Tigers call up shortstop prospect Eugenio Suarez

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Detroit’s shortstops have been incredibly bad this season, hitting a combined .191 with one homer and a .484 OPS in 54 games, and today the Tigers made a move to address that mess by calling up minor leaguer Eugenio Suarez from Triple-A.

Suarez isn’t considered a top prospect and almost surely wouldn’t be arriving in the majors at age 22 if not for the Tigers’ terrible production at the position, but he’s hit very well between Double-A and Triple-A this season.

He began the year at Double-A and then got a promotion to Triple-A two weeks ago, batting .288 with eight homers and an .870 OPS in 54 games between the two levels. Suarez’s track record isn’t as promising–he hit just .264 with a .744 OPS last year–but between his age and current production there’s a chance he could hold his own versus big leaguers. And obviously it won’t take much for him to be a huge upgrade.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.