Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said Rogers' performance behind the plate will determine his playing time more than his bat, Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic reports. "I want him to know that he will lose playing time or lose his spot on this roster more because of what he does on defense," Hinch said. "We have to continue to encourage and get the most out of him defensively. That's his No. 1 priority." Rogers struggled to a .125/.222/.259 line during his 35 games in the majors in 2019, but Hinch's comments indicate that he's looking for a strong defensive catcher as a backup to Wilson Ramos and can live with some hiccups at the plate. Rogers and Grayson Greiner figure to battle for that reserve role this spring, with Greiner the presumed early favorite as the more veteran player.
Rogers and Grayson Greiner will likely compete this spring to serve as the backup catcher in Detroit behind new addition Wilson Ramos, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports. The Tigers signed Ramos to a one-year deal in January, and although the veteran had a down 2020 campaign, he is set to serve as the top backstop in Detroit. That leaves Rogers to battle with Greiner, unless the team opts to carry three catchers, which seems unlikely at this point. Rogers didn't make an appearance for the Tigers last year, but he did play in 35 games in 2019, slashing .125/.222/.259 with four home runs.
Rogers was reassigned to the Tigers' alternate training site Monday. Both Rogers and Eric Haase were sent to the alternate site in Toledo, which clears the way for Austin Romine and Grayson Greiner to break summer camp on the active roster. Rogers could have a role on the team's three-player taxi squad for road games, as one spot needs to be used on a catcher, but the 25-year-old is otherwise on the outside looking in at the moment.
Rogers, who was added to the Tigers' 60-player pool Sunday, could get some MLB playing time in relief of Austin Romine and Eric Haase this season, Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic reports. Rogers was optioned to Triple-A Toledo in March, and it seemed like he was destined to spend much of if not all of the 2020 season there. However, the 25-year-old is now technically back in the majors, and with 60 games coming up in just 66 days, the Tigers may end up needing three catchers. It still wouldn't be wise to expect much from Rogers in 2020 with Romine and Haase around, and 2020 draftee Dillon Dingler complicates his future outlook behind the plate in Detroit.
It's unclear when Rogers may be recalled to the majors, as the Tigers wanted to get him a few hundred at-bats in Triple-A first, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports. Had play not been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Rogers was likely headed for a few months at Triple-A Toledo before returning to Detroit. But without that luxury and with no clear timeline for the season to begin, the 25-year-old catcher might be looking at a 2021 return to the majors. He still figures to be the team's backstop of the future, as the current starter appears to be 31-year-old Austin Romine, who is only on a one-year deal.