Mar. 13, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Ryan Strieby (63) catches a fly ball in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Tigers Cut Six More, None Surprising


And none of those cuts was Brandon Inge, so don’t bother asking. These weren’t the kind of cuts that resolve roster issues, but the kind that signal that spring training has entered it’s final phase – when deeper rosters are no longer feasible, since likely regulars will be getting most if not all of the in-game practice.

We all knew that Jacob Turner wasn’t making the team out of camp at this point, however good his arm might be feeling. The Tigers made that official today, optioning him to Toledo and sending him over to minor league camp. Joining him will be Argenis Diaz and Audy Ciriaco, who I would presume never had a shot to do anything more in spring training than replace regulars in the late innings. He’ll also be joined by three guys who might – if things had shaken out just right – have had the longest of long-shot chances to win a roster spot: right-handed reliever Chris Bootcheck, right-handed first baseman Ryan Strieby and left-handed outfielder Quintin Berry.

I honestly don’t think any of these guys could be ‘blamed’ for being cut, but for anything else to have happened they would have needed to be the only guy left standing. Their competitors didn’t all implode so out they go…

Turner, obviously, is a special case. For him everything will hinge on the health of his right arm and not anything his competitors do. He was the front-runner for the fifth starter spot, and by seasons end he might very well make more starts for Detroit than Below, Oliver, Smyly or anyone else who might wind up filling that rotation spot. For the time being, though, I think the Tigers will be taking it slow. Many other teams have had worse news this spring on pitchers who are either important prospects or key producers: think Joakim Soria and Ryan Madson for starters. I suppose we Tigers fans should be glad that tendonitis is the worst news we’ve had so far.

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  • jgorosh

    I was going to write a piece about how there was no way that berry would make the team and put it up today, but this beat me to it.

  • garretkc

    This leaves 31 guys in big league camp (not counting Al Alburquerque, who isn’t officially inactive yet). 21 guys are pretty much sure things. Roster battles, which include nine men, are now down to:
     
    Fifth starter: Duane Below, Drew Smyly, and Andy Oliver.
     
    Seventh reliever: Luis Marte and Brayan Villarreal (unless Oliver or Smyly win the starting job, pushing Below to the bullpen).
     
    Fourth outfielder: Andy Dirks and Clete Thomas.
     
    Last infield spot: Brandon Inge and Danny Worth.
     
    The remainder is Omir Santos, who is still around to provide some catching relief. He’s the only guy remaining who doesn’t have a guaranteed spot and isn’t in competition for one. One week left!

    • jgorosh

       @garretkc I think the 7th reliever battle will continue for the first month or so. Depending on who does well in Detroit/Toledo. It’s inevitable someone will get hurt or be ineffective, so both guys could see a lot of time in Detroit this season. I don’t think that they’d push below to the bullpen. They’d have to choose three between Oliver/Smyly (whoever wins the 5th starter job) Below, Schlereth, Coke. I doubt they keep 4 lefties, including three in the pen.