Goodrum placed on IL with sprained finger

Detroit Tigers

The finger injury that forced Niko Goodrum out of Friday’s Tigers loss will keep him out a little while. It doesn’t appear to be major, but the absence will be long enough for the Tigers to get another look at Isaac Paredes as a shortstop.

The Tigers placed Goodrum on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a sprain to the tendon at the tip of his left index finger. He spent the day seeing doctors for exams to determine the extent of the damage.

“He’s got an issue that hopefully can resolve relatively quickly,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “There’s no surgery, anything like that needed. We’ve got to get some swelling out of his entire hand. He can’t really function with it right now.”

Paredes will take Goodrum’s place on the roster, having been recalled from Triple-A Toledo, and would have started in his place at shortstop on Saturday if not for a delay in his flight. Harold Castro made a start against a lefty starter instead, but Paredes likely won’t have to wait long for his chance.

Paredes, who was a third baseman when he made his Major League debut with the Tigers last season and played second base in Spring Training, made a couple starts at short in Detroit last week while Jeimer Candelario was on the bereavement list. Paredes made one error, albeit on a hard-hit ball with a 107 mph exit velocity, but otherwise made the plays on balls hit to him and some others he had to range for and test his arm.

“My first impression of Isaac is that he’s a good infielder,” Hinch said, “and essentially, he’s going to have to learn the nuances of the position again. He needs a little bit 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 maybe outside his comfort zone. That’s just the way new positions are.

“I think he can do it. I think it takes a while for people to believe. I think the infield skills that he has can translate to that position, specifically with some of the shifting that we do. We put guys in awkward positions anyway. We’ll see over time whether or not it’s something that he’s going to take more responsibility with.”

Paredes isn’t likely to be an everyday player at shortstop, his original position as an amateur prospect and at Low-A ball. At some point, regardless, the Tigers have to figure out who, if anyone, fits there long term, a question that could get another answer in next month’s MLB Draft.

It’s a question at a position with some short-term urgency. The Tigers rank 26 out of 30 MLB teams with negative-7 outs above average at short. Three of the four teams below them have lost their primary shortstop to injury. The other team, Milwaukee, just traded for former Tigers prospect Willy Adames to shore up its infield defense.

For now, look for the Tigers to continue to rotate.

“I’m going to fill the shortstop position with a combo of Paredes and Harold and Willi [Castro],” Hinch said. “All three of those guys are going to see some time at shortstop. Paredes may play a little bit of second, a little bit of third, depending on how I use the DH position and where I’m playing everybody else. But it is an opportunity for him to play a little bit more.”

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