Feb 14, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Phil Coke (40) throws during the Detroit Tiger
We’re all thinking (probably) that the final roster is pretty much known, but if you were forced to predict one surprise cut, what would it be?
Chris Hannum: Andy Dirks. If he stinks it up in the Spring, I don’t think he has any store of goodwill to draw upon.
Scott Byrne: Let’s appease the Freep commenters – Don Kelly. Or how about Phil Coke. Seriously, Jordan Lennerton could provide a power source that is lacking from the projected final roster. And if Casey Crosby can locate the dish consistently, his explosive arsenal makes Coke expendable and saves a few dollars as well.
Josie Parnell: While I don’t really anticipate this happening, I’ve heard Jose Ortega is throwing fire in his BP sessions and really making his case to make the team. If he continues to throw as he has been, he could give Luke Putkonen a run for his money, and his bullpen spot.
Josh Paulisin: Phil Coke. With Jose Alvarez and newly acquired Ian Krol competing to be contributors this season, Coke may be the odd man out after a rough 2013 campaign.
Matt Pelc: Phil Coke will not go north with the team. The Tigers have a few relievers that were shuttled between AAA and Detroit last year that will do a better job than Coke.
Tom Zahari: The most likely cuts will come in the bullpen with the possibility of a few guys getting shuffled around between the Toledo Mud Hens and the Tigers. If I had to predict one real surprise cut, I could see Phil Coke getting cut if he has a terrible Spring Training and other lefties light it up. I would also keep an eye on Trevor Crowe, Daniel Fields and Tyler Collins possibly contending for a surprise outfield spot.
Michael Emmerich: If Castellanos bombs it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Tigers send him down for while to readjust to playing third base. Then we’ll probably see Lombo and Cabrera rotate at third.
Matt Snyder: I think Phil Coke could end up on the chopping block if he doesn’t impress in live action, but I also think there’s a non-zero chance that Ezequiel Carrera beats out Don Kelly as an extra outfielder/pinch runner. Kelly is no longer the teams best option as a backup third baseman, pinch runner, or center fielder, but his versatility is still going to give him a spot unless someone else forces their way onto the squad.
Blair Tatrault: Back-up catcher Bryan Holaday. He doesn’t hit that much and James McCann could catch Ausmus’s eye, who might want to tutor him on a daily basis at the big league level. Not likely, though, as McCann is Toledo-bound for more Triple A at-bats. I didn’t include Phil Coke here because it won’t be a surprise if he has a bad spring and is released.
Sam O’Toole: Phil Coke. I’m not sure how surprising that would be because of his poor 2013 season, a new manager and a non-guaranteed deal. But, Coke has been a Tiger since he was acquired from the Yankees in the Curtis Granderson deal before the 2010 season. Coke has had his struggles in the Old English D, but he really imploded last season. I don’t see the Tigers giving up on Al Alburquerque, who is still a great talent when healthy and under team control until 2018. Don Kelly looks like he will make the Opening Day roster as well.