Detroit Tigers: Jake Rogers homers after long road to recovery

Detroit Tigers catcher Jake Rogers (34) hits a grand slam against the Minnesota Twins.
Detroit Tigers catcher Jake Rogers (34) hits a grand slam against the Minnesota Twins. / Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers catcher Jake Rogers goes deep in a long-awaited return.

It has been quite some time since Jake Rogers has gotten back in the batters' box against an opponent wearing the jersey of another MLB squad. The Detroit Tigers may have lost their second Grapefruit League contest of Spring Training, but Sunday was a win for Rogers.

After being on the shelf with Tommy John Surgery and going through the long road to recovery, the 27-year-old catcher is healthy and was able to suit up for the game against the Orioles. The Detroit Tigers gave Rogers his chances as he started on Sunday and collected his first hit of the Spring.

It certainly was no quiet base hit, either. Rogers got all of a pitch and drove it deep the other way, and was able to leave the yard for a home run. It has to be a great feeling to get the barrel on the ball and see it leave the yard in your first game back.

He has not played in a big league game since July of 2021 and was able to pick up the home run Sunday, which was great to see. It may not have been a moonshot pull-side or even a ball that he really got ahold of, but it cleared the wall and counted the same.

For Rogers, a home run will be more than enough to give him some momentum and confidence in the batters' box, which is much needed. The ball was hit 100.3 mph off the bat and cleared the wall down the line in right field.

The Tigers catcher has a chance this spring to earn his way into the lineup with the team in 2023. While Eric Haase has proven to be a really nice addition to the Tigers, Rogers is looking to return to the big leagues.

Rogers last played in the bigs in 2021 before undergoing Tommy John, where he had 38 games played. He racked up 113 at-bats, slashing .239/.306/.496 with five doubles, three triples, and six home runs.

While the calling card for Rogers has always been his arm and ability to cut down the running game, Rogers hopes to use his clean bill of health to become an impactful player once again.

Rogers is in competition with Donny Sands and Dillon Dingler for the backup role, but it seems that Rogers will break camp with the team regardless to give him a chance in the big leagues. Nonetheless, getting that first hit out of the way and seeing it go over the fence for a home run had to be a great feeling for Rogers in his first game of the Spring.

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