A new proposal by MLB owners would allow the roster from 26 to 30 and create a “taxi squad” of 20 players. Let’s take a look at the four players that I think would make the final four spots & how the first 20-man Detroit Tigers projected taxi squad would look like.
The recent MLB proposal by the owners provided details that would expand the roster from 26 to 30 and a 20-man pool or “taxi squad” of players. Back before we thought the season was going to start, we discussed who could take the final spot on the roster. Now, based on the spring training battles and the depth chart, let’s see who would have roster spots 26 through 30.
Number 26-Jordy Mercer (non-roster invite)
According to the Fangraphs depth chart, Mercer would take the spot for Fulmer and make the team. Dawiel Lugo would also make the squad and Harold Castro, the Detroit Sports Media Rookie of the Year, would start the season in Toledo. Mercer makes total sense as he is a veteran bat and based on five starts at first base and eight starts at second, he showed he was willing to play whatever he is needed. I think Lugo does not make the squad and Castro gets the spot instead.
Number 27-Travis Demeritte (40-man roster)
Demeritte can play both corner spots in the infield and his short time in Detroit, he had one of the better walk rates. He has shown power, which is desperately needed for a team that was near the bottom of the league in home run totals.
Number 28- Eric Haase (40-man roster)
Detroit could go back to the days of carrying three catchers. Haase’s power intrigued the Tigers enough to purchase him from Cleveland. He was brought to compete for the backup position so if Greiner struggles, the local product Haase could get some playing time.
Number 29-Willi Castro (40-man roster)
Willi Castro did have a September call up and would be good insurance if Goodrum goes down with an injury or Niko plays another position on the diamond.
Number 30-John Schreiber (40-man roster)
This was a tough decision, based on who was left on the 40-man roster. I almost went with Anthony Castro but he fits the 20-man taxi roster better. The bullpen may be taxed early on so having plenty of arms to go in the bullpen will be a must. Anthony Castro and Kyle Funkhouser are making transitions to the bullpen and Beau Burrows does not appear ready to be in the majors yet as he is still working on effectively throwing his secondary pitches.
Tigers Projected “Taxi Squad” 20-man squad: (Players in bold are on the 40-man roster)
OF-Troy Stokes Jr
1B-Spencer Torkelson (projected 1st round pick)
The rest of the Tigers who are on the 40-man roster should make up a part of the roster. The Tigers may change their mind so for now, I went by at the roster that currently stands.
As far as the rest that I projected on the roster, Ramirez, Santiago, Wilson, Chiang, and Agrazal were in camp, and except for Chiang, all have major league experience and could get a call up in case of injuries. Chiang, Agrazal, and Santiago have experience starting and could be used over the likes over the top arms in the organization for the sake of service time.
There are no details on the taxi squad structure as of yet but this is a projection based on the knowledge we have. I am curious to see how the players will just be playing against other 20-man squad teams or just intrasquad practice. The biggest bummer of this all is that it appears there will be no minor league baseball, which robs prospects game experience and for a chance to see the newest Tigers in the system. The Tigers are limited to what they can do, roster wise, what they have in camp.
If the Tigers draft Torkelson, better believe he will get some time on this 20-man taxi squad. He will get a chance to work with major league instructors right away and make up for lost time for the lack of games. Once we get more information, there will be an updated version of this 20-man taxi squad.