Detroit Tigers: The battle for the 26th man on the roster

Mar 16, 2021; Lakeland, Florida, USA; Detroit Tigers infielder Renato Nunez (55) hits a home run during the second inning against the Nw York Yankees at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2021; Lakeland, Florida, USA; Detroit Tigers infielder Renato Nunez (55) hits a home run during the second inning against the Nw York Yankees at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Tigers trimmed the spring training roster today with a series of moves that have the roster down to 41 players.

The players that were optioned to Toledo:

  • RHP Matt Manning
  • RHP Alex Lange
  • RHP Franklin Perez
  • INF Zack Short
  • OF Christin Stewart
  • OF Derek Hill

Mini-camp: INF Kody Clemens

Stewart struggled in camp, going 2-for-17 in spring training. While I had Lange hanging around towards the end of spring training fighting for a bullpen spot with an impressive showing, I think he will be an arm that Tigers fans should hear from if there is an injury to the bullpen.

Franklin Perez’s drop in velocity is a concern so along with Manning, they will get some time to work things out. The delay of the Triple-A season puts the players that were sent down in a strange limbo once again. A good idea proposed by

Jason Beck of

would have players from nearby cities like Columbus (home of the Cleveland’s Triple-A team)  near Toledo come up and play some scrimmage games.

So, let’s bring up two situations. One of them is probably unlikely but an exercise to see how the roster would look.

Detroit Tigers Situation 1: Akil Baddoo:

So here are the players who are left in camp, The 40-man roster players are in bold. 

Catchers: Dustin Garneau, Grayson Greiner, Eric Hasse, Wilson Ramos, Jake Rogers. (5)

Infielders: Miguel Cabrera, Jeimer Candelario, Harold Castro, Willi Castro, Greg Garcia, Niko Goodrum, Renato Nunez, Isaac Paredes, Jonathan Schoop, Spencer Torkelson. (10)

Outfielders:  Akil Baddoo, Daz Cameron, Riley Greene, Robbie Grossman, JaCoby Jones, Nomar Mazara, Victor Reyes. (7)

Left-handed pitchers: Tyler Alexander, Matthew Boyd, Derek Holland, Ian Krol, Daniel Norris, Tarik Skubal, Gregory Soto. (7)

Right-handed pitchers: Jose Cisnero, Buck Farmer, Michael Fulmer, Bryan Garcia, Rony Garcia, Joe Jimenez, Casey Mize, Wily Peralta, Erasmo Ramirez, Julio Teheran, Spencer Turnbull, Jose Urena. (12)

So just looking at this from a position player standpoint how it could look carrying Baddoo:

  1. Miguel Cabrera (DH,IF)
  2. Jeimer Candelario (IF)
  3. Willi Castro (IF)
  4. Niko Goodrum (IF, OF)
  5. Nomar Mazara (OF)
  6. Jonathan Schoop (IF)
  7. Robbie Grossman (OF)
  8. JaCoby Jones (OF)
  9. Isaac Paredes (IF)
  10. Akil Baddoo (OF)
  11. Wilson Ramos (C)
  12. Grayson Greiner (C)
  13. Renato Nunez (IF)

So, with this setup, you have two positions that will come down to the wire as manager AJ Hinch has discussed, one being the backup catcher. In my Opening Day Roster 1.0 Projection, I had Jake Rogers but Grayson Greiner has had a solid camp. Rogers has the option of going back down to Toledo but it will be a close call. Greiner seems to have overtaken Rogers but there are two weeks left so anything could change. That was a tough decision so I changed my mind and went with Greiner.

In this situation above, I have Victor Reyes starting the year in Toledo and having Isaac Paredes making the club so they are not carrying five outfielders. The only question is, how often would Paredes play? He could play 3rd, short and second base.

This leaves us at the 13th position player spot. Harold Castro has a spot on the 40-man roster and has the advantage over Garcia for utility guy.  But Nunez has power and can play first base, a position of need for the Tigers.

Detroit Tigers Situation 2: More Baddoo

Miguel Cabrera (DH,IF)
Jeimer Candelario (IF)
Willi Castro (IF)
Niko Goodrum (IF, OF)
Nomar Mazara (OF)
Jonathan Schoop (IF)
Robbie Grossman (OF)
JaCoby Jones (OF)
Victor Reyes (OF)
Akil Baddoo (OF)
Wilson Ramos (C)
Grayson Greiner (C)
Renato Nunez (IF)

Baddoo and Reyes stay, Detroit has five outfielders and Paredes would get more steady time in the minors.  See if Jones, who once played the infield in the Pirates system and played short, 3rd base (2016 season when he was called up with the Tigers, played six games there). Now, this idea sounds insane and I get why you may be yelling at your screen right now but that would be in case of an emergency situation but that would be one way of getting away with having five outfielders.

Hinch wants versatility in his roster with players who can play multiple positions so not having Harold Castro would be a tough call but in situation one, Paredes could fit the role of playing multiple situations. I like situation one myself.

dark. Next. The Detroit Tigers are winning trades

Whatever Detroit decides to do, Baddoo is making the decision for AJ Hinch much harder.