Detroit Tigers Assign Nate Schierholtz to Minor League Camp

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Mar 14, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; A rooftop view of the field during the seventh inning of a spring training baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the New York Mets at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; A rooftop view of the field during the seventh inning of a spring training baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the New York Mets at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Detroit Tigers made another roster move on Thursday morning, assigning outfielder and non-roster invitee Nate Schierholtz to minor league camp.

With Opening Day right around the corner, the Detroit Tigers are putting the finishing touches on the group of players that will ultimately head north and hopefully contend.

The team made another move to trim down the roster, assigning outfielder Nate Schierholtz to minor league camp. Detroit’s official twitter account announced the move on Thursday, tweeting, “Prior to today’s game, the #Tigers have assigned OF Nate Schierholtz to minor league camp. The Tigers have 32 players in major league camp.”

Initially signed before the Tigers brought in Justin Upton, Schierholtz figured to have a shot at winning the left field gig in Spring Training. However, with Upton on board his was forced to battle with Tyler Collins, Steven Moya and Wynton Bernard for the right to be the team’s fourth outfielder.

Mar 22, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Nate Schierholtz (62) at bat at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Nate Schierholtz (62) at bat at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The longtime San Francisco Giant outlasted Moya and Bernard, but was unable to claim the job.

A .253 career hitter in the regular season, Schierholtz batted .219 in 16 spring contests. He also chipped in with four runs scored, two doubles, two home runs, a triple, five RBI and a .764 OPS. Known as a solid defender, the outfielder’s offense ultimately couldn’t help him make the Opening Day roster.

It is possible that Schierholtz will open the season with Triple-A Toledo, serving as a starting outfielder alongside Moya and Bernard. If that scenario plays out, he’d give the Tigers some solid depth in the outfield. Detroit would have a power hitter (Moya), a speed merchant (Bernard) and a solid defensive presence (Schierholtz) at the team’s disposal in Toledo.

True to his reputation as a capable defender, the former San Francisco outfielder didn’t make an error in the field while contributing one assist in 78 innings in the field this spring.

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Collins Wins Place as Fourth Outfielder

The move to send Schierholtz to minor league camp essentially ensures that Collins will start the year as the team’s fourth outfielder. A corner outfielder by trade, Collins hit .298 with eight RBI, seven walks and an astounding five triples in 22 Spring Training games.

If he is still performing well, Collins will certainly force the team into a tough decision when Cameron Maybin returns after sustaining a broken wrist. The injured outfielder should return sometime in April or May.

Next: Tigers Bring Back McGehee on Minors Deal

While Collins isn’t a natural center fielder, it is possible that he could see a handful of games there. Andrew Romine and Mike Aviles are also candidates to see at-bats as backups to Anthony Gose, who was forced back into a starting role when Maybin went down injured.

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