Detroit Tigers Links: Castellanos’ bright future, Headley-shopping in July & Santiago moves on


Nick Castellanos Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN analyst: Detroit Tigers’ Nick Castellanos capable of .300 average, 30 homers in majors – Josh Slagter, MLive

"Castellanos will be giving a chance to start for the Tigers, with Miguel Cabrera shifting back over to first base following the Prince Fielder trade. “He’s very strong for a 21-year-old, with a simple, repeatable swing that starts with a deep load and is heavily rotational, leading to that above-average power that will end up plus, probably 25-30 homers per year, even in Comerica Park. He tightened up his approach at the plate this year, recognizing after reaching Double-A last year that he needed to be more disciplined about pitches just off the corners. He’ll need work at third base, as he’s a below-average runner without much natural quickness, but with better footwork and more reps at the position he should end up at least fringe-average,” ESPN’s Keith Law wrote. “If he costs them five runs a year in the field, which I doubt, he’ll more than make up for it with his bat, hitting .290-.300 with doubles and homers.”"

There have been more pressing issues that fans have pined over this off-season (Fielder’s trade, Brad Ausmus‘ first year, bullpen issues, etc), but one thing that many haven’t thought about is what happens if Nick Castellanos pulls a “Scott Sizemore” and can’t adjust to life as a Major League starter. He was impressive at the early minor league levels, but sported just a .264 average in Erie in 2012 and a .276 average in Toledo in 2013.

I’m not saying Casty has bust written all over him, I certainly think the opposite is true, but we should expect a few bumps in the rookie’s road this season. I think most fans would be happy with a rookie campaign in the .270’s with high teens in homers. He also will stabilize defense at third even if its his first full year at the position since 2011 in West Michigan.

Detroit Tigers Could Explore Trade For Chase Headley This Summer – Brad Faber

"If it does turn out that the Tigers are not scoring enough runs and could use a little more power, Headley could most certainly help the Tigers out. Although he did regress in 2013, he was injured throughout much of the year. If he is at full strength in 2014, it is not a wild stretch of the imagination to think that he could return to his 2012 form. Obviously, bringing Headley to Detroit would also be contingent on how well Nick Castellanos plays at third base, which is an issue that remains to be seen. Headley has also logged 196 career games in left field, so he could conceivably play there for the Tigers as well if Andy Dirks continues to struggle. However, it may prove to be difficult to acquire Headley without giving up Castellanos — especially if he starts mashing again."

I guess this could be Detroit’s fall-back should Castellanos struggle. I can’t see the Tigers adding Headley mid-season if Casty is holding his own just to stick the career infielder into left field as the author theorizes. He may be forgetting Rajai Davis out there. If both he and Andy Dirks fail out there, I’d be willing to bet if the Tigers make a move, it will be for an outfielder.

Report: Ex-Detroit Tigers infielder Ramon Santiago headed to Cincinnati Reds – Detroit Free Press

"The former Detroit Tigers infielder has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Cincinnati Reds, with an invite to spring training, according to CBS Sports insider Jon Heyman."

And so ends the Ramon Santiago-era, the Grover Cleveland of the Detroit Tigers. The final link to the 2003 Detroit Tigers has moved on. Santiago spent 10 of his 12 seasons in two non-consecutive “terms” with Detroit (hence the Grover Cleveland reference).

5 Detroit Tigers Who Won’t Make It Through 2014 Spring Training – Spencer Impellizzeri

To save you a trip through the slideshow, the author tabs Trevor Crowe, Danny Worth, Evan Reed, Jose Ortega, and Hernan Perez as the victims of Spring Training cuts. None of which are surprises (with the possible exception of Reed).

And to the relief of the Don Kelly fan club, Donny baseball is predicted to be make the Opening Day roster (for what will seem like the 40th straight season to his detractors).