Fellow contributor Jacob Boes mentioned recently that 97.1 The Ticket had a call-in opinion that there were four players he did not want to see again: Joe Jimenez, Jacoby Jones, Niko Goodrum, and Jonathon Schoop. I am going to discuss four players from the Detroit Tigers’ 40-man roster that I do not want to see on the roster in 2022.
This is the “low-hanging fruit” option of the bunch, and it is easy to pick on Jimenez after his abysmal performance after being called up when Nomar Mazara went down with an injury. Many people questioned this decision but there was hope that the 2018 All-Star who appeared in 183 games over four years would come back with a vengeance. Unfortunately, the experiment blew up and Jimenez did not finish an inning in his brief stint against the Athletics.
In his first outing, he walked the bases loaded while getting just one out, with all three baserunners crossing the plate via a walk and a double given up by Alex Lange. In his second outing, Jimenez outdid himself by walking four batters, this time being tagged with just two earned runs.
He did improve by getting two outs this inning. This pushed his ERA to 45.00 on the season and nearly 6.00 for his career. When the Tigers’ front office begins making win-now moves (hopefully this offseason), it would be stunning if Joe Jimenez was a part of the plan.
I’m sorry, JaCoby Jones fanatics. He is a great guy who has withstood this team’s lowest moments, but he is simply not a Major League capable player. He is a plus outfielder but at nearly 29 years old, he is not a part of the club’s future. He has had a complicated history of injuries and will be lucky to bat above .200 this year, holding just six hits in 42 plate appearances this season.
He is prone to striking out, whiffing 142 times in 129 games in 2018, and does not draw many walks, with just 68 compared to 358 strikeouts in his career. With a full outfield of Akil Baddoo, Robbie Grossman, and Nomar Mazara, with Riley Greene waiting in the Minors, JaCoby Jones should not be a part of this team’s future.
His inability to judge fly balls in centerfield against Oakland brought back unpleasant memories of Tyler Collins, potentially costing the Tigers a win to avoid the sweep. Another blunder against Kansas City on April 24th confirmed that he is not a Major League level. His approach from the plate has been disheartening, posting a .158 batting average with 11 strikeouts to one walk.
For the analytical fans, his defensive WAR has been negative or nearly zero in each season since his debut, and his offense has been declining since his breakout 2019 season that saw him bat .304 in a half-season of work. He is at best a fourth outfielder for a struggling team, which is his exact position on this club.
He will be 27 at the end of this season, and his best days are likely behind him. With the expected arrival of Riley Greene next year and a likely outfield free agent signing, Victor Reyes should not have a place on the roster moving forward.
Harold Castro being included on this list is a reaction to Zack Short’s debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He showed excellent plate discipline and made a dazzling play at third. While Castro is a solid utility-man for this squad, I believe that Short has the opportunity to fill a role that every team needs as a great defender with some power off the bench. Unfortunately for Castro, Short has the age advantage on him and has showcased more potential than him throughout Spring Training and his time on the team.
Castro will be 28 at the end of this season whereas Short will be just 26, and while neither would likely be a star moving forward, Zack Short could fill the utility-man role well for this team as they begin to contend in the coming years. Castro’s one saving grace is that he has hit well for average, but I still see the Tigers choosing Short over him as more of a long-term option. Another notable element is the arrival of Isaac Paredes will hurt Castro’s chances further. I think that Castro will be able to latch on somewhere, but I do not think his future is with this organization.
As the Tigers hopefully begin to climb out of the dark pit that has been this five-year rebuild, these four players should not be a part of the plans going forward.