Who Detroit Tigers plan to use, and not use, at first base with C.J. Cron injured

Evan Petzold
Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Tigers find themselves in a tough situation with first baseman C.J. Cron on the 10-day injured list with a left knee strain.

Cron suffered damage to a ligament in his knee while trying to field a ground ball during Monday's 5-1 win over the White Sox

Tigers head trainer Doug Teter said Cron is wearing a knee brace and receiving treatment throughout the day. But there is no timetable for Cron's return.

[ JaCoby Jones is the Tigers' version of John Wayne ]

The issue would've been solved had the organization called up Brandon Dixon or Frank Schwindel from the alternate training site in Toledo, but they brought up infielder Willi Castro.

So now, who's on first?

Tigers first baseman C.J. Cron gets helped off the field by manager Ron Gardenhire, left, and head athletic trainer Doug Teter during the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020.

What Gardenhire plans to do is use Dawel Lugo at third base and shift Jeimer Candelario to first base for the time being. Niko Goodrum, who played 18 games at first last year, will remain the everyday shortstop to work the middle of the infield with second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

"We don't really have an alternate plan at first base, so he's got to be the guy right now," Gardenhire said.

While Willi Castro and Harold Castro will serve as utility players, the latter could get a few reps at first base against right-handed pitchers. 

Designated hitter Miguel Cabrera won't shift back to his old position on a full-time basis, but even he could get a few reps.

"Don't assume anything, because I know Cabby might be the first guy when I walk out of this clubhouse to show me his glove," Gardenhire said. "I guarantee you that he wants to get out there. But I want him to play all year.

"He might talk me into it and go there, play a game or two. I know he wants to. He takes ground balls all the time, so that's good that he wants to go."

Evan Petzold is a sports reporting intern at the Detroit Free Press. Contact him at epetzold@freepress.com or follow him on Twitter @EvanPetzold.