The Detroit Tigers sent pitchers Blaine Hardy and Jhan Martinez down to the minors, and look to have their Opening Day roster set, as there are only 25 healthy players on the roster.
However, the Tigers shouldn’t settle for the 25 players they have on their roster right now.
A position of concern is left field. The Tigers brought in Rajai Davis this offseason to form a platoon in left with Andy Dirks, but this plan didn’t workout. Dirks is out for the time being after undergoing back surgery, leaving the Tigers without a left-handed hitter to complete the platoon.
As it is right now, Tyler Collins will be the answer to that problem. Collins is one of the Tigers’ top outfield prospects and is a left-handed hitter, but he is the solution for the Tigers right now. Collins has put up some solid numbers this Spring Training, hitting .240 with three home runs and seven RBI’s, but he could use some more work in the minors. Collins is a career .272 hitter in the minors, but he has only played as high as Double A. It would be smart for the Tigers to send him to Triple A to start the season to get some more regular at bats.
What the Tigers need to do is make a move to acquire for a left-handed hitting outfielder to platoon with Davis. As Opening Day come closer, players will become available as teams try and get down to the 25-man roster limit for the regular season. It would be wis for the Tigers to try and make a move for a player at this point.
One player who would be a good fit would be Brennan Boesch. Boesch is currently in camp with the Los Angeles Angels, but if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, he could opt for free agency, and the Tigers would be a good fit for him. Boesch was drafted by the Tigers and played for the team until 2012, and his return would add a talented left-handed hitter to the Tigers roster. If available, it would be a possible solution to the Tigers’ problems.
If the Tigers do indeed open the season with Collins on the roster, he should be able to hold his own while Dirks is out, but the Tigers would be much better off finding someone else to fill the role.