It seemed like it took forever this year, but the Detroit Tigers have finally released their list of non-roster invitees (NRIs) for 2024 spring training. This list includes 18 players that aren't on the 40-man roster who will get a chance to fight for a roster spot this spring.
The list is as follows:
Pitchers (10): RHP Drew Anderson, LHP Sean Guenther, RHP Brenan Hanifee, RHP Garrett Hill, LHP Brant Hurter, RHP Jackson Jobe, RHP Ty Madden, RHP Devin Sweet, LHP Andrew Vasquez, RHP Trey Wingenter.
Position players: Eliezer Alfonzo, Anthony Bemboom, Justice Bigbie, Jace Jung, Bligh Madris, Justyn-Henry Malloy, Donny Sands, Ryan Vilade
Right off the bat, if you're wondering why Justyn-Henry Malloy and Jace Jung are listed here, but Colt Keith is not, it's because he was added to the 40-man roster last week after signing his extension. NRIs are only players that aren't already on the 40-man, hence the name , "non-roster invitee."
There are quite a few top prospects on this list in addition to Malloy and Jung, most notably Jackson Jobe. This will be first taste of big league camp, and it will be exciting to see him get some innings, though there is virtually no chance he makes the team out of camp.
Ty Madden and Brant Hurter are also here, two arms that have a good chance of starting the season in Triple-A. They are both coming off of nice seasons in Erie last year, helping the SeaWolves win an Eastern League Championship.
Justice Bigbie also received an invite. He was the biggest surprise in the Tigers farm system last season, coming out of nowhere to hit .362 with a 170 wRC+ for Erie last season, and earned a late-season promotion to Triple-A.
Other than the prospects, there really isn't a ton to talk about here. There are no real surprises here. We have the yearly barrage of catchers that got an invite, but it's always nice to have some depth at that position.
So who could actually make the team out of this bunch? Well, we'll likely do a full breakdown of this later on, but keep an eye Andrew Vasquez and Trey Wingenter for the bullpen. Both guys pitched for the Tigers last year with results that were mixed at best, but you never truly know with bullpen arms.
Obviously Malloy is another name to keep track of. He might have to hit his way on to the team, but his progression will be one of the biggest storylines this spring for sure.
Spring training is almost here, folks. In fact, pitchers are catchers report one week from the day this is published (Feb. 7). The first full squad workout is Feb. 19. We've hit the home stretch of the offseason