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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Don't be surprised if you hear Hernan Perez is coming up Friday

DETROIT — Of the top two young middle infielders in the Detroit Tigers system, Hernan Perez was not the first one to get the call-up to the majors this season, and take a turn in the shortstop carousel.

But he might get a start before Euenio Suarez does.

Here’s why:

Suarez was called up Wednesday afternoon, and made his big-league debut later that night, winding up hurting his knee in his first at-bat.

Earlier in the game, starter Andrew Romine partially dislocated his shoulder on a diving defensive play.

With Suarez unable to take his scheduled start Thursday, that left the Tigers with Don Kelly, who has a total of 20 big-league innings (two starts) at shortstop on his resume, as the backup shortstop for the game.

He was on deck when the game ended, meaning he’d have gone out to short for the first time since 2007, if the Tigers had tied it up.

“We were down to our last out, so I don’t know that I’d want to throw Donnie out there for multiple innings, if I can possibly avoid it, so pinch-hitting earlier was a bigger risk,” manager Brad Ausmus, who wouldn’t tip which way he was leaning for Friday’s game. “Well, you certainly don’t generally want to run a team out there with a couple of people who can play shortstop. We’ll have to re-evaluate tomorrow, see how he (Suarez) feels. If it’s significantly better, great. If he doesn’t, then a decision might have to be made. No decision will be made until we talk to him tomorrow.”

While Suarez felt OK after Wednesday’s game, he was limping around the clubhouse Thursday morning. The team sent him for an MRI.

“The news was generally good. We’re hoping it’ll just be a few days,” Ausmus said. “Because of the position, obviously, we’ll have to see how he feels in the morning. But they don’t feel it’s major structural damage.”

That’s a lot the same diagnosis made on Romine’s shoulder. He said he felt it pop out when he landed awkwardly on a diving play. He stayed on the ground for several minutes, clearly in pain.

“I thought I broke something, for sure,” Romine said. “I wasn’t sure what I did, but I wanted to make sure nothing was broken before I tried to push off on it.”

Romine went for X-rays, which found no structural damage. He tested the shoulder, swinging right-handed (the biggest concern with a left shoulder injury) before acknowledging he could start Thursday’s game.

“I’ll play as much as I can,” said Romine, still clearly in pain, after the game.

If either Romine or Suarez can't go, don't be surprised if someone goes to the disabled list, and the Tigers call up Perez to cover themselves.

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