Detroit Tigers: Sunday’s Radio Spat Demonstrates Roster Dilemma

BRADENTON, FLORIDA - Akil Baddoo hits an rbi double. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FLORIDA - Akil Baddoo hits an rbi double. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

I was driving around town on Sunday knocking out my errands heading into the workweek. It was calm–the roads were more quiet than usual as were the aisles in the stores. My one-year-old was fast asleep in the backseat as I listened to the Detroit Tigers radio broadcast on my way home.

Unexpectedly, an argument ensued–but not the ones that start with an objection on the road or overhearing some sidewalk slander. It was on the radio broadcast. During the spring, 97.1 WXYT, home of the Detroit Tigers radio, has paired play-by-play voice Dan Dickerson with some of the beat reporters to talk over the developments in spring and get a different take over the airwaves. Mission accomplished.

Sunday afternoon’s contest against the Philadelphia Phillies featured Detroit News’s Chris McCosky, who’s covering the Tigers ‘mercifully,’ according to his Twitter bio. The disagreement started with a conversation around Akil Baddoo, who hit a 2-run home run in inning prior. They discussed and agreed on Baddoo’s strong spring and sound approach; referencing his ability to take pitches.

That conversation led to a related discussion about how Baddoo is making the roster choices in the outfield difficult for manager AJ Hinch. Specifically, Dickerson made a point to McCosky, “You don’t have to carry five outfielders.” He’s right–Nomar Mazara, JaCoby Jones, and Robbie Grossman are all-but-locks for the roster. If they decide to carry four in the grass, this leaves one spot for Victor Reyes, Christin Stewart, Akil Baddoo, and Daz Cameron. Stewart has already been re-assigned along with Derek Hill, so it seems there is a three-man competition for one spot if this is how the Detroit Tigers choose to play it.

Sensing Dan’s preference for someone like Baddoo to take the fourth spot, Chris half-joked: “You sure do love some guys who can walk, don’t you?” This sent Dan down a deep-dive into both the logic around the Detroit Tigers drafting Baddoo in the Rule 5 Draft in December as well as how walking was a more sustainable measure for long-term success than batting average.

Both were professional about the disagreement, but McCosky seemed to favor someone like Victor Reyes and mentioned he didn’t care about last season if it seemed like Reyes regressed.