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Here are the 59 players included on the Detroit Tigers’ spring training roster

Tigers include mix of veterans, prospects in first Club Player Pool

Alex Faedo #76 (left) and Matt Manning #83 (right) of the Detroit Tigers run together during Spring Training workouts at the TigerTown Facility on February 13, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida.
Alex Faedo #76 (left) and Matt Manning #83 (right) of the Detroit Tigers run together during Spring Training workouts at the TigerTown Facility on February 13, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. (2020 Mark Cunningham)

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers have released their initial Club Player Pool, including 59 players who can participate in spring training.

As part of Major League Baseball’s guidelines for the shortened 2020 season, each team had to designate up to 60 players for the pre-spring training roster at least three days before the initial report date of July 1 (Wednesday).

The team will move forward with a mix of familiar faces, prospects and stopgaps. Some will obviously spend the entire season with the Tigers, barring injury, while others will likely spend the next few months getting work in at Toledo, the team’s designated Alternate Training Facility.

Here’s a look at all 59 players included in the initial announcement:

No-brainers

These are the players who, again, barring injury, would have been on the roster for the original Opening Day and figure to have a spot when the team takes the field July 24.

Pitchers:

  • Matt Boyd
  • Spencer Turnbull
  • Daniel Norris
  • Ivan Nova
  • Jordan Zimmermann
  • Buck Farmer
  • Bryan Garcia
  • Joe Jimenez
  • Rony Garcia

No matter how exciting the pitching prospects might be, it would be a shock to see the Tigers begin the year with any starting rotation other than Boyd, Turnbull, Norris, Nova and Zimmermann. The first three have earned a chance to back up last year’s results. Nova was signed to eat up innings for a year. Zimmermann is making $25 million.

Jimenez and Farmer will make up the back end of the bullpen, while Bryan Garcia has the potential to join them in high-leverage situations. Rony Garcia will make the team because if he doesn’t the Tigers have to send him back to the New York Yankees. Wasting the top Rule 5 draft pick in a year when the roster has four extra spots wouldn’t be a good look.

Everyday players:

  • Austin Romine
  • C.J. Cron
  • Jonathan Schoop
  • Niko Goodrum
  • Jeimer Candelario
  • Miguel Cabrera
  • Cameron Maybin
  • Victor Reyes
  • Jacoby Jones
  • Christin Stewart
  • Harold Castro
  • Grayson Greiner
  • Jordy Mercer

Romine, Cron, Schoop and Candelario will likely be the starting outfield, and with the expanded rosters, all of the primary outfield contenders will at least make the team.

Harold Castro and Jordy Mercer will be utility players or backups. The writing seemed to be on the wall during the first spring training that Greiner would be the primary backup catcher, so now that the team has room to take three, he’ll definitely be one of them.

Fighting for spots

The Tigers had a few legitimate competitions going before the games were called off in March, and those will continue over the course of July.

Pitchers:

  • Tim Adleman
  • Dario Agrazal
  • Tyler Alexander
  • Nolan Blackwood
  • Beau Burrows
  • Anthony Castro
  • Shao-Ching Chiang
  • Jose Cisnero
  • Michael Fulmer
  • Kyle Funkhouser
  • Zack Godley
  • David McKay
  • Nick Ramirez
  • Hector Santiago
  • John Schreiber
  • Gregory Soto

Fulmer will be an interesting spring arm to watch as he returns from Tommy John surgery. Will he be ready to join an already crowded rotation or even take over a long relief role right off the bat?

It’s anyone’s guess who will make up the starting bullpen. Between last year’s numbers, March performance and whatever happens in July, there are too many variables to guess.

From March: Detroit Tigers bullpen battle -- 16 pitchers left fighting for eight spots

Everyday players:

  • Eric Haase
  • Jake Rogers
  • Brady Policelli
  • Willi Castro
  • Brandon Dixon
  • Dawel Lugo
  • Frank Schwindel
  • Jorge Bonifacio
  • Travis Demeritte
  • Derek Hill

Dixon led the team in home runs last year, but that doesn’t exactly say much. Schwindel was one of the nice success stories of spring training in March.

The entire catching situation will be fascinating to watch. Romine will start, but Haase has so much power potential and Rogers was an elite catching prospect just a year ago. The Tigers also love Policelli.

Willi Castro could benefit from the extra roster spots, but Lugo feels like someone who could still end up on the outside looking in.

Demeritte was hitting the cover off the ball during the original spring training, and the Tigers liked him enough to target him in the Shane Greene trade even though he wasn’t a highly ranked prospect.

Prospects

These are the players Tigers fans are most anxious to see, and for good reason.

But don’t expect any of them to make the 30-man roster for Opening Day. General manager Al Avila hasn’t shut the door on them debuting at some point during the shortened season, though.

READ: Tigers ace MLB draft, stock up on exciting offensive prospects

If the Tigers somehow find themselves in contention, or if there’s an outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the organization, the timeline for these prospects might be accelerated.

Pitchers:

  • Casey Mize
  • Matt Manning
  • Tarik Skubal
  • Alex Faedo
  • Franklin Perez

Everyone who’s paid attention to the organization the last two years knows the top four names, and Perez is hoping to finally stay healthy for long enough to show Tigers fans why he was once a top 40 prospect when he was acquired in the Justin Verlander trade.

Everyday players:

  • Spencer Torkelson
  • Riley Greene
  • Dillon Dingler
  • Sergio Alcantara
  • Isaac Paredes
  • Daz Cameron

Greene was one of the talks of spring training in March, drawing walks, hitting the ball out of the park and showing the elite power-plate discipline combination that make him the team’s top hitting prospect (at least, until Torkelson joins the rankings).

Dingler made the cut just weeks after being the team’s second-round draft pick, but he’ll likely just get some work in Toledo.

Torkelson was added to the roster after agreeing to a deal June 30. His batting practice power already has fans eagerly awaiting his arrival.

Paredes is another guy who can really get on base and has burgeoning power. He’s a borderline top 100 prospect and a big part of the team’s future plans.


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