suarez, Romine manning position
DETROIT -- The Tigers went into Opening Day with the expectation they wouldn't have Jose Iglesias available to play until next year. From that standpoint, Wednesday's update wasn't really anything new so much as a reinforcement.
"He is not coming back [this season]," team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed Wednesday, "as we had anticipated all year long."
A follow-up exam with doctors this week showed Iglesias progressing from the stress fractures in both shins that sidelined the Tigers shortstop early in Spring Training, but not enough to consider him returning to game action.
"Really, the report on him has not changed at all from Spring Training," Dombrowski said. "It really was the same report. He was at the three-month time frame and he went in to get tested at that point. Which he did, he went in to see the doctor. The doctor thought he was progressing. The treatments are continuing to come through.
"At this point, by the time he would go back and see them again, which is the middle of August, even if he was cleared at that time, he wouldn't have time to be ready for the season. At this point, the doctor feels he'll be ready for 2015, yes."
The exam was part of the original timetable given when specialists formulated a rehab program for Iglesias to address the shin issues that have bothered the slick-fielding shortstop for more than a year, since well before his trade from Boston to Detroit. Doctors recommended Iglesias not do any weight-bearing activity for a while to allow his legs to heal.
The goal wasn't to get him back this year, but to get him healthy for the next season, and healthy enough that the shins won't be an issue for him anymore. Even best-case news from the doctor Wednesday would've left Iglesias facing long odds to ramp up to baseball activity in time for this season.
"Even if Iglesias was OK, it would have been another six weeks to two months before he played in a game," Dombrowski said, "so we would not have continued to just move along in that direction."
The important part of the timetable for the Tigers is getting Iglesias back to full strength for next season. Doctors affirmed that.
"They think he'll be fine for '15," Dombrowski said.
The news on Iglesias came on the same day that the Tigers changed shortstops once more, recalling prospect Eugenio Suarez from Triple-A Toledo. He's expected to get the bulk of the playing time at short for now, leaving Andrew Romine in more of a supporting role. Danny Worth, who had been sharing time with Romine at short, was designated for assignment to make room for Suarez on the 25-man roster.