I know that we are all ready for the regular season to start so we can stop hearing about projections, and potential rosters, and finally get to some real baseball. We are getting close to Opening Day, only nine days away so the rosters will start to get smaller. The Detroit Tigers are no exception to that.
It’s been reported that the Tigers will return rule five draft pick Jeff Kobernus to the Washington Nationals after he was involved in the intense battle for the backup left field spot. As a rule five draft pick, Kobernus would have to stay on the Tigers Major League roster for the whole season to avoid being returned to the Nationals. By returning him now, Detroit will get half of their initial investment in him back, about $25,000.
This spring Kobernus hit .220 with two triples and three RBI in 50 at-bats in Lakeland, Florida. With his versatility on defense it was thought for a while that he would make the roster out of camp. He can play both infield and outfield, so that put him in the conversation for most of Spring Training.
With Kobernus out of the picture, the backup left field position seems to be down to a handful of other options. Quintin Berry, although missing some time due to an injury, is in the mix with young Avisail Garcia. Garcia would be a long shot considering he wouldn’t be an everyday player and the Tigers want to develop the talented youngster. Also a late addition to the race will be Matt Tuiasosopo, who has come on late in Spring Training hitting four home runs in his last 15 at-bats.
Nevertheless the Tigers will have their hands full making their final decision, but they have narrowed down the field by opting to return Kobernus to the Nationals who have said they will assign him to minor league camp. Don’t worry baseball fans, just over a week until Opening Day.