Full Detroit Tigers 2016 Opening Day Roster

Mar 22, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) runs out of the dugout for the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) runs out of the dugout for the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Opening Day is almost upon us, and that means meaningful baseball is just around the corner. That also means the conclusion of Spring Training and all the roster battles that accompany it.  Here’s the Detroit Tigers full Opening Day roster.

The Detroit Tigers entered Spring Training with a roster largely set in stone. However, there were a number of intriguing longshots and non-roster invitees with a chance to make the roster. From incumbent Tigers like Bryan Holaday to prospects such as Michael Fulmer and Steven Moya, there were plenty of intriguing story lines. This is all without mentioning minor league free agents with significant Major League experience like former New York Mets closer Bobby Parnell and ex-Miami corner infielder Casey McGehee.

As it turns out, none of the above players actually made the roster. Holaday was dealt to the Texas Rangers, Fulmer and Moya were sent down and Parnell and McGehee were cut before eventually being re-signed to minor league deals.

Now, the final roster appears to be set. Injuries have obviously taken a small toll on the team so far. The team would look different if Cameron Maybin, Daniel Norris, Alex Wilson and Blaine Hardy were healthy. However, they aren’t, so here we sit.

Relievers Angel Nesbitt and Jeff Ferrell are also out injured.

Like most rosters coming out of Spring Training, there are some surprises—or at least they would have been surprises at the onset of camp. Logan Kensing has claimed a spot in the bullpen, while Shane Greene will be the team’s fifth starting pitcher. What’s more, Tyler Collins and Mike Aviles will be the backup outfielders. You’ll notice that neither Collins nor Aviles are natural center fielders, leaving the bench lacking in that regard.

Without further ado, here is the full 2016 Opening Day roster for the Detroit Tigers.

Catchers: James McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Analysis: Bryan Holaday could have conceivably made the roster, but McCann and Salty will provide Detroit with one of the best catching tandems in the league.

Infielders: Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, Nick Castellanos and Jose Iglesias.

Analysis: No real surprises here.

Utility Players: Mike Aviles and

Andrew Romine


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Analysis: Or here. You could have made the case for McGehee making the roster over Romine, but the Tigers clearly value the former Angel’s base running and defensive ability.

DH: Victor Martinez.

Analysis: No surprise here (obviously) either. It is a good a sign that V-Mart is healthy enough to start the regular season on the active roster.

Outfielders: J.D. Martinez, Anthony Gose, Justin Upton and Tyler Collins.

Analysis: Maybin’s injury is certainly felt here as Collins potentially wouldn’t have made the team if the former Marlin was healthy. However, Collins had a solid Spring Training. The corner outfielder hit .292 with nine runs scored, eight RBI, seven walks and an eye-catching five triples.

Starters: Justin Verlander, Jordan Zimmermann, Anibal Sanchez, Mike Pelfrey and Shane Greene.

Analysis: No surprises here, especially considering how excellent both Pelfrey and Greene were this spring.

Relievers: Francisco Rodriguez, Justin Wilson, Mark Lowe, Kyle Ryan, Drew VerHagen, Logan Kensing and Buck Farmer.

Analysis: If they were healthy, Alex Wilson and Blaine Hardy would have made the roster. Saying that, the Tigers got some stellar performances from the relievers trying to make the team. Ryan, Farmer and Kensing all posted ERAs below 2.62.

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Overall Analysis:

The Detroit Tigers carry a strong team into the regular season. It will get even stronger once injured players like Maybin, Wilson and Hardy are ready to contribute. If Pelfrey and Greene can continue to pitch to the level they did in Spring Training, the Tigers will count the rotation as one of the team’s strengths early in the season.

If the Tigers can do some things right, there is no reason why the team can’t reclaim the AL Central title.

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