Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: Jake Rogers needs strong return to help catching situation

Tyler Kotila
May 21, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Jake Rogers (34) at bat during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
May 21, 2021; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Jake Rogers (34) at bat during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

Detroit Tigers are in an interesting spot with Jake Rogers.

The Detroit Tigers need to address the catching situation. Al Avila’s impression of Phil Swift by slapping some flex seal to stop the damage by trading for Tucker Barnhart before the 2022 season started. It sounded like a great idea to throw Barnhart in the mix, get him a change of scenery and see if he could stick behind the dish.

The 2022 season treated the Detroit Tigers’ newly acquired backstop to a .221/.287/.267 slash over 284 at-bats. There was hope Barnhart was going to be able to perform better than that. It was a step up from where Grayson Greiner would have been, but the Tigers must address their catching situation.

The glimmers of hope within the organization come from Dillon Dingler in the minors and Jake Rogers, who missed the 2022 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He is slated to return in 2023, but what is the outlook really going to be?

It will be Rogers and Eric Haase as the battery if Barnhart signs elsewhere this offseason. It’s not pretty. Things could be far better than that, and with a recent waiver claim in Michael Papierski from the Cincinnati Reds, he’s another name in the mix though he’s a Triple-A player serving as depth for the big league club.

But for Rogers, the 2023 season has to see him find some consistent performance. However, the hope is not the highest. He’s played in parts of two seasons in the big leagues, and the tools behind the dish were better than those in the batters’ box.

Rogers’s calling card coming through the system was his ability to throw runners out and have a cannon. While in the big leagues’ Rogers has thrown out 47% of the runners attempting to steal; coming off of Tommy John, things could change.

For Rogers, being a defense-first catcher will not help the Tigers. While I’m not suggesting the Tigers go for a bat-only catcher, throwing defense out the window. The Tigers need a backstop who can pack a punch in the lineup and be serviceable in other facets of the game.

I’m not sure Rogers will be able to hold up both ends of the bargain. With his arm being his best tool, things could change vastly with Rogers’s value as he gets back on the field. Being able to steal strikes and receive well is just as important.

Rogers has to come out and prove himself if the Tigers are going to rock with him as the team’s backstop moving forward. He needs a big performance in 2023, even though it feels like the cards are probably stacked against him.

After all, over 255 total plate appearances between the 2019 and 2021 seasons, Rogers has slashed a career .182/.264/.378 with eight doubles, three triples, and ten triples. There’s reason to be concerned about how he performs during the 2023 season.

He has not exactly been the catcher the Tigers were supposedly getting when he was acquired back in 2017. The expectation was that Rogers would be the Tigers’ future backstop with plenty to like, but that has been far from the truth to this point.

Trending. Rumor: Two names linked to Detroit Tigers GM opening. light

But. Rogers will likely get another audition with the team in 2023 to try and show flashes of the players the Tigers were hoping he could be.

facebooktwitterreddit