Updating the Detroit Tigers’ Opening Day Roster Projection

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Mar 20, 2014; Melbourne, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Danny Worth (29) tosses a baseball to a fan during a game against the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Second Base

After losing Omar Infante to free agency, the Tigers were able to trade Prince Fielder and his contract for everyday second baseman Ian Kinsler. He may no longer have the above-average power that he once had (especially in Comerica Park), but he’s a solid bat and plays solid defense. Steve Lombardozzi will back him up and make a handful of starts as well.

Shortstop

The Tigers really don’t have any good options here after losing Jose Iglesias to stress fracture in both legs, but they’ll make do with what they have for now. And for now that likely means a combination of Danny Worth and the recently acquired Andrew Romine. Eugenio Suarez and Hernan Perez were reportedly in the mix as well (still might be), but at this point in their respective careers the focus needs to be on regular playing time and development, and since they haven’t yet forced their way onto the team with their play, that will mean minor league assignments for now.

Romine is apparently a switch hitter, so perhaps Brad Ausmus will plan on some sort of 50-50 platoon with Worth to start the season. Not an ideal situation, but one that buys more time at the very least.

Third Base

There was a point in time that Nick Castellanos as the everyday third baseman — and all the unknowns that surround him — was one of the greater causes for concern on this team. That’s no longer the case, however, because of how he’s played and all the injuries at other positions. Steve Lombardozzi and/or Don Kelly could see playing time in reserve (as could Danny Worth).

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