I know as a long time baseball fan that this is the beginning of a long season full of overreactions and rash judgments about players. Already this season players have been written off, and others have been proclaimed as the next Mike Trout. Not to get carried away, but 26 year-old Matt Tuiasosopo could make the roster for the Detroit Tigers.
Tuiasosopo has played the majority of his career in the minors bouncing between organizations, but has had some limited time in Major League Baseball, playing with the Seattle Mariners on three different occasions. Last year he hit .242 in 131 games for Triple-A Buffalo, a minor league affiliate of the New York Mets.
This year he signed a minor league contract with the Tigers and was invited to Lakeland, Florida for Spring Training as a non-roster invite. So far he’s taken the opportunity and hasn’t looked back hitting .317 in 41 at-bats, not to mention four home runs all in the span of 15 at-bats. Most recently he hit one off of Washington Nationals star Stephen Strasburg in the second inning of Friday’s game.
The roster situation is tight for the Tigers with a ton of players bidding for only a couple of spots. Players such as Ramon Santiago, Quintin Berry and Jeff Kobernus are still in the mix not to mention Don Kelly the long-time “Super Utility” player. It could be a long shot for Tuiasosopo to make the roster, but he’s going to make the decision difficult for the Tigers to say no.
With only a week or so left in Spring Training manager Jim Leyland and general manager Dave Dombrowski will be making a decision here pretty quickly on the final roster spots. Even if he doesn’t make the team out of camp he might have earned himself a mid-season call up if he performs well in the minors.