Detroit Tigers rejections Christin Stewart and Renato Nunez could still find their way to the Big League club in 2021
It sounds crazy, but the Detroit Tigers could find help from a pair of players who have alienated themselves from the fan base in their respective tenures. Christin Stewart and Renato Nunez continue to show up for the Toledo Mud Hens and could be one injury away from ending up in Detroit again this season.
It was a difficult start to 2021 for both offensively. Nunez found himself in Detroit for a brief period and slashed .147 / .207 / .444 for the Tigers. Stewart’s first month was in May for the Mud Hens, where he hit 0.170 / 0.302 / .283 this month. While those numbers weren’t strong, they probably weren’t surprising to most fans either. Nunez was a minor league signing who didn’t take the club out of spring training anyway; Stewart, meanwhile, struggled to hit a 0.233 / 0.305 / 0.388 line with 10 home runs in a season where he was essentially good at the left post. Not much was to be expected, especially after the appointment of Stewart on April 1.
All disclaimers apply; small sample, competition, age, all that. With that in mind, Stewart has been in tears outside of her difficult first month. Since June 1, Stewart has reached 0.283 with 7 homers, 8 doubles and 4 triples for the Mud Hens and walked 13 times in those 34 games; good for a .955 OPS and a 142 wRC +.
Although he’s only made one mistake all season, Stewart’s defense will likely never be his calling card, putting immense pressure on his stick to stay in the big leagues. His numbers since June are closer to what fans have expected of him at the highest level; the injury list suggests he might have another chance to prove himself at some point in 2021.
1B Renato Nunez since June 1
Nunez’s numbers were even more impressive, one way or another. I was concerned that his own designation on April 21 would eventually lead him to play elsewhere, but after clearing the waivers he was able to play at the alternative training site and ultimately Toledo. After a .204 / .302 .426 in May, Nunez has been solid since June 1: a .302 / .407 / .597 line; 10 home runs, 7 doubles, 2 triples and 21 goals over these 40 games.
Nunez has played a minimum of third base in his career, so any trip to the greats will likely be in a type 1B / DH role. Mainly, he could be called up if the club decide to trade Jonathan Schoop, who has split his time at second and first goal this season. If so, Zack Short would likely continue to get reps at shortstop with Goodrum and Harold Castro spinning in the middle of the infield.
How likely are they to play for the Detroit Tigers in 2021?
It’s so hard to see the Detroit Tigers venturing away from that lean, athletic brand of baseball they’ve played in recent months for someone like Christin Stewart, who is known more as a thumper than a demon. speed. Daz Cameron would be a better fit for what they’re doing right now than someone like Stewart, who appears to be on the verge of returning. That said, injuries are part of what has forced the Tigers’ hand to where they are now.
The most likely candidate for a comeback is Nunez. Jonathan Schoop remains a 50/50 possibility of being traded at the deadline. The Detroit Tigers likely won’t want Cabrera to share the time with utilities Goodrum and Castro; more likely, they could go for someone like Nunez to fill that much-needed void in a limited role.
Ironically, the biggest threat to Nunez’s potential appeal could be Willi Castro, who plays a different position but would bring the versatility to allow manager AJ Hinch to drag Harold Castro, Niko Goodrum or Jeimer Candelario to first base depending on their needs.
I’ll save you from all the tired “bash-brethren” hallmarks or “Crush-tin Stewart” puns, but these two names have been raked and shown that they might deserve another shot to prove their worth. value in the major league club.