Mar 11, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Robbie Ray (70) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers Make First Round Of Spring Training Roster Cuts

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According to Chris Iott of MLive, the Detroit Tigers cut nine players from their Major League roster on Wednesday morning.

The Tigers announced Wednesday morning that they have released right-hander Luis Marte, who last pitched for the Tigers in 2012 and pitched in just three games for Triple-A Toledo in the 2013 season before having season-ending shoulder surgery.

The Tigers assigned right-handed pitcher Drew VerHagen, left-handed pitcher Duane Below, left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray and catcher James McCann to minor league camp.

These were all non-40-man roster players, and it’s not a surprise that any of them didn’t make the club. What is something of a surprise is that Luis Marte was released altogether, instead of making his way onto the AAA roster.

It’s still possible that we will see a couple of these guys called up from Minor League camp to play in a spring game or two down the stretch, but they’re not going to be making the team for opening day (nor were they ever going to).

The Tigers optioned right-handed pitcher Melvin Mercedes and left-handed pitcher Casey Crosby to Triple-A Toledo. They optioned right-handed pitcher Jose Valdez and catcher Ramon Cabrera to Double-A Erie.

These players were all on the 40-man roster, so they have to use up an option year this season if they’re to be in the minor leagues. Casey Crosby maybe had a chance to crack the bullpen out of camp, but even that was a long-shot, and none of the other three had much of a shot.

Today’s cuts were mostly a formality to begin trimming the roster numbers down and get the extra guys out of major league camp. It’s perhaps slightly interesting that Eugenio Suarez remains with the big club, but they will need extra shortstop bodies for as long as Jose Iglesias remains shelved with his shin splint injuries. No one that is in serious contention for either a bullpen spot or a left field spot was let go today.

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