5 Detroit Tigers Who Won’t Make It Through 2014 Spring Training
5 Players Who Won't Make The Detroit Tigers Opening Day Roster
The Detroit Tigers' roster will look a bit different come Opening Day.
Gone will be All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder, pitcher Doug Fister and infielders Jhonny Peralta and Omar Infante. Those players were integral parts of the Tigers' success over the past few seasons and will be missed in Detroit.
In return, the Tigers have brought in second baseman Ian Kinsler, outfielder Rajai Davis, pitchers Joe Nathan, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Krol and utility infielder Steve Lombardozzi.
These are big changes for the Tigers, but they fit the way the team is moving. This season's Tigers team will be more athletic and will be better in the field. It will also be stronger in the back end of the bullpen, which has been the Achilles heel for the Tigers in the past.
The focus of the offseason was to fill the needed positions early and the Tigers did that. Most of their key moves happened at the beginning of the offseason as the Tigers wanted to get the pieces they wanted before someone else did.
With that being said, there are some spots still up for grabs. A lot of the moves made this offseason set positions in stone, but backups in the infield, outfield and the bullpen still need to be figured out.
A player who normally would find himself on the cutting board would be Jose Alvarez, but he could have been spared by the injury to Justin Verlander. If Verlander isn't ready to go by Opening Day, keeping Alvarez on staff to fill out the starting rotation might be necessary.
Trevor Crowe is a non-roster invitee for the Detroit Tigers and will look to make the team as a backup outfielder. Crowe is a career .240 hitter in the majors, but he hit just .218 in 165 at-bats last year and spent all of 2012 in the minors. His numbers have been good at the minor league level, but it has never quite translated to big league success. Crowe faces a tough battle to make the Tigers roster.
Danny Worth has been up and down between the big leagues and the minors for the Detroit Tigers for the last four years. In his first three years, Worth played in at least 30 games each year, but last year Worth saw those numbers drop to just three games. He was taken off the 40-man roster this offseason and is far down on the middle infield depth chart. It seems unlikely that Worth will make the Opening Day roster.
Evan Reed appeared in 16 games for the Detroit Tigers last season, his first appearances in the big leagues. Reed was 0-1 with a 4.24 ERA in those games. Reed is in the conversation for one of the final bullpen spots, but with the additions of Joba Chamberlain, Joe Nathan and Ian Krol, it is likely that Reed will open the year in Triple-A.
Jose Ortega is another player looking to make the Detroit Tigers bullpen. He was 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 11 appearances last season, but could find himself in a similar position as Evan Reed. With the new additions there isn't room for Ortega.
If the Opening Day roster included 26 players, Hernan Perez would most likely be on it. But since the Opening Day Roster will only have 25, Perez is a likely casualty. It is not that Perez hasn't played well, it's that other players are more versatile. Perez filled in at second base for awhile last year, but with the addition of Steve Lombardozzi, the Detroit Tigers have two quality utility players, with the other being Don Kelly. Those players cover Perez's position and more, so Perez will most likely open in Triple-A.