Detroit — The Tigers’ troublesome shortstop position has taken another hit.
Niko Goodrum, who had made 39 starts at shortstop, was put on the injured list Saturday with a tendon injury in the tip of his left index finger.
“Hopefully it can be resolved relatively quickly,” manager AJ Hinch said. “He’s seeing some doctors and they are sending films to some hand doctors around the country. But essentially, he’s got an issue with the tip of his left index finger. No surgery is required, but we have to get the swelling out of his entire hand.”
Goodrum injured his finger making a diving attempt on a ball in the sixth inning Friday night.
The Tigers called up infielder Isaac Paredes from Triple-A Toledo and he was in the original starting lineup at shortstop Saturday. But his plane was delayed and he wasn’t going to get to Anaheim in time. Harold Castro will get the start instead.
“We will see how it plays out, but I’m going to fill the shortstop position with a combination of Paredes, Harold Castro and Willi Castro,” Hinch said.
The Tigers went into the game Saturday with the worst defensive runs saved rating in baseball (minus-13). They also rank near the bottom of the American League in offensive production out of the shortstop position — .229 batting average (13th), .332 slugging (13th) and .633 OPS (14th).
Though he played two games at shortstop in his previous stint with the Tigers, Paredes spent all last season at third base and was used at third and second all through spring training and early in the Triple-A season.
Willi Castro started the season as the Tigers regular shortstop and was a minus-9 defensive runs saved in 36 starts before being moved to second base.
Harold Castro, who has played every position on the diamond except catcher and right field this year, is a minus-5 defensive runs saved in nine games at shortstop.
“My first impression of Isaac is he’s a good infielder and he’s going to have to learn the nuances of the shortstop position again,” Hinch said. “He needs more time and experience to do it. But I expect him to make the plays he should make and I expect him to struggle with plays that are outside his comfort zone.
“That’s the way new positions are. But I think he can do it.”
Perhaps if the Tigers felt Goodrum would be out for an extended period of time, they might’ve summoned Zack Short from Toledo instead. He’s a true shortstop and probably the best defender of the three that are playing the position now.
For now, though, they will use this time to further assess Paredes.
“I think it takes a while for people to believe – they have to see it to believe it,” Hinch said. “The infield skills that he has can translate to that position. With the shifts that we do, we put guys in awkward positions anyway.
“We will see over time if it’s something he takes more responsibility with. It takes time and game reps and some observation to be able to paint that picture. But I’m not afraid of trying it.”
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