Detroit Tigers roster: 26 tickets to Opening Day
Detroit Tigers Tickets to Opening Day – Fighting for a Job
20. Riley Greene – This really shouldn’t be a battle. The Detroit Tigers are weak in the outfield, Riley Greene is one of the best outfield prospects in baseball, and Al Avila said the club wouldn’t be playing service time games with their top prospects. Of course, general managers have to say that, and Greene will have to earn his job this spring.
21. Spencer Torkelson – It’s the same story for Spencer Torkelson, the #1 overall pick in 2020. He slugged his way to Triple-A Toledo last year, and though he hit just .238 with the Mud Hens, there’s probably not much more for him to learn in the minors. But, like Greene, he’ll need to earn the gig in spring.
22. Harold Castro – Harold Castro is a limited baseball player in many ways. He doesn’t walk, he doesn’t run, and he doesn’t hit for power. But he can ably play seven positions, and his knack for coming up with clutch hits last year made him A.J. Hinch’s go-to pinch hitter. He seems like a good bet to begin the year as the team’s utility man.
23. Derek Hill – With Eric Haase and Harold Castro capable of playing in the grass, it seems likely the Tigers will only carry four dedicated outfielders. This battle is between Hill, Daz Cameron, and Victor Reyes, but we’re going with Hill because he’s theoretically the best defensive center fielder on the roster, and his elite speed gives him value as a pinch runner.
24. Joe Jiménez – Detroit’s 2018 All-Star representative and one-time future closer, Joe Jiménez has spent the last three seasons battling control and home runs issues. He still has one minor-league option remaining, but he’s essentially fighting for his future with the club now, and we think he sneaks in to begin the year.
25. Dustin Garneau – This may be Hinch’s most difficult decision this spring. Garneau is out of options, and he was surprisingly solid in limited action last year, but it’s hard to justify carrying three catchers to begin the season. Haase’s versatility could make the decision easier for Hinch, but this one may go down to the wire.
26. Jason Foley – Kyle Funkhouser’s injury opens up a spot in the bullpen to begin the year. They could go with Bryan Garcia, or Miguel Diaz, or Wily Peralta as a bulk reliever, but right now our guess is that Jason Foley claims the job. He doesn’t miss many bats, but he throws hard and he gets ground balls, so he could Hinch’s designated double-play man.