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Tigers' Rony Garcia: Could benefit from expanded rosters
Garcia could benefit if MLB expands rosters for the 2020 season and secure a spot in the Tigers' bullpen, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports.
A Rule 5 pick in December, Garcia was on the roster bubble heading into spring training. But MLB will likely allow teams to use expanded rosters whenever the 2020 season starts, and that probably means deeper bullpens. This figures to benefit Garcia, who needs to be kept on the big-league roster all season or be offered back to the Yankees. The 22-year-old looked sharp in a limited Grapefruit League showing, so Detroit could find a regular role for him and keep him around heading into 2021.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Franklin Perez: Candidate for expanded roster?
Perez could make an expanded Tigers' roster or taxi squad to begin a shortened 2020 season, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports.
Perez was optioned to High-A back in March, so it would be quite the jump to the majors. However, it's looking like there won't be a minor league season in 2020, and MLB teams might be allowed to work with expanded rosters during a condensed schedule. If that's the case, the Tigers may opt to use Perez out of their bullpen simply so they can get him some work this year. The 22-year-old has battled injuries the last two seasons, so if he's healthy, Detroit may want to see him pitch rather than collect even more rust.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Casey Mize: Candidate for expanded roster?
Mize could make an expanded Tigers' roster or taxi squad to begin a shortened 2020 season, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com reports.
A number of details still need to be worked out about a potential MLB season in 2020, but current proposals aim for an early July start, a shortened season, and expanded rosters and taxi squads to give teams more flexibility. In such a scenario, the Tigers could add Mize to their bullpen and let him get his feet wet at the MLB level, especially because it looks unlikely that there will be a minor league season. Service time issues would still need to be considered, and Detroit may opt to be overly cautious with their star prospect, but it's possible we see Mize with the Tigers this summer.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Austin Romine: To stick beyond 2020?
Romine could end up staying in Detroit past this season after making a strong impression in the offseason, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
Romine agreed to a one-year, $4.15 million contract with the Tigers back in December, with the idea that he'd serve as a veteran stopgap until Jake Rogers was ready. However, the 31-year-old looked good in the spring, and now it's uncertain if Rogers will be able to continue his development in the minors this season. That could all lead to Romine returning as Detroit's starting catcher in 2021.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Michael Fulmer: Not ready to face hitters
Tigers pitching coach Rick Anderson said Tuesday that there's "no chance" Fulmer (elbow) will be cleared to face hitters soon, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports. "I mean, you never say never, but I don't see it," Anderson said. "He might be ready to see hitters, but I believe when we start our second spring training, whenever that will be, that would be the time to see Michael face hitters."
Now in the 14th month of his recovery from last year's Tommy John surgery, Fulmer is throwing regularly off the mound and has previously said that he's "100 percent pain-free," but the Tigers aren't inclined to rush him coming off a major arm operation. Instead, Fulmer will likely just gradually increase the intensity and frequency of his bullpen sessions at the Tigers' spring training facility until full-squad workouts resume, perhaps at some point in June. Fulmer is still hopeful to slot back into the Detroit rotation later this summer, but the possibility of no minor-league season could deprive him of opportunities to prove his health and build up his workload in rehab games, which may result in his recovery timeline being extended.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Isaac Paredes: Debut could be pushed to 2021
Paredes will probably get 400-500 at-bats at the Triple-A level before making his MLB debut, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
Paredes would have likely made his MLB debut at some point this season if there was a normal schedule, but with play currently delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, it's unclear how soon he'll be able to log those Triple-A at-bats. The 21-year-old has never appeared above Double-A, so it makes sense that the Tigers want to get him some extended time at Triple-A before pushing him to the majors. Paredes may now have to wait until 2021 for his big league debut.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Sergio Alcantara: Likely to play at second
Alcantara was slated to play at second base for Triple-A Toledo if there were a normal minor-league season, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
Willi Castro, who made his MLB debut for the Tigers last season, was expected to get the bulk of the time at shortstop with Toledo, which would push Alcantara to second. However, with expanded rosters, Castro could open in the majors while Alcantara will likely play against minor leaguers in Florida. The 23-year-old spent his last two seasons at Double-A, so he is now one step away from the majors.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Kody Clemens: Slated for extended run at Double-A
Clemens could start at High-A Lakeland but spend the majority of the year at Double-A Erie when and if play is able to resume, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
Clemens looked good in big-league camp and hit .333 in Grapefruit League action, so he's a player to watch this year. Of course, it remains to be seen when play will resume and what the minor-league schedule will look like this season. The 23-year-old finished his 2019 campaign by playing in 13 games for the SeaWolves and was expected to spend significant time with the Double-A squad in 2020.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Miguel Cabrera: Wants to play the field
Cabrera has gotten into better shape this offseason with the goal of being able to play some first base when the regular season is able to start, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
Cabrera reported to camp lighter than he's been the past few seasons, and manager Ron Gardenhire said he was impressed by the veteran's conditioning. Cabrera made 107 appearances as DH in 2019 and played at first in 26 games. The Tigers are unlikely to allow the 37-year-old to play the field extensively this season given his knee issues in recent years.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Brandon Dixon: Could earn bench role
Dixon could earn a reserve role if MLB rosters are expanded for the 2020 campaign, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
Dixon cleared waivers in January and was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo, which seemed to be his likely starting location in 2020. However, MLB rosters could expand when the regular season is able to begin, and Dixon could end up as a backup option at first, third and both corner outfield spots. The 28-year-old slashed .248/.290/.435 and led the Tigers with 15 home runs in 2019.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Jordy Mercer: Should serve as infield reserve
Mercer could back up all four infield spots this season, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
Mercer was released and re-signed to an NRI deal by the Tigers in April, and the veteran could serve as a super-utility player when the regular season is able to begin. Mercer slashed .270/.310/.438 with nine home runs and 22 RBI in 74 games last year, but a lack of an everyday role will keep his fantasy appeal limited in 2020.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Cooper Johnson: Impresses in spring
Johnson got work at big-league camp in spring training and looked comfortable working with the pitching staff, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports.
Johnson is a relatively unheralded prospect, having been selected in the sixth round in 2019, but he's at least on the map if he's getting a look in big-league camp. The 22-year-old struggled at Low-A West Michigan last season with a .179 batting average, so there's still plenty of work for him to do before he's knocking on the door for the Tigers.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Jake Rogers: MLB return uncertain
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.... See More ... See Less
Tigers' Joey Wentz: Rehabbing in Florida
Wentz (elbow) is beginning his rehab from Tommy John surgery at the Tigers' spring training facility in Florida, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Wentz underwent the procedure in mid-March, and he is now one of just three Detroit players currently still in Lakeland, joining Michael Fulmer (elbow) and Shao-Ching Chiang. The 22-year-old will of course ease into activity, but he should be able to continue his rehab work in relative isolation while MLB play is suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. Wentz will still likely be out until the second half of the 2021 season.... See More ... See Less