The Detroit Tigers are in the midst of Spring Training, and that means fierce competition for bench roles. Here’s a look at the roster hopefuls in the outfield.
The Detroit Tigers entered Spring Training with a starting lineup that was largely set in stone. The only unknown was how the center field situation with Anthony Gose and Cameron Maybin would plan out.
While the starting nine was largely set, the bench wasnâ€™t (and still isnâ€™t). As many as 10 different players could conceivably make the teamâ€™s roster as a reserve. From finding a backup catcher, to settling on a fourth outfielder, the Tigers will have a number of tough decisions to make over the coming weeks.
Hereâ€™s a look at the outfielders trying to make the Detroit Tigers Opening Day roster.
*Note, Anthony Gose is not on this list due to the injury to Maybin. Maybin going down makes Gose a lock to make the team and receive (at least) some starts in center.
To put it plainly, Steven Moya is on a tear at the plate, and is making it tough to leave him off the Opening Day roster. The slugging outfielder has mashed four home runs and amassed eight RBI in only ten games, additionally, his OPS is a scorching 1.585.
Whatâ€™s been most impressive about Moya has been his plate discipline. The rookie has only struck out three times so far this spring.
Not to be forgotten, Tyler Collins is having an extremely productive Spring Training. While not posting gaudy numbers in the vein of Moya or Bryan Holaday, Collins is quietly thriving for the Tigers.
In 10 games, he has posted a .294 batting average to go along with four runs scored, a double, a triple, a home run, three RBI, five walks and a stolen base. As with Moya, heâ€™ll force Detroit into making an extremely tough decision if he can continue to hit.
Whatâ€™s more, Collins could help fill the short-term void in center field. He started at the position over the weekend, and could see more time there while Maybin remains sidelined. Per a tweet from MLB.com’s Jason Beck, Collins is an option in center.
Tabbed by many (including yours truly) to be a potential replacement for Maybin, Bernard hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire for the Detroit Tigers this spring. In 21 at-bats, the speedy outfielder has only registered five hits, three runs scored, a walk and a stolen base. In addition to those numbers, the center fielder hasnâ€™t logged an extra-base hit and has struck out five times. Heâ€™s hitting .238.
However, it’€™s still early. In other words, thereâ€™s plenty of time for a rebound.
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After thriving at the plate with the Mets in Spring Training last season (.415 batting average, 11 runs scored and 10 RBI), Mayberry has come back to earth with the Tigers. The corner outfielder, who can also play first base, has posted a .211 batting average to go along with two doubles, a home run, two RBI and two walks. This seems to be closer to the pin where the playerâ€™s career numbers in the regular season are concerned. In seven Major League seasons, Mayberry is a .235 hitter.
Like Mayberry, Schierholtz is performing near his career numbers. However, in this case the outfielder has improved on his batting average. The .253 lifetime regular season hitter has put up a .267 batting average to go along with a home run, two runs scored and three RBI in 15 at-bats.
Check back with Motor City Bengals as we also look at the Detroit
Tigers bench hopefuls behind the plate and in the infield.
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