DETROIT -- The rosters are expanded in September, but the Tigers' options in the infield are suddenly running low. Niko Goodrum left Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Astros after a second-inning collision with Christin Stewart on a fly ball to shallow left field.Goodrum suffered what manager Ron Gardenhire called a
DETROIT -- The rosters are expanded in September, but the Tigers' options in the infield are suddenly running low. Niko Goodrum left Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Astros after a second-inning collision with Christin Stewart on a fly ball to shallow left field.
Goodrum suffered what manager Ron Gardenhire called a "deep leg contusion" above his right quadriceps.
"He had the MRI and everything, and it's not one of those things you're going to bounce back from in a couple days," Gardenhire said after the game. "It's going to be a little bit here. He took a big hit. He'll be out a little bit, so we're working on moves that we can make to try to get another infielder. We'll see."
Goodrum was making his second consecutive start at shortstop, where the Tigers have been using him and Ronny Rodriguez to fill in for injured Jose Iglesias, who has been out since the end of August with a lower abdominal strain. He received a cortisone injection on Wednesday after a visit with noted core muscle specialist Dr. William Meyers.
Iglesias' injury doesn't appear to be season-ending, but he's not going to be back right away either.
"We don't know exactly how long he might be," Gardenhire said. "He's not going to be ready for three to four days, or five days, at best. So we have to make some decisions."
Those decisions followed an Evan Gattis fly ball that sent both Goodrum and Stewart chasing it at full speed. Stewart made the catch and held on despite the collision, but his six-foot, 205-pound frame collided with Goodrum's right leg and sent him tumbling.
Goodrum stayed on the ground while Gardenhire and head athletic trainer Doug Teter checked on him. He eventually limped off the field and down the clubhouse steps as Rodriguez warmed up to replace him for the third inning.
The Tigers finished out the game with JaCoby Jones as their only other available infielder. Jones hasn't played in the infield since he made six appearances at third base as a rookie in 2016, but he was drafted and developed as a shortstop before moving into the outfield at Triple-A Toledo two years ago.
"He was going to pick his spot that he was most comfortable with," Gardenhire joked. "He couldn't decide. He said he hated third, so that's where I'd probably play him."
The problem the Tigers face with infield depth is due to their 40-man roster. The only healthy position players on it who aren't in the Majors already are shortstop prospects Willi Castro and Sergio Alcantara. Castro, Detroit's No. 10 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was acquired from Cleveland in the Leonys Martin trade and ended the season at Triple-A Toledo after Dawel Lugo was called up. Alcantara (No. 20 prospect) spent the season at Double-A Erie.
The Tigers could add one of their veteran infielders from Toledo, whose season ended last weekend, but they would have to open a 40-man roster spot. Dixon Machado was Detroit's Opening Day second baseman and played 67 games before being outrighted to Toledo. Pete Kozma played in 15 games for the Tigers this year.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.