Detroit Tigers lack catching depth and its a problem.
The Detroit Tigers are trying to keep taking steps in the right direction, but in some areas, there are issues that need to continue being addressed. It's not that the Tigers will make a move anytime soon, but heading into 2024, Detroit certainly has some holes to keep working to plug up.
The Detroit Tigers' catching situation is quite concerning. Heading into 2024, the Tigers have two catchers on the big-league roster. Jake Rogers is the primary backstop whom Detroit will be relying on. Carson Kelly was brought in near the end of the year and returned for another year in Detroit after the team elected to exercise his club option.
After that, the next man up would come from the minors. That would be the likes of Dillon Dingler or Donny Sands, two prospects who cracked the 40-man roster. Dingler had plenty of upsides when drafted and has slowed a bit, dealing with some injuries along the way. However, there's still reason to believe he could be an excellent addition as a backstop for the Tigers one day.
Sands, however, is nothing more than a mid- to low- tier prospect with far less upside. He's someone who might eat up a few games if need be or crack the big leagues as a spare catcher to throw behind the dish, but heading into 2024, Dingler is the Tigers only real catching product, and my money says the Tigers should look elsewhere for their catcher of the future.
After Dingler and Sands, the next man up would be Anthony Bemboom, who was brought into the Tigers organization to join the team with a minor-league contract. He has an invite to Spring Training and likely will serve as the team's catching depth for the season, at least the start of it.
Maybe I'm off my rocker, but Jake Rogers's "big breakout campaign" in 2023 was a fluke. He slashed .221/.286/.444 with 11 doubles, 21 home runs, and 49 RBI. He walked 28 times while striking out 118 times. The slash line is not the prettiest, but we often cut catchers a break in lieu of the positional demands.
But I have a hard time buying into Rogers being able to belt 20+ homers again in 2023. Detroit will have to upgrade behind the dish at one point or another, but that is not even the biggest concern to me. The lack of depth is what worries me heading into 2024.
Rogers and Kelly have a chance to be the teams' tandem. At one point, one of them will inevitably get banged up or need a break, leading to a call-up for Dingler. But if that does not work for Dingler and his first go-round in the bigs is a tough one, Detroit will need someone else for depth.
Detroit's got to bring in some depth along the way. Another non-roster invitee or player they can add to the mix would serve them well.