No real surprises here, but the Detroit Tigers have announced that they’ve assigned five players from major league camp to minor league camp. Chris Iott of MLive has the list:
The Tigers have assigned catcher Ramon Cabrera and shortstop Dixon Machado to Double-A Erie and pitcher Melvin Mercedes to Single-A Lakeland. They also assigned outfielder Daniel Fields and infielder Eugenio Suarez to minor-league camp.
There was some talk at the end of last season – I think Assistant General Manager Al Avila mentioned this as part of an in-game interview on Fox Sports Detroit – that perhaps Eugenio Suarez would make the jump all the way to AA Erie (after playing last season at Low-A West Michigan), but that’s probably a long shot now. With Dixon Machado apparently getting the nod to Double-A, Suarez will likely end up as the starting shortstop for the Lakeland Flying Tigers. Developmentally, that’s probably better for him. He’ll be just 21 at the start of the year and, while he hit well in the Midwest League, he didn’t hit so well that his batting line demanded an ultra-aggressive promotion.
Machado will also be in his age-21 season (he’s actually a few months younger than Suarez), but this will be his third year in a full-season league stateside. It almost feels like a make-or-break year for Machado – who’s shown nothing in the way of hitting ability – but he’s so young, and he’s been promoted so aggressively, that it’s really not. You’d like to see something from him at the plate to go along with his outstanding defense, but it has to be tough to do while getting shuffled forward in the pipeline.
Daniel Fields finished 2012 well after being promoted to AA, so he’ll likely pick up where he left off with a spot on the Erie Roster.