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Lugo's transition to 2nd will continue in Minors

Prospect optioned to Triple-A to keep getting reps, allow Tigers infield hopefuls to do same
MLB.com @beckjason

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Dawel Lugo has the chance to become Detroit's second baseman in the near future, but his time hasn't arrived yet. The Tigers optioned the strong middle infielder to Triple-A Toledo after Tuesday's loss to the Yankees so that he could continue developing in the farm system.

The move was expected sooner or later, but arrived Tuesday as the Tigers looked for playing time at second -- not just for starter Dixon Machado, but for utility-infield candidates such as Alexi Amarista, Niko Goodrum and Ronny Rodriguez.

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LAKELAND, Fla. -- Dawel Lugo has the chance to become Detroit's second baseman in the near future, but his time hasn't arrived yet. The Tigers optioned the strong middle infielder to Triple-A Toledo after Tuesday's loss to the Yankees so that he could continue developing in the farm system.

The move was expected sooner or later, but arrived Tuesday as the Tigers looked for playing time at second -- not just for starter Dixon Machado, but for utility-infield candidates such as Alexi Amarista, Niko Goodrum and Ronny Rodriguez.

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Lugo, the Tigers' 12th-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, went 3-for-11 with two RBIs in big league camp. He had three putouts, three assists and an error in seven total chances at second base, where he moved to late last season after playing third base for most of the year.

Video: DET@NYM: Lugo drives in first Tigers' run in 9th

His transition to second base will continue with the Mud Hens. By optioning him there now instead of waiting, the Tigers will get him a steady diet of games in Minor League camp, where games began a few days ago.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Lugo's timetable for the big leagues partly depends on the Tigers' moves this season. While Machado is expected to open the season at second in Detroit, he could move to shortstop if the Tigers make a move with Jose Iglesias, which would open up second base. That could also happen next offseason, when Iglesias is eligible for free agency.

Lugo's departure leaves 58 players in Major League camp with three weeks before the Tigers head north.

Fulmer throws bullpen session

Michael Fulmer threw 35-40 pitches in the bullpen Tuesday morning without any problem after he was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday with soreness in the back of his right elbow. He's on track to start on Friday, which puts him back in his rotation slot and seemingly on track for a potential Opening Day start.

Tweet from @beckjason: Michael Fulmer just finished a bullpen session, interrupted occasionally by home runs from Yankees batting practice. Looks ok to rejoin Tigers rotation Friday. pic.twitter.com/5Ue0VZ9qgF

Manager Ron Gardenhire has said he doesn't plan on announcing his Opening Day starter until later in camp. Still, Fulmer's turn, counting out every five days this spring, puts him on track to be on turn for a March 29 assignment if Gardenhire so chooses.

Other injury updates

Travis Wood, who suffered ACL and meniscus tears in a game last Thursday against the Braves, will undergo surgery Wednesday in Dallas, performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister. Wood is expected to miss the 2018 season.

Blaine Hardy, out since early in Spring Training with inflammation in his left shoulder, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session next Tuesday, according to Gardenhire.

Up next

Matthew Boyd makes his third start of the spring Wednesday when the Tigers host the Blue Jays in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest at Joker Marchant Stadium, live on Gameday Audio. Boyd gave up a run on two hits in two innings against the Jays in his Grapefruit League debut Feb. 25 in Dunedin.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Dawel Lugo