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Detroit Tigers: Predicting Team’s Opening Day Bench

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Mar 20, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Andrew Romine (17) hits a ground rule double to right during the second inning of an MLB spring training baseball game against the New York Mets at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Andrew Romine (17) hits a ground rule double to right during the second inning of an MLB spring training baseball game against the New York Mets at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Feb 24, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; umpire Joe West (22) and Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila (31) share a laugh at home plate during the third inning of a spring training baseball game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Detroit Tigers fans will likely see a similar lineup in 2017 as they did last season. Detroit wasn’t too active in the offseason, but return a strong nucleus. Here’s a prediction as to what the bench will look like.

Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus utilized a number of bench pieces last season as the team just missed out on a playoff berth.

As per usual, Andrew Romine led the way, notching a 0.6 WAR and a 71 wRC+ in 109 games. The utility ace saw action across the diamond for Detroit.

Romine appeared at every position except for catcher, even logging 0.2 innings of work on the mound.

Additionally, Jarrod Saltalamacchia stepped in and provided some pop. The backup catcher posted a .175 ISO and 12 home runs in 92 games during his lone season in Detroit.

Elsewhere, Tyler Collins (56 games) and Anthony Gose (30 games) saw action in center field when Cameron Maybin missed time due to injury.

The Tigers initially began the season with Mike Aviles as another utility option, but the former Royals player struggled, with a -1.4 WAR, a .258 on-base percentage and a wRC+ of 41.

Aviles was latter shipped to Atlanta along with catching prospect Kade Scivicque for fellow utility player Erick Aybar.

What’s more, the likes of JaCoby Jones and Dixon Machado both had brief stints with the Tigers down the stretch. The prospects appeared in in 13 and eight games respectively.

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