Detroit Tigers Top 5 Spring Training Story Lines

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Sep 1, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Detroit Tigers pinch hitter

Tyler Collins

(18) celebrates his three-run home run in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

#4 Which young player(s) will make the Opening Day roster?

We touched on the young players who could make the bullpen (or possibly a fifth starter over Alfredo Simon) but what youngster can make the Opening Day roster?

Tyler Collins was a good story last spring and made the team out of camp. It seems like he has the inside track at becoming the Tigers’ fifth outfielder for 2015. Collins also made the Opening Day starter a year ago, but struggled. He did well in Toledo but was blocked in coming back by a red-hot J.D. Martinez. He also was very good in a limited role after September call-ups.

Fans would probably wish to see Steven Moya in Detroit, however his raw skills seem to need a year in Toledo. Some worry about the hitch in his swing and his problems hitting against right-handers. Still with uncertainty about Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, some have speculated that Moya could make the team out of necessity and spend time at first base.

This is a bad idea.

Unless Moya absolutely rakes in Spring Training against big league-caliber pitching, especially right handers, he should not make the team. He is an intriguing prospect but needs the proper seasoning. If he tears up AAA like J.D. Mart did a year ago, then he could be considered.

Dixon Machado will also be an interesting prospect to watch. He will not be on the big league roster but the SS could be moving to backing up Jose Iglesias soon or converting to second base and taking over when Ian Kinsler‘s time in Detroit is over. Even a strong Grapefruit League season from Machado would not likely get him to the bigs this season. The Tigers will likely choose between Andrew Romine and Hernan Perez for backup middle infielder with Romine having the inside track for his contributions from a year ago.