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2019 Roster Watch: Spring Training

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This is strange because it's been a long, long time since more than maybe 2 roster spots were up for grabs.      I started a thread for all of us to speculate who might make this team

 

Catchers   - Greiner is the starter, no doubt and it looks like Hicks will be the backup.  They'd have to dump someone from the 40 man to have another catcher on the team, so I doubt they will, but if Hicks is DH a lot they could run into issues there.    

Infield -  Cabrera, Harrison, Mercer, Candelario are the starters, that's easy.   But who will be the main backup?   The middle infield backup is between Brandon Dixon, Ronny Rodriquez and Willi Castro.   I think Rodriguez has the edge and the team will want Willi Castro playing everyday at Toledo, but if there is an injury to Mercer, Willi's going to be the starter.    Gordon Beckham is certainly making his case to be one of the super subs.    I don't think Isaac Paredes will play in the majors this year even if he has a great year at Erie or Toledo. 

Outfield -  Castellanos, JaCoby, Stewart -    Those are the likely starters but I would also throw Niko Goodrum in as a "starter" because I think you probably won't see a lot of games with both Nick and Stewart in the OF at the same time (at least I hope not).  One of those two will be the DH most days and Goodrum will take their spot in the outfield.    The battle for the final outfield spot seems to be between Mikie Mahtook and Dustin Peterson.   Mikie is out of options, right?  and he can play Centerfield rather well, so he has the edge, but Peterson is making his case.    I think we will see Daz Cameron in the majors at some point this year.  

I really think the last position roster spot comes down to Beckham or Peterson.    In one regard Peterson has an edge because he is on the 40 man and Beckham is not, but Beckham has looked great defensively and I think the team would like to have a good backup for 1st and 3rd.      Adding Beckham would mean cutting someone from the 40 man and that would probably be a pitcher.   

 

The pitching - Wow, this is going to be where it's really interesting. 

Starters -  Fulmer, Zimmerman, Boyd are the locks.  I think Matt Moore gets a spot to start the season.  But who's the 5th.  It's hard to stomach the idea of that being Tyson Ross.  I know it's just spring training but at some point he has to show something.  He's been brutal.    I know the team wants Daniel Norris to be in the rotation, but I think they want him to earn it. Spencer Turnbull is interesting and Gardy loves him, but I don't think the team believes he consistent enough yet.   I'll go Norris as the 5th but he might be on very shaky ground

Relievers -  Shane Green and Joe Jiminez on the back end of the pen is easy.   I think Stumpf, Hardy and Alcantara are also locks.  That leaves the last 2 spots going to the warm bodies of Buck Farmer and Drew VerHagen.   Well, at least they could help us secure a high draft pick next season, so there's that.    I don't think we will see any of the top pitching prospects up this year at all.  What would be the point.   Maybe Kyle Funkhouser gets a look and I have a feeling Spencer Turnbull will start more games than Daniel Norris by season's end. 

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There has been enough talk about carrying 13 pitchers on opening day that I expect that to happen. 

One guy you failed to mention is rule 5 pick Reed Garret (or is it Garrett Reed?). I expect them to at least start the year with him on the roster. 

So, just looking at the bullpen, I think you’ve greene, Jimenez, Stumpf, verhagen, Alcantara, Hardy, and Garrett as locks. And if they take an eight guy Farmer seems to have the edge. 

Then you’ve got the five starters, and at this point I think we are stuck with both Moore and Ross, unless Norris actually shows something. But right now, I think Norris is so out of whack that you simply send him to Toledo until he figures out how to pitch again, which could be never. 

For the offense, we know the eight position player starters. Goodrum is a lock and you could just call him the DH, leaving room for three more. Ronrod seems likely. Mahtook seems likely as a backup OF. And Hicks is a lock as the backup catcher. 

There isn’t any room for Peterson or Beckham or any of these other guys. Maybe Beckham shows enough that you ker him instead of Ronrod. 

As far as battles go, I think it’s really just that backup infield spot, and then maybe which two guys pick to fill out the rotation. If Norris miraculously starts pitching well, then farmer could be the odd man out with Ross/Moore pitching out of the pen. 

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The position players seem locked in.  I have been assuming they would carry 13 pitchers. I don't think the bullpen is set simply because it's the nature of bullpens not to be set.  I can see someone like Alcantara not making the cut and they night decide that Garret is not what they thought.  There always seems to be a surprise or two at the end of spring training.  

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3 hours ago, Motor City Sonics said:

This is strange because it's been a long, long time since more than maybe 2 roster spots were up for grabs.      I started a thread for all of us to speculate who might make this team

 

Catchers   - Greiner & Hicks     

Infield -  Cabrera, Harrison, Mercer, Candelario ... Rodriguez & Gordon Beckham 

Outfield -  Castellanos, JaCoby, Stewart ... Niko Goodrum & Mikie Mahtook

Starters -  Fulmer, Zimmerman, Boyd .. Matt Moore & Daniel Norris

Relievers -  Shane Green, Joe Jiminez .. Stumpf, Hardy, Alcantara .. Buck Farmer & Drew VerHagen.   

I agree with almost all of above ..except they will add Victor Reyes and exit Gordon Beckham.

If open season with 13 pitchers .. May be Spencer on the roster withRonRod in minors. 

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8 hours ago, Tigrrfan said:

I agree with almost all of above ..except they will add Victor Reyes and exit Gordon Beckham.

If open season with 13 pitchers .. May be Spencer on the roster withRonRod in minors. 

I think they'll want Victor playing every day.........which would mean Toledo or Erie.  

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So, to be able to carry all these pitchers you can only have two available position players on the bench — who both need to be versatile — plus a backup catcher. Over a string of 162 games.

It appears at first glance implausible that this could ever work. But I guess it does. It seems these rosters could be bigger though, but not so you could could carry 15 pitchers instead of 13. 

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I don't think Brandon Dixon is a middle infield option.  He's never played short, so I wouldn't refer to him as a middle infielder.  I have not paid attention to how he has been used in Lakeland, so maybe he is getting some time there, I don't know.

I agree that Reyes will be playing everyday.  The only scenario where he may not be is if Detroit needs a CF option if either of Jones/Mahtook go down to injury.  This might be where Dixon gets called up, but then again, he's played all of 7 innings of CF in the past two seasons, so perhaps he doesn't get the call.

C - Greiner, Hicks

IF - Cabrera, Harrison, Mercer, Candelario, Rodriguez

OF - Stewart, Jones, Castellanos, Mahtook

Goodrum

That's your roster of position players going north.  Aside from injury or retirement or trade, if the club does indeed go with only a dozen position players, that's it, that's the list.  Goodrum gets his own category because he simply cannot be categorized.  I suspect he gets a lot of playing time moving around the field giving guys a day off.  

SP - Zimmermann, Fulmer, Boyd, Ross, Moore

RP - Jimenez, Greene, Hardy, VerHagen, Stumpf,.... Garrett, Farmer, Alcantara

I will guess they hang onto Garrett unless he completely falls apart before Opening Day.  I am guessing they retain Farmer because they seem completely stubborn enough to think he might actually become a pitcher at some point (although statistics show otherwise).  Alcantara probably showed enough last season to earn the spot this season.  I don't think this trio is set in stone, although I do think they will hang onto Garrett.

13 man pitching staffs suck.

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52 minutes ago, Casimir said:

I don't think Brandon Dixon is a middle infield option.  He's never played short, so I wouldn't refer to him as a middle infielder.  I have not paid attention to how he has been used in Lakeland, so maybe he is getting some time there, I don't know.

I agree that Reyes will be playing everyday.  The only scenario where he may not be is if Detroit needs a CF option if either of Jones/Mahtook go down to injury.  This might be where Dixon gets called up, but then again, he's played all of 7 innings of CF in the past two seasons, so perhaps he doesn't get the call.

C - Greiner, Hicks

IF - Cabrera, Harrison, Mercer, Candelario, Rodriguez

OF - Stewart, Jones, Castellanos, Mahtook

Goodrum

That's your roster of position players going north.  Aside from injury or retirement or trade, if the club does indeed go with only a dozen position players, that's it, that's the list.  Goodrum gets his own category because he simply cannot be categorized.  I suspect he gets a lot of playing time moving around the field giving guys a day off.  

SP - Zimmermann, Fulmer, Boyd, Ross, Moore

RP - Jimenez, Greene, Hardy, VerHagen, Stumpf,.... Garrett, Farmer, Alcantara

I will guess they hang onto Garrett unless he completely falls apart before Opening Day.  I am guessing they retain Farmer because they seem completely stubborn enough to think he might actually become a pitcher at some point (although statistics show otherwise).  Alcantara probably showed enough last season to earn the spot this season.  I don't think this trio is set in stone, although I do think they will hang onto Garrett.

13 man pitching staffs suck.

I can't see them adding Ross if he keeps pitching the way he's pitching.   But if they do, yeah - you'll need 13 pitchers because you'll be going to your pen in the 3rd inning.   

I have a feeling that if JaCoby or Mikie get hurt for a long period we would see Reyes, but if Daz is doing well at Triple A, we could see him. 

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25 minutes ago, Motor City Sonics said:

I can't see them adding Ross if he keeps pitching the way he's pitching.   But if they do, yeah - you'll need 13 pitchers because you'll be going to your pen in the 3rd inning.   

I have a feeling that if JaCoby or Mikie get hurt for a long period we would see Reyes, but if Daz is doing well at Triple A, we could see him. 

Ross is a potential flippable asset.  They're going to ride it out.

I think Cameron stays in Toledo until September unless all Hedes breaks loose in Detroit's CF and/or he uses a Wonderboy bat.

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53 minutes ago, Casimir said:

Ross is a potential flippable asset.  They're going to ride it out.

Agree there is probably nothing he can do in ST to lose his spot, but once the season starts he'll have to show something as bad performances will destroy any potential trade value anyway. Whether they stick with him at that point would purely be a matter of whether there is an 'older' guy not on a hard service time clock at Toledo giving them reason to make the change - Turnbull, Norris etc.

Also agree they'd rather Reyes be the first OF call-up if someone falters, but he does have to cooperate by hitting some! And unless he gets back quickly, Robson's set back also improves Cameron's chance of being called up.

They say they want to give Goodrum 500 AB, so he could effectively replace 2 normal bench guys.

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56 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Agree there is probably nothing he can do in ST to lose his spot, but once the season starts he'll have to show something as bad performances will destroy any potential trade value anyway. Whether they stick with him at that point would purely be a matter of whether there is an 'older' guy not on a hard service time clock at Toledo giving them reason to make the change - Turnbull, Norris etc.

Also agree they'd rather Reyes be the first OF call-up if someone falters, but he does have to cooperate by hitting some! And unless he gets back quickly, Robson's set back also improves Cameron's chance of being called up.

They say they want to give Goodrum 500 AB, so he could effectively replace 2 normal bench guys.

I completely forgot about Robson as a possible call up.

500 PAs for Goodrum sounds reasonable, I think.

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9 hours ago, Casimir said:

I completely forgot about Robson as a possible call up.

500 PAs for Goodrum sounds reasonable, I think.

Yes, especially with a rotating DH.    JaCoby Jones is a great CF, but he's not Superman and you can't ask him to play one of the toughest center fields in the big leagues and have both Nick and Stewie flanking him at the same time.  That's just mean.   Niko's not a Gold Glover out there, but he's far better than those other two. 

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1 minute ago, Charles Liston said:

Show me a roster without Farmer or Mahtook.

Thanks.

Catcher: Greiner, Hicks

INF: Cabrera, Harrison, Mercer, Candelario

OF: Castellanos, Jones, Stewart

BN: Goodrum, Rodriguez, Peterson

SP: Zimmermann, Boyd, Fulmer, Ross, Moore

RP: Greene, Jimenez, Alcantara, VerHagen, Hardy, Norris, Stumpf, Garrett

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1 hour ago, Charles Liston said:

Show me a roster without Farmer or Mahtook.

Thanks.

The only thing about that is with Nick and Stewart you have to have a really good CF and as far as I know Peterson is not a CF,  Ronny is only an emergency CF and Niko is okay, but if he's in CF that means Nick and Stewart are probably in the corners and that would be awful.  Mikie Mahtook is a very good option in CF defensively.   He's an enigma.  He's capable of being really good, he just can't seem to find it for any length of time.   It's one of those things, if it ever really clicks for him, he's a good player - we've seen it, but not enough. 

 

Here I am speculating like the team needs to be really good or something.   I need to stop thinking like that, I will only be in for a big let down.   This is the bottom out year.   

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Projecting the Hens roster:

C - Rupp, Bobby Wilson

1B - BRandon Dixon, Lester

2B - Lugo, Beckham, Eaves

3B - Harold Castro, , Dixon, Eaves

SS - Willi Castro?, Old Pete Kozma

LF - Victor Reyes

CF - Daz Cameron

RF - Peterson / Robson

DH - RonRod / Peterson

SP - Norris, Funkhouse, Turnbull, Matt Hall, R Carpenter, burrows?

BP - Houston, Voelker, Reininger, L Coleman, Baez? Garcia (eventually), Alexander?

Assumptions:

  • Rogers to Erie, Woodrow to Erie
  • Willi to AAA so Sergio Alcatara can play FT at Erie along with Paredes
  • Burrows has been AWOL all spring. I thought he might make the Hens.  Any signs of him??
  • Tiger utility position may come down to Harold Castro vs RonRod. I worry about RR's defense
  • Eaves may get eased back to AA, not sure there's room for Beckham

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Looks like Farmer has a 4th option year due to injury so unfortunately they can send him to Toledo and not pass him through waivers.

Manipulating Daniel Norris's service time to get another should not be an important goal because he does not look like anyone you want to be paying a 4th year arbitration salary to - but - if they send him down to Toledo to get 100 innings in, and then recall him after the all-start break, they would get one more year of control, through 2022, instead of through 2021.

 

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Norris still has enough upside -esp if he is throwing harder again - that they probably would aim for the extra year of control. Plus it's lining up that way anyway. They already have 5 starters that are pretty close to etched in stone and Norris needs innings under less pressure to get used to pitching again. Win-Win - except for Daniels F/A dreams....

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1 hour ago, RatkoVarda said:

Looks like Farmer has a 4th option year due to injury so unfortunately they can send him to Toledo and not pass him through waivers.

Manipulating Daniel Norris's service time to get another should not be an important goal because he does not look like anyone you want to be paying a 4th year arbitration salary to - but - if they send him down to Toledo to get 100 innings in, and then recall him after the all-start break, they would get one more year of control, through 2022, instead of through 2021.

 

Farmer.........waivers................yeah, I'm not worried about that very much.  

Daniel Norris is starting to remind me of Justin Thompson,  just flashes of what we thought he could be, wiped out by injury. 

 

Any chance Kyle Sleeth or Kenny Baugh make the team this year? 

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5 minutes ago, Motor City Sonics said:

Farmer.........waivers................yeah, I'm not worried about that very much.  

Daniel Norris is starting to remind me of Justin Thompson,  just flashes of what we thought he could be, wiped out by injury. 

Norris probably has more upside, and so far his injuries have not been to his arm, so his recovery chances are still good. I think the bigger question with Norris is whether he can get his head under control. I don't remember enough about Thompson as to whether that was ever an issue for him. Of course for a long time we thought that Bonderman's 1st inning issues were in his head, then finally found out he was starting games with numb fingers. I suppose a lot of guys end up with a better mentality if they reach a point where things are working right when for a long time they haven't.

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6 hours ago, Charles Liston said:

Yes regrettably Mahtook is good enough to.make a bad team.  Swap him for Cameron on June 30.

Good enough to make a bad team and there are really no other backup CF options.  Although one could say Jones is also no more than a backup CF option as well.

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30 minutes ago, Casimir said:

Good enough to make a bad team and there are really no other backup CF options.  Although one could say Jones is also no more than a backup CF option as well.

Adam Jones, Austin Jackson, and Denard Span are all still free agents, but were all terrible in CF the last few years. 

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Daz isnt long for the minors.

When Jones has a sub .600 OPS, Cameron will be the starting CF by Memorial Day.

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