The Detroit Tigers come into spring training ahead of a lot of other ball clubs since they have the majority of their rolls already filled. They have a little competition brewing but not like the majority of other teams at this point in camp.
The Tigers will be looking to fill two remaining roster spots once spring gets kicked into gear. The roster as of now looks like this. Prince Fielder playing first base with Omar Infante playing second base and Jhonny Peralta penciled in at shortstop and then the reigning American League MVP Miguel Cabrera at third base. From there the outfield looks like it will be Andy Dirks, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter at least to start the season. It’s also reported that it seems like a done deal that Ramon Santiago will be a bench player to take over at almost any infield position if needed. For all those math majors, that makes 11 positions filled at the moment.
It’s believed that Detroit will carry 13 position players on the roster so that leaves two spots still up for grabs. From what it sounds like there are four front runners and three outsiders in the mix for the last spots on the roster. The favorite for a infield/outfield position looks like Danny Worth.
With Santiago already thought to be on the roster that makes the road that much more difficult for Worth, Don Kelly and Jeff Kobernus. They all have the ability to play a wide range of positions which is something that it might come down to. Worth and Kobernus seem to be catching the eyes of the coaches early.
The other big question will be the backup outfield spot and there seems to be a plethora of options. The front runners are speedy Quintin Berry and Brennan Boesch according to early word from the organization, both bringing different things to the table for sure. Boesch will bring some more power into the lineup if he can get back on track from a horrible 2012 campaign where he hit just .240 with over 100 strikeouts in 132 games.
Berry might have the edge with his speed considering the Tigers have said that they wanted to run more this season. He could be a great pinch running asset to have on the roster in late game situations. Avisial Garcia and Nick Castellanos could get their names thrown into the mix as well if they perform well once games start in Lakeland, Florida.
Of course all of this can change once the season gets going. We all know that injuries and other circumstances happen that could affect the opening day roster, it’s the nature of the game in Major League Baseball. The first spring game is on Friday against the Atlanta Braves where we will get our first look at the team. First impressions are important so look for some great ball to be played.