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Detroit Tigers reveal final 30-man roster for Opening Day

Tigers keep 16 pitchers, 14 position players on initial roster

Detroit Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd watches a throw during an intrasquad baseball game in Detroit, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Detroit Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd watches a throw during an intrasquad baseball game in Detroit, Wednesday, July 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers revealed their final 30-man Opening Day roster for the 2020 season Thursday, just hours before the noon deadline.

As part of the rule changes for MLB’s unusual 60-game season, which was shortened by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and a months-long spar between owners and players, teams can carry 30 players for the first two weeks of the season.

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Roster limits drop to 28 after two weeks, then down to 26 two weeks after that.

The Tigers had most of their roster figured out before the second round of spring training began, but there was still competition for the final bullpen and reserve spots.

In the end, Detroit kept five starting pitchers, 11 relief pitchers and 14 hitters.

Starting pitchers

  • Matt Boyd
  • Spencer Turnbull
  • Michael Fulmer
  • Ivan Nova
  • Tyler Alexander

No surprises here. Daniel Norris will likely join this group and bump Alexander into the bullpen once he’s ready to handle a starter’s workload, but after the injury to Jordan Zimmermann, this seemed to be the most likely outcome.

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Bullpen

  • Dario Agrazal
  • Beau Burrows
  • Jose Cisnero
  • Buck Farmer
  • Kyle Funkhouser
  • Bryan Garcia
  • Rony Garcia
  • Joe Jimenez
  • David McKay
  • John Schreiber
  • Gregory Soto

Cisnero, Farmer, Bryan Garcia, Rony Garcia, Jimenez, McKay and Soto were pretty obvious choices to make the bullpen, and Funkhouser earned his spot over the last month.

Agrazal, Burrows and Schreiber are interesting choices. They had on-and-off moments throughout summer camp, and the Tigers could have gone with higher upside choices such as Shao-Ching Chiang or Nolan Blackwood.

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There’s an argument to be made that expanded rosters are an opportunity to shoot for players with a higher ceiling, but the Tigers elected to go with experience, and that’s not surprising.

Bats

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

The first nine players on this list will make up the everyday lineup, while Reyes and Castro receive regular playing time, as well.

Greiner, Lugo and Mercer earned the final three spots over more exciting options such as Willi Castro and Derek Hill. Beyond the four free agent signings -- Cron, Schoop, Maybin and Romine -- this offense looks a lot like the one that finished last in MLB a year ago.


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