Detroit Tigers: 5 underdog players coming through in 2021

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 26: Eric Haase #13 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates a home run against the Minnesota Twins on July 26, 2021 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 26: Eric Haase #13 of the Detroit Tigers celebrates a home run against the Minnesota Twins on July 26, 2021 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /
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The Detroit Tigers rebuild is in overdrive thanks to production from some unlikely sources

The Detroit Tigers enter Friday 53-58, coming off an 8-1 win over the Red Sox with another scrappy and aggressive offensive performance. Their quietly effective bullpen came through yet again after 5 scoreless innings from starter Tarik Skubal. But this roster’s successes go beyond the mound. Players that did not make the opening day trip continue to play an integral role in the team’s fortune.

There are some doubters, even on a national scale:

To which I would say, “And they’re still winning!”

From minor league cast-offs to big-league contributors, there are five Detroit Tigers players whose stock had been sold on the farm, in some cases literally. Craig Goldstein from Baseball Prospectus isn’t necessarily wrong, but he isn’t right either.

Part of the reason the Detroit Tigers are short on starters is due to injuries. Spencer Turnbull underwent Tommy John Surgery, Matthew Boyd is working his way back, and Julio Teheran never really got started in the first place. The complexion of this team would be much different with all three on it.

With that in mind, though, it’s because of some of those injuries (add in Niko Goodrum, Isaac Paredes, Jose Urena, Rony Garcia, Daz Cameron; plus DFA’d Wilson Ramos and Nomar Mazara) that we have gotten to see their depth thrive; and in some cases, many are staking their claim to remain on the roster for 2022 and beyond.

To say the Detroit Tigers need depth in August when they have already turned over 8 of their 26 players on their opening day roster (and others who were gone and came back) isn’t fair. Nevertheless, here are five who have made those transitions smoother.

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